Youngest Hunters Get Earliest Opportunity With Firearms During Youth Deer Season

October 14, 2017

Youth Deer Gun Season will be open Oct. 20-22 statewide on private lands and on the public hunting areas listed above.

Youngest Hunters Get Earliest Opportunity With Firearms During Youth Deer Season

Oklahoma’s archery hunters have had the chance to hunt deer since Oct. 1. But the first chance to harvest a deer with firearms belongs to the state’s youth hunters on Oct. 20-22.

The Youth Deer Gun Season is open to hunters age 17 and younger who are accompanied in the field by an adult at least 18 years old who is hunter education certified or exempt. The adult may archery hunt while accompanying the youth, but the adult may not hunt with a firearm.

“As wildlife managers, we try to give the most opportunity possible, and the youth season focuses on just that,” 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.”

The three-day Youth Deer Gun Season allows participants to take either a buck and a doe, or two does. A deer license is required for each deer hunted.

Barber said this earlier season gets youngsters in the woods during a time when the weather is usually warmer than during traditional Deer Gun Season, which often creates a better hunting experience for them.

“This is one of my favorite times of the year,” he said. “If we can turn one of our youth hunters into a lifelong outdoorsman or woman, then the youth season is more than worth it.”

Bucks should still be following a pattern if weather conditions remain stable. “However, if we get a nice cold front coming through, we could see more deer movement,” Barber said.

As a bonus, youth deer hunters may also harvest a turkey in counties that have a fall gun turkey season, provided the hunter has the appropriate turkey license. 

For complete information on Youth Deer Gun Season regulations and license requirements, consult the current Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide found online at, in the free OK Hunting and Fishing mobile app for Apple or Android users, or in print anywhere hunting and fishing licenses are sold.