oklahoma hunting seasons

Oklahoma Hunting Seasons 2024: Everything You Need to Know

All states have a distinct character to them, even if hunting opportunities are often more or less similar. Being a southern state, Oklahoma enjoys a varied climate with equally varied ecosystems and fauna. Diversity is always a welcome sight when it comes to hunting, especially when it is paired with abundance. Oklahoma might not be the biggest state, but it definitely doesn’t lack hunting opportunities. Willing to learn more about Oklahoma hunting seasons for 2024? Then this guide is just what you need. All information is taken from the official Oklahoma Wildlife Department website.

Table of Contents

deer hunting oklahoma

Deer Hunting in Oklahoma

Deer is often a hunter’s first choice and the reasons for this are pretty understandable. This is one of few game species that can be hunted wherever in the country you go. Some states, however, offer more plentiful opportunities to bring a trophy buck home. Oklahoma is such a state. The bag limits won’t leave anyone disappointed, at least if one has traveled across a few other states to be able to compare.

Deer Season Dates & Bag Limits

Deer Season

Season Dates

Bag Limit

Deer Archery

October 1, 2024 – January 15, 2025

6 deer, no more than 2 antlered*

Youth Deer Gun

October 18-20, 2024

2 deer, no more than 1 antlered*

Deer Muzzleloader

October 26 – November 3, 2024

4 deer, no more than 1 antlered*

Deer Gun

October 26 – November 3, 2024

4 deer, no more than 1 antlered*

Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun

December 18 – December 31, 2024

2 antlerless deer.

*Antlered Deer possess at least three inches of antler length above the natural hairline. Keep that in mind while deciding which one to take.

Deer Hunting Licenses

Youth Resident

Resident Youth Deer License

Resident

Resident Hunting License

Resident Deer License

Nonresident Youth and Adult

Nonresident Deer License

or

Resident Lifetime Hunting or Combination License

Deer Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise until 30 minutes after official sunset.

Prepare for Deer Hunting

Shop for Deer Hunting Gear

Oklahoma Deer Hunting Regulations

  • All hunters using firearms must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads and above the waist. This is also required for archery hunters during any firearms season.
  • The use of telemetric radio tracking devices is permitted, whereas thermal tracking devices are prohibited.
  • Licenses not filled during their specified season cannot be used in other seasons, except for youth and archery licenses under certain conditions.
  • Deer taken during the holiday antlerless deer gun season do not count toward the hunter’s combined season limit of six deer.
  • Deer taken during Jan. 1-15, 2025, count toward the 2024 combined season limit.

Encouragement to Harvest Antlerless Deer

Oklahoma encourages hunters to actively participate in antlerless deer hunting, which has been on the decline for the last few years. The goal is to maintain a balanced buck-to-doe ratio, which is crucial for the health of the deer population and the overall quality of hunting experiences. For these purposes, bag limits have been expanded and open days for antlerless harvest have been introduced.

Selective Surveillance Area

In areas identified for selective surveillance (Cimarron, Texas, Woodward, Major and Woods Counties), hunters are required to process harvested animals onsite to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This measure helps in managing and controlling the impact of CWD within deer populations.

Carcass Transportation and Removal Rules

To prevent disease spread and protect public health, Oklahoma has strict rules regarding the transportation and disposal of big game animal carcasses:

  • Prohibition on Dumping: Hunters must not dump carcasses near dwellings, water sources or roadways and should instead bury them appropriately to avoid attracting predators or spreading diseases.
  • Import Restrictions: Importing cervid (deer family) carcasses or parts from outside Oklahoma is restricted, with exceptions for items like treated hides, antlers, and teeth, to prevent the introduction of diseases such as Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

These rules apply to all big game species, including elk, antelopes and bears.

Deer Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting a deer, hunters must immediately attach a field tag to the deer. This tag must include the hunter’s name, license number and date and time of harvest. Furthermore, all harvested animals must be checked within 24 hours through the online E-Check system or directly with an authorized Department employee.

Elk hunting in Oklahoma

Elk Hunting in Oklahoma

Elk often ranks high on hunters’ wishlists, but not all states allow for those wishes to come true. Unlike those states, Oklahoma encourages hunters to hunt elk. Naturally, the numbers aren’t quite as large as with some of the more popular game (read less endangered) species but are pretty rewarding nonetheless. That is, if you are fast enough to get your hands on one or two before the zone quota is fulfilled.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Elk Season

Season Dates

Elk Archery

October 1 – January 15, 2025

Youth Elk Gun

October 18 – 20, 2024

Elk Muzzleloader

October 26 – November 3, 2024

Elk Gun

November 23 – December 8, 2024

Holiday Antlerless Elk Gun

December 18 – 31, 2024

Combined Season Limit: Two elk, either sex, including elk taken during January 1-31, 2025, which count toward the 2024 combined season limit. Elk taken during controlled hunts do not count toward this limit.

Hunting Licenses

Resident

Resident Hunting License 

Resident Elk License (for each elk hunted)

Nonresident Youth and Adult

Nonresident Elk License (for each elk hunted) 

or 

Resident Lifetime Hunting or Combination license.

Hunters using an air-powered arrow rifle must purchase this one-time permit.

Elk Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise until 30 minutes after official sunset.

Prepare for Elk Hunting

Shop for Elk Hunting Gear

Elk Hunting Regulations

  • Hunter Orange Requirement: All hunters using firearms must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads and above the waist. This is also required for archery hunters during any firearms season.
  • Zone Harvest Quota: Hunters must check the Wildlife Department’s website to ensure the quota has not been met for their zone before hunting.

Public Lands: Elk hunting is closed on Department-owned or managed lands, except for controlled elk hunt permittees.

Elk Open Zones

elk zones oklahoma

Zone Name

Location

Bag Limit

Zone Quota

Panhandle Zone

All private lands in Beaver, Cimarron, and Texas counties

2 elk*, one of which must be antlerless**

60 elk

Special Northwest Zone

All private lands in Woodward, Dewey, and Ellis counties, and a portion of Roger Mills County north of State Highways 33 and 47 to the north county line and west to the state border and east to the county line

1 elk, regardless of sex

8 elk

Northwest Zone

All private lands north of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 35, excluding the counties in the Panhandle Zone and counties or parts thereof in the Special Northwest Zone

1 elk, regardless of sex

8 elk

Northeast Zone

All private lands north of Interstate 40 and east of Interstate 35

1 elk, regardless of sex

20 elk

Southeast Zone

All private lands south of Interstate 40 and east of Interstate 35

1 elk, regardless of sex

5 elk

Southwest Zone

All private lands south of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 35, excluding the counties in the Special Southwest Zone

1 elk, regardless of sex

30 elk

Special Elk Southwest Zone

All private lands in Caddo, Comanche, and Kiowa counties

2 elk, regardless of sex, one of which must be antlerless

No quota

Legal Bull – Any antlered bull elk. In the Special Southwest Zone, a legal bull must have at least five points on one side.

Antlerless Elk – Any elk without visible antlers, regardless of sex.

Elk Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting an elk, hunters must immediately attach a field tag with their name, license number, and harvest date. This tag must include the hunter’s name, license number and date and time of harvest. Furthermore, all harvested animals must be checked within 24 hours through the online E-Check system or directly with an authorized Department employee.

antelope hunting oklahoma

Antelope Hunting in Oklahoma

Some may say antelopes are just fancy deer, and it’s easy to see where that comparison comes from. We wouldn’t call them that, because deer are pretty fancy in their own right. At the same time, antelope hunts definitely have a unique flair. Mostly because these animals are more picky when it comes to choosing habitats. And the more rare something is, the more rewarding getting it feels.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Antelope Season

Season Dates

Antelope Archery

October 1-14, 2024

Antelope Gun Seasons  (Draw Only)

 

Either Sex (Landowner/Controlled Hunt Permits)

August 29 – September 1, 2024

Doe Only (Controlled Hunt Permit)

September 2-9, 2024

Doe Only (Landowner Permit)

November 25, 2024, to January 15, 2025

The combined season limit for antelope hunting, including both archery and gun seasons, is two antelopes, with no more than one being a buck. Antelope taken from January 1-15, 2024, are counted toward the 2023 season limit.

Legal Antelope Definition

A legal buck is defined as any antelope, regardless of sex, that has a black cheek patch.

Hunting Licenses

Residents

Hunting License/ Proof of Exemption

Antelope License (for each antelope hunted)/ Proof of Exemption.

Nonresidents

Nonresident Antelope License (for each antelope hunted) unless exempt/ holding a Resident Lifetime Hunting or Combination Hunting/Fishing License

For hunts from January 1-15, all hunters must possess an antelope license for the current calendar year and a current hunting license or proof of exemption. Hunters using an air-powered arrow rifle must purchase a one-time Arrow Rifle Permit.

Antelope Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise until 30 minutes after official sunset.

Hunting Regulations

  • Antelope hunting is permitted in Cimarron County and the portion of Texas County west of State Highway 136.
  • All antelope hunters must carry written permission from the landowner or lessee while hunting. This excludes landowners, operators, and their immediate families.
  • Antelope gun hunting is available only through the Department’s controlled hunts program or the Landowner Permit Drawing.
  • All hunters using firearms must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads and above the waist. This is also required for archery hunters during any firearms season.

Antelope Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting an antelope, hunters must immediately attach a field tag with their name, license number, and harvest date. This tag must include the hunter’s name, license number and date and time of harvest. Furthermore, all harvested animals must be checked within 24 hours through the online E-Check system or directly with an authorized Department employee. Antelopes must have evidence of sex (head) attached to the carcass until the antelope is checked in.

bear hunting oklahoma

Bear Hunting in Oklahoma

Bears make for some of the most iconic and rewarding trophies hunters keep telling stories about long after getting them. Indeed, getting down such a formidable adversary is a feat worthy to live in ages. Well, for some time, at least. And Oklahoma can be a great place to bring such a story to life. 

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Season

Locations

Dates

Bear Archery

Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain, Pushmataha, and portions of McIntosh, Muskogee, Sequoyah, Atoka, Bryan, McIntosh, and Pittsburg

October 1-20, 2024

Bear Muzzleloader

Choctaw, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties 

Portion of McIntosh, Muskogee and Sequoyah counties south of Interstate 40

Portion of Atoka, Bryan, McIntosh and Pittsburg counties east of U.S. Highway 69

October 26 – November 4, 2024 

or

Until the harvest quota of 20 bears is met

Bear Hunting Licenses

Residents

Valid Hunting License

Resident Bear License.

Nonresidents

Nonresident Bear License

Bear licenses must be acquired before the season’s opening day. No bear licenses will be sold from the first day of the archery and muzzleloader seasons onwards.

Bear Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise until 30 minutes after official sunset.

Prepare for Bear Hunting

Shop for Bear Hunting Gear

Prohibited Activities

  • Baiting on wildlife management areas.
  • Shooting bear cubs or females accompanied by cubs.
  • Taking collared bears.
  • Pursuing bears that are in dens.
  • Using dogs to hunt or pursue bears.

Hunting Regulations

  • All hunters using firearms must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads and above the waist. This is also required for archery hunters during any firearms season.
  • Lifetime License holders are not exempt from the purchase of a bear license.

Bear Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting a bear, hunters must immediately attach a field tag with their name, license number, and harvest date. This tag must include the hunter’s name, license number and date and time of harvest. After that, hunters must contact Matt Hensley at (918) 527-9918 or Tres Phipps at (918) 527-9921 to check the bear. The hunter who harvested the bear must check it in themselves. After the carcass is inspected, a carcass tag will be provided, which should remain with the carcass through all stages until its final destination.

A bear may be quartered for transport, with or without its skin. However, the head and sex organs must stay naturally attached to the skin until an official check is completed.

turkey hunting oklahoma

Turkey Hunting in Oklahoma

If you prefer feather to fur and are not too keen about getting your feet wet, then turkey is a perfect target for you. Turkeys are abundant, have as many as two hunting seasons and are generally fun to hunt. Keep in mind that you can only bring back one, so jumping at the first opportunity that comes by isn’t necessarily the best choice.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Season

Dates

Bag Limits

Spring Turkey Hunting

  

Youth Spring Turkey

April 13-14, 2024

1 tom* turkey statewide regardless of method of take.

Regular Spring Season

April 16, 2024 to May 16, 2024

1 tom turkey; harvest of non-bearded turkeys is prohibited.

   

Fall Turkey Hunting

  

Turkey Archery

October 1, 2024 to January 15, 2025


 

1 tom turkey regardless of the method of take

Turkey Gun

November 2-22, 2024



*Any bearded turkey qualifies as a “Tom,” regardless of sex.

Hunting Licenses

Fall Turkey

 

Resident:

Resident Hunting License 

Fall Turkey License (unless exempt)

Nonresident:

Nonresident Hunting License 

Fall Turkey License (unless exempt)

  

Spring Turkey

 

Resident

Resident Hunting License

Spring Turkey License (unless exempt)

Nonresident

Nonresident Hunting License 

Spring Turkey License (unless exempt)

Youth Spring Turkey Specific License Requirements

Resident Youths (17 and under): Younger than 16 are exempt from a hunting license but need a turkey license or proof of exemption. Those aged 16 and 17 must have both a hunting license and a turkey license or proof of exemption.

Nonresident Youths (14-17): Must possess a nonresident annual hunting license and a turkey license for each bird hunted unless otherwise exempt. The nonresident 5-day hunting license is invalid for turkey hunting.

Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise until official sunset.

Prepare for Turkey Hunting

Shop for Turkey Hunting Gear

Turkey Hunting Regulations:

  • Baiting is prohibited. Hunters can’t hunt turkeys within 100 yards of bait. Hunting turkeys over naturally scattered grain from agricultural practices is allowed.
  • Artificial decoys are allowed. Live decoys and recorded or electronic calls (including smartphone apps) are prohibited.
  • Shooting turkeys off the roost is prohibited.

Turkey Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting a turkey, hunters must immediately attach a field tag with their name, license number, and harvest date. This tag must include the hunter’s name, license number and date and time of harvest. Furthermore, all harvested animals must be checked within 24 hours through the online E-Check system or directly with an authorized Department employee. Turkey must have evidence of sex (a leg with the foot attached or a beard) attached to the carcass until it is officially checked in.

dove hunting oklahoma

Migratory Birds Hunting in Oklahoma

If you are more about the quantity and not size, consider engaging in migratory bird hunting in Oklahoma. As with any other state, it offers plentiful opportunities to harvest avians in large numbers. Not to mention the variety of species! The seasons are also pretty lengthy, so you can hunt at your own pace without feeling the pressure to rush.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

The season dates on the majority of migratory birds aren’t yet specified, so here are the dates for the previous year’s hunting seasons.

Species

Dates

Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Dove (Mourning, White-winged & Eurasian Collared)

September 1 – October 3, 2024

December 1-29, 2024

15

45

Crow

October 10 – November 16, 2023

No Day Limit

No Possession Limit

Rail (Sora & Virginia)

September 1 – November 9, 2023

25

75

American Woodcock

October 28 – December 11, 2023

3

9

Wilson’s (Common) Snipe

September 30, 2023 – January 14, 2024

8

24

Gallinule (Purple & Common)

September 1, 2023 – November 9, 2023,

15

45

Hunting Licenses

Valid Hunting License or Proof of Exemption

HIP Permit (unless exempt)

Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise to official sunset.

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

  • Hunting migratory game birds with traps, snares, nets, rifles, pistols, swivel guns, shotgun slugs, shotguns larger than 10-gauge, punt guns, battery guns, machine guns, fishhooks, poison, drugs, explosives, or stupefying substances is prohibited.
  • Using a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (in the magazine and chamber combined), hunting from or by means of a sink box, from or with the aid or use of a vehicle or other motor-driven land conveyance is prohibited.
  • Hunting from or by means of any motorboat or sailboat unless the motor has been completely shut off and/or the sail furled, and its progress therefrom has ceased is prohibited.
  • The use of live decoys is prohibited, with all live, tame, or captive ducks and geese required to be removed for a period of 10 consecutive days prior to hunting, and confined within an enclosure which substantially reduces the audibility of their calls and totally conceals such birds from the sight of migratory waterfowl.
  • Using records or tapes of migratory bird calls, or sounds or electronically amplified imitations of bird calls is prohibited
  • Driving, rallying, or chasing birds with any motorized conveyance or sailboat to put them in range of hunters is prohibited.
  • Hunting by the aid of baiting on or over any baited area where a person knows or reasonably should know that the area is or has been baited is also prohibited, with a baited area considered baited for 10 days after the complete removal of any bait.
  • Wounded birds are to be immediately killed and included in the daily limit.
  • Migratory game birds (except doves and band-tailed pigeons) are not to be completely field-dressed before being transported from the field. The head or one fully feathered wing must remain attached for identification.

Tagging & Checking

Any migratory game bird left in another’s custody must be tagged with the hunter’s name, signature, address, total number of birds by species, and the date of kill.

geese hunting in oklahoma

Waterfowl Hunting in Oklahoma

Many waterfowl hunters stick to their chosen species exclusively. Such a choice is easy to understand: few other types of hunts can offer such diversity in both species and hunting approaches. Besides, some of the most picturesque sceneries often include a body of water, and waterfowl hunting can lead you to places other hunters will never see.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Species

Dates

Bag Limit

Teal

September 9 – September 24, 2023,

6

Special Resident Canada Goose

September 9 – September 18, 2023

8

White-Fronted Geese

November 4 – November 26, 2023


December 2, 2023 – February 4, 2024,

2

Sandhill Cranes

October 21, 2023 – January 21, 2024

3

Conservation Order Light Goose Season (COLGS)

February 13 – March 30, 2024,

Dark Geese

November 4 – November 26, 2023, and December 2, 2023 – February 11, 2024, with a daily limit of eight

8

Light Geese (Snow, Blue & Ross’)

November 4 – November 26, 2023


December 2, 2023 – February 11, 2024

50

Ducks, Mergansers, & Coots

Panhandle Counties (High Plains Mallard Management Unit)

Oct 7, 2023 – Jan 3, 2024


Zones 1 & 2

Nov 11, 2023 – Nov 26, 2023

Dec 2, 2023 – Jan 28, 2024

Ducks & Mergansers: 6 


Mergansers are included in the duck daily limit.



Coots: 15

Hunting Licenses

  • Valid Hunting License or proof of exemption. 
  • HIP permit is required unless exempt
  • Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) 
  • Oklahoma Waterfowl Hunting License for waterfowl hunting.
  • Federal Sandhill Crane Permit – for all crane hunters.

Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise to official sunset.

Prepare for Duck Hunting

Shop for Duck Hunting Gear

Hunting Regulations & Restrictions

All restrictions applicable to hunting Migratory Birds also apply to hunting Waterfowl. With one exception.

  • Live decoys and electronic calls are prohibited, except during COLGS where electronic calls are allowed.

Waterfowl Tagging & Checking

  • Migratory game birds must be tagged if left in another’s custody, detailing the hunter’s name, address, total number of birds by species, and dates of kill.
  • The package for shipped birds must display the sender and recipient’s details and the number of birds by species.
  • Birds must not be completely field-dressed before transportation; one fully feathered wing must remain attached for identification purposes.

Reporting band numbers via www.reportband.gov is encouraged for banded birds.

nutria hunting oklahoma

Small Game Hunting in Oklahoma

Last but not least is small game, called small because of its size but not its value. The species listed below have much to offer to any hunter, including meat, furs and the fun of unregulated hunting. Each species offers its own benefit, so make sure to learn in advance which one is which.

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Species

Dates

Bag Limit

Squirrel (Fox & Gray)

May 15, 2024 – February 28, 2025

Open to falconry year round

25 combined per day; 

50 possession

Rabbit (Cottontail, Swamp & Jackrabbit)

October 1, 2024 – March 15, 2025

Cottontail: 10 daily, 20 possession

Swamp: 3 daily, 6 possession

Jackrabbit: 3 daily, 6 possession 

Cimarron, Texas and Beaver counties – 10 daily, 20 possession

Prairie Dog

Year-round

No Limit

Pheasant

December 1, 2024 – January 31, 2025

2 cocks daily; 4 possession 

Quail (Bobwhite & Scaled)

November 9, 2024 – February 15, 2025

10 daily, 20 possession

Hunting Licenses

Residents/ Nonresident Hunting License or Proof of Exemption 

Resident/ Nonresident  Fur License for furbearer hunting and trapping.

Hunting Hours

30 minutes before official sunrise to official sunset, with exceptions for certain furbearer activities.

Hunter Orange Requirements

All hunters using firearms must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads and above the waist. This is also required for archery hunters during any firearms season.

Furbearers

Season Dates & Bag Limits

Species

Dates

Bag Limit

Beaver, Nutria, Raccoon & Striped Skunk

Year-round

No limit

Bobcat, Badger, Gray/Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, River Otter & Weasel

Dec 1, 2024 – Feb 28, 2025

Bobcats: no daily limit, season limit – 20. 

Foxes: daily limit of 2. 

River Otter: has no daily limit, season limit – 6. 

No limit for others.

Coyote

Statewide: Open year-round

No limit

Swift Fox, Spotted Skunk & Ringtail

Closed statewide

Trapping Regulations & Restrictions

  • Legal traps include box traps, colony traps, and certain smooth-jawed steel traps, among others. 
  • Trappers must check traps once every 24 hours. 
  • Annual resident trapping license users may set no more than 20 traps. Lifetime hunting license, professional trapping license, and nonresident trapping license holders can set any number of traps.
  • All traps should have the name or customer identification number of their owner attached to them.
  • Bobcat and River Otter pelts must be tagged within 10 working days after the close of the season. No tags will be issued after March 14.
  • Only furbearers taken within season and with a fur license may be sold or removed from property.

FAQs

Deer hunting seasons in Oklahoma vary by hunting method, including archery, muzzleloader, and gun seasons. The earliest season begins on October 1 and lasts until January 15. Other seasons begin a bit later in October and end earlier.

Bag limit for elk is one specimen, with the exception for Panhandle Zone, where the bag limit is 2 elk.

Only antelope bucks with a black cheek patch are legal to hunt in Oklahoma.

It’s forbidden to bait on wildlife management areas, shooting bear cubs or females accompanied by cubs, take collared bears, pursuing bears that are in dens and use dogs to hunt or pursue bears.

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