This Saturday, Oct. 22, marks the opening day for muzzleloader, or primitive firearms, deer hunting season. It's the first chance this season for adult deer hunters to take a firearm into the field.
Saturday will also be opening day for muzzleloader elk season (on private lands in open zones only), and opening day for muzzleloader bear season (in open areas only until 20-bear quota is met).
Last year, about 81,000 hunters participated in Oklahoma's muzzleloader deer season. Muzzleloader hunters checked in 13,998 deer harvested during the nine-day season in 2015.
This year's muzzleloader season for deer will close Oct. 30. Muzzleloader season for elk will remain open until Oct. 30 only in those elk hunting zones where the seasonal harvest quotas have not yet been reached. Elk hunters must go online to wildlifedepartment.com to check the quota status of the zone they intend to hunt before they go afield.
Muzzleloader season for bear in Pushmataha, McCurtain, Latimer and Le Flore counties will run through Oct. 30, or until the 20-bear season quota is reached. Bear hunters must buy their license before the season starts, and they must check the status of the bear harvest quota before going afield by calling (888) 901-3256.
Muzzleloader hunters must wear hunter orange garments covering the upper body and the head. Each muzzleloader hunter may harvest one antlered and two antlerless deer during the season, provided that one of the antlerless deer is taken from zones 2, 7 or 8.
To hunt deer with a muzzleloader in Okla-homa, resident hunters must possess either an annual or lifetime hunting or combination license; a senior citizen hunting or combination license; or proof of exemption. Hunters must also possess a deer primitive (antlered or antlerless) license for each deer harvested, or proof of exemption.
Nonresidents must possess a nonresident deer primitive (antlered or antlerless) license. An annual hunting license is not required for nonresidents who are buying just a deer license. To order licenses online, go to wildlifedepartment.com.
For more information regarding deer and elk hunting zones, licenses, bag limits, clothing requirements or legal firearms, consult the 2016 "Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide" online at wildlifedepartment.com, the OK Hunting and Fishing mobile app for Apple or Android users, or in print anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
Hunters Get 24 Hours To Complete E-Check
All harvested deer, bear, elk or paddlefish must be registered online using the Wildlife Department's E-Check system within 24 hours of leaving the hunting or fishing area, and in all cases prior to processing the carcass.
Hunters and anglers, or anyone acting on their behalf, can use a computer, smartphone or mobile device to register a harvest with E-Check at wildlifedepartment.com or with the "Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing" mobile app, available free for Apple or Android users.
Hunters will get an instant confirmation number when they E-Check. To view a video about how to use the E-Check system, go to youtube.com/OutdoorOklahoma and search for "online checking."