The youth deer gun season is a perfect time to get youngsters into the woods for a great hunting experience when the weather is a bit warmer than during regular deer gun season.
The season’s young participants will also be the first hunters in Oklahoma to get the chance to harvest a deer with a firearm this fall.
The season will be Oct. 15-17.
“It’s one of my favorite times of the year,” said Dallas Barber, Big-game Biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “We get the chance to introduce new young hunters to something that we as biologists and managers are passionate about.”
Youth deer gun season is open to hunters 17 and younger who are accompanied in the field by an adult at least 18 years old. Accompanying adults may archery hunt provided they have required licenses or proof of exemption, and are hunter education certified if 30 or younger (unless exempt).
Youth hunters may take either two does, or a buck and a doe, and all deer taken will count toward the youth’s combined seasons’ limit of six deer. A youth deer license is required for each deer hunted.
If weather conditions remain stable ahead of the season, bucks are likely to be following their usual patterns between bedding areas and food sources. Scouting before the hunt not only increases chances for a successful hunt but also serves as additional learning opportunities for youths.
But if a cold front should blow through, it could prompt deer to change routines and move about in more unpredictable ways, Barber said.
“As wildlife managers, we try to give the most opportunity possible, and the youth season focuses on just that. If we can turn one of our youth season hunters into a lifelong outdoorsman or woman, then the youth season is more than worth it.”
A change this season affects the wild turkey harvest opportunity during youth deer gun season. Now, only shotguns are allowed to take a wild turkey, and only in the counties where gun hunting is legal during the regular fall turkey season.
For complete information on youth deer gun season regulations and license requirements, and the changes in the fall turkey harvest opportunity, consult the current Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Guide found online at wildlifedepartment.com, and in the free Go Outdoors Oklahoma mobile app for Apple or Android users.