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For some people, asking a landowner for permission to hunt their property is no big deal. For others, it is. Let's face it, some people are better salesmen than others. There are people who have never met a stranger and they seem to get permission to hunt from nearly everyone they ask. However, some folks feel uncomfortable asking a stranger for something as personal as hunting or fishing on their property. Perhaps your work schedule doesn't permit you to scout the countryside and visit with landowners or maybe you have too many other obligations. If, like a lot of people, you only hunt when you can, you simply don't have the luxury of planning ahead. 

Or perhaps you've just procrastinated too long, and now it's the eve of hunting season and you’ve nowhere to hunt. 

If any of those describes you, don't despair. There's still hope. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation owns or manages more than 100 wildlife management areas around the state that offer excellent hunting for a variety of species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, squirrels, and rabbits. True, many of these areas are heavily pressured during deer gun season, and sometimes during waterfowl seasons, but if you like to hunt squirrels, rabbits or doves you can often have them all to yourself.  

Even during the more popular seasons, these areas are less likely to be crowded during the week, so you might consider adjusting your schedule for mid-week hunting. Here are a few areas to get you started. 

Dove and Waterfowl 

Hackberry Flat WMA 

Covering 7,074 acres about seven miles southeast of Frederick, Hackberry Flat WMA features wetland and upland habitats that attract a variety of migratory birds and other wildlife species. Several hundred acres of food plots are planted annually that include Millet and Wheat and strip disking to promote annual sunflower production. Approximately 3,000 acres may be flooded during a wet year and a grid of well-maintained roads provides generous access to the entire area. 

The entire WMA is a Wetland Development Area and is closed to waterfowl hunting daily after 1 p.m. and all shotgun hunting is restricted to federally approved non-toxic shot. Hackberry Flat WMA has a WRP (Waterfowl Refuge Portion) and it is closed to all activities from October 15-January 31. 

Hackberry Flat WMA is accessible from US-70/183. 

a dog stands next to retrieved waterfowl
Melanie Wallis


Pushmataha WMA 

Running May 15- Feb. 28, squirrel season is one of Oklahoma's longest continuous hunting seasons, and one of the best places to enjoy it is at Pushmataha WMA

Located in the Kiamichi Mountains. "Push," as it's known statewide, covers 19,247 acres in Pushmataha County. The rugged terrain is forested with a mixture of pine and hardwoods, specifically oak and hickory. The habitat is managed with a combination of selective timber harvest and prescribed burning, and wildlife openings provide food and cover. The recipe is an ideal squirrel habitat for both fox squirrels and eastern gray squirrels. Look for gray squirrels on the ridgetops, and then double up on the fox squirrels in the draws and bottoms. 

Pushmataha WMA is about 40 miles southeast of McAlester and about three miles south of Clayton. It is accessible from McAlester from the Indian Nation Turnpike on State Highway 2. Squirrel season is open for the entire season, except from the archery deer opener through gun season, and during specific controlled hunt dates. 


Okmulgee WMA 

If you like hunting swamp rabbits, 9,445-acre Okmulgee WMA is the place for you. Within easy driving distance of Tulsa, Okmulgee WMA is popular with rabbit hunters because of its dense marshes, oxbows and sloughs bordering seven miles of the Deep Fork of the Canadian River. 

If want to hunt cottontails, try the uplands on the northwest side of the WMA, especially in the vicinity of the old Huckabee ranch. 

Okmulgee WMA is only about 30 miles south of Tulsa. Take U.S. Highway 75 south and access the area from Preston or Okmulgee. Other excellent WMAs in the Tulsa area for rabbit hunting, including Fort Gibson, Heyburn and Keystone. 

Rabbit seasons on WMAs often differ from statewide seasons, so check the Oklahoma Fishing and Hunting Regulations before going afield. If you hunt rabbits in wetland areas, you must use federally approved non-toxic shot. 

two hunters pose with their dog and a harvested rabbit

Quail, Waterfowl, Deer and More

Oklahoma Land Access Program 

Lastly, hunters now have access to hunt private lands through the Wildlife Department’s Oklahoma Land Access Program. A core principle of OLAP is to increase walk-in access opportunities for hunting, fishing, stream access, and wildlife viewing. This is accomplished through financial incentives given from the Wildlife Department to landowners who allow these opportunities on their land. 

With properties located throughout the state, hunters have access to hunt a variety of seasons and species.

Learn About OLAP