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John Ehmer - Typical Whitetail - Score 194 0/8 - Pushmataha County - Harvested 11/28/2007

Mike Crossland - Non-Typical Whitetail - Score 248 6/8 - Tillman County - Harvested 11/19/2004

Jason Boyett - Typical Whitetail - Score 191 4/8 - Pushmataha County - Harvested 11/18/2007

David Lambert - Non-Typical Whitetail - Score 240 3/8 - Hughes County - Harvested 11/23/2003

Larry Luman - Typical Whitetail - Score 185 6/8 - Bryan County - Harvested 11/21/1997

David Gribble - Typical Whitetail - Score 181 6/8 - Jackson County - Harvested 11/22/1995



Deer Hunting - The Most Popular Hunting Season in Oklahoma


deer hunt teaching

Forget football, in Oklahoma deer are king. Come fall there are 200,000 hunters headed out to the woods to participate in the most popular single sporting event in the state - deer gun season. That is more than all the fans at Boone Pickens, Gaylord Memorial and Chapman stadiums combined.

It’s no wonder so many Oklahomans have caught buck fever - our state is a sleeper destination when it comes to having a great chance to take home a trophy. We have known it for a long time, that there are big deer in the woods, but the word is now getting out to the rest of the nation. Oklahoma is now routinely featured on national hunting shows and is showing up on the bucket list of deer-crazy hunters everywhere.

It didn’t happen by accident, Oklahoma has a long tradition of forward-thinking big game biologists. From Cy Curtis who took the lead in trapping and transplanting deer, to Mike Shaw who oversaw phenomenal growth of the deer herd, to the current leader of the big game program Erik Bartholomew, one of the brightest and well respected young biologists in the deer community.

There is something here for every deer hunter. Whether you want to see lots of deer or you have your sights set on a wall hanger- we have it all! This diverse assembly of deer hunters is blessed with equally diverse habitat in which to pursue their sport. Dense cross timber oaks, wide open mesas, pine-covered hills, rolling plains, or bottom land cypress swamps, all can be found in Oklahoma. And if you do not have access to private land, no worries as dozens of Wildlife Management Areas are scattered across the state offering some fantastic whitetail hunting!

All those deer and all those deer hunters add up to a big impact on the state’s economy. From the largest outdoor and sporting goods stores in the major metropolitan cities to the smallest of cafes in rural outposts all over the state, deer hunting is big business for Oklahoma with an estimated total economic impact of over $600 million a year!

Fueling that deer hunting popularity is a management plan that serves our diverse hunters’ interests by providing region-leading season lengths and bag limits along with a strong education component outlining the benefits of balanced sex ratios and selective buck harvest. That balanced voluntary based approach has gained national attention as it has improved the buck age structure over the past decade. Our success has prompted the Quality Deer Management Association to list Oklahoma as one of the top five states showing declines in yearling buck harvests and led Kip Adams, the QDMA Education and Outreach Director to say “I think Oklahoma has done a tremendous job protecting yearling bucks and improving the age structure of their deer herd.”

Chances are, if you are reading this information, you are already a deer hunter! But, if you have not been deer hunting and want to give it a try, just talk with a neighbor, an uncle, a nurse or teacher - there’s a good chance that one or all of them is a die hard deer hunter and can tell you everything you want to know. Just don’t wait till November to talk to them - they’ll probably be in a tree stand.




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deer management



Watch Deer Videos from the ODWC


deer video linkThe State of Deer and Deer Management in Oklahoma deer video linkManaging for Deer 101
deer video linkHabitat Show deer video linkWildlife Food Plots
deer video linkFire and Wildlife Management deer video linkLandowner Conservationist


Click here to check the harvest report for deer this current season



Deer Articles from the ODWC


The Evolution of Bowhunting & Oklahoma's First Archery Deer Seasons

The Unique Buck Hunt of a Lifetime

Wounded Warrior Enjoys Hunt of a Lifetime

Bowhunting your Local WMA

A Buck to Remember One Woman's Discovery of Hunting

Trophy Buck Puts Spotlight on Female Hunters

Chronic Wasting Disease

Kids Deer Page & "Best Practices" Article




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Some hunters are interested in using antler scores to help them make harvest decisions. Software created at the Mississippi State University Deer Lab allows accurate scoring of a buck’santlers by using a game camera photo of the buck. For details about Buckscore, go online to BuckScore.com




Younger Buck

• Appears to be a doe with antlers.
• Has legs that seem too long for body.
• Often lacks good definition in muscles.
• Has a slender neck and body.
• Has antlers that tend to be thin.

Mature Buck

• Has legs that look proportional to the body size.
• Has a neck the same width or wider than face.
• Is proportional from front to rear of body.
• Has a belly and a back that are flat and tight.

Older Buck

• Has legs that look a bit short for body size.
• Has rippled skin around neck and face.
• Might have some gray visible around muzzle.
• Has a belly that tends to sag.
• Has a neck and chest that seem to be 1 large muscle.
• Has a forehead that’s usually darker than the muzzle.


How Old are these Deer??

(PHOTO CREDIT: Gee, K. L., S. L. Webb, and J. H. Holman. 2014. Accuracy and implications of visually estimating age of male whitetailed deer using physical characteristics from photographs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38:96–102.

Click here for the Answer


Click here to download the Young Buck/Old Buck ODWC poster (PDF 12.3MB)




Whitetail history link


Other Perspectives



Know Your Deer Plants: Pokeweed

Survey Acorns Now to Improve Production

Don't Fear the Reaper: Timber Harvest is Good for Deer

Get Outside and Measure the Deer Food Supply

Red Oaks are Important in Deer Nutrition

Selective Antlerless Harvest Poster

Jawbone Removal and Aging Poster


In a Rut - Breeding Season Behaviors in Deer

All About Antlers

Whitetail Deer Management During Drought

Killing the Factory?

Use These Strategies to Increase Doe Harvest

Proper Care of Venison is Necessary for Excellent-Quality Meat

Other Deer Articles from the Noble Foundation


Managing Old Apple Trees

The Food Plot You May Already Have

Cooking Wild: Venison Sausage -- From Scratch

Tan Your Hide

Buying Binoculars



Other Information


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