The 2018 holiday antlerless deer gun season will open in specific zones on Dec. 21 and run for 10 days through Dec. 30. This season allows a hunter to harvest a bonus antlerless deer, even if the hunter has harvested the maximum aggregate limit of six deer for all other current deer seasons.
Last year, an estimated 21 percent — about 30,000 — of all Oklahoma deer hunters participated in the holiday season, and they reported 3,572 harvested deer to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s online E-Check system.
Most of the state will be open for holiday antlerless deer hunting, except for the majority of the Panhandle and a large part of southeastern Oklahoma. Season dates and other regulations may vary on public lands in the open zones. For a map of Oklahoma’s antlerless deer hunting zones along with special area rules for public lands, see the current Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide.
Dallas Barber, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said this bonus harvest of does yields several important deer management benefits:
Improving buck-to-doe ratios for a more healthy herd.
Preventing localized overpopulation.
Reducing the potential for deer/vehicle collisions.
Reducing competition for forage to promote greater antler growth in bucks.
Lessening the extent of potential crop depredation.
Residents and nonresidents may participate in the holiday season with the appropriate licenses. Unfilled deer gun season resident licenses are not valid. All hunters are reminded that the requirements to wear hunter orange clothing are in effect during the holiday antlerless deer gun season in all open zones.
For complete information and license requirements, consult the current Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide found online at wildlifedepartment.com or in print across the state wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.