Oklahoma is best known for the man-made boundaries that give the Sooner State the most recognizable panhandle of all the US states. The state is rich in history and has plenty of things for the whole family to do with the added attraction of fewer people than at some other U.S. tourism destinations.
The state’s geography is often a surprise to visitors as well. Most people think of Oklahoma as flat and featureless. The state does have mountains and the expected plains.
Oklahoma also offers inexpensive licenses to nonresidents, especially when compared to many other states.
DEER & ELK
The state gives a hand up to hunters looking to fill tags with an annual harvest report for deer and elk. The report is updated regularly during the season. The Southwest Zone has the highest density and the best chance at filling elk tags. The deer report is broken out by county and weapon. A few counties, usually led by Creek County, lead the state’s deer harvest.
As with many places, the best hunting is on private land. In Oklahoma, that means getting written permission from the landowner or going with someone who leases the land for hunting. Oklahoma hunting guides and outfitters have private land access rights and can put you on the big ones. The guides know the land and animals, so you can spend your time hunting instead of looking. Mossy Oak has some tips to make your elk hunt more successful.
The eastern side of the state has a sizable bear population. Thanks to a growing bear population, in 2019 the state increased the places where bear may be hunted. The state set two categories for bear hunts: archery and muzzleloader. The smokepole hunt is limited to 20 bears. Archery season has no limit on the number of bears.
The most successful bear hunts are done with dogs or over bait. The Sooner State does not allow baiting on WMAs or using dogs. This means having a guide with access to private land and baited stands, greatly increases your chances of connecting with a bear. Archery hunts account for the bulk of bears each year. You need a strong bow and serious broadsheet to take down a bruin. Pulling 60 pounds or more gives you the best chance of a complete pass-through, which maximizes the blood trail you will follow.
North America’s fastest land animal, the pronghorn, is often called a speed goat. These plains animals are found in western Oklahoma and often travel in herds.
“Goat” hunting is a matter of stalking and glassing. Expect to spend some time crawling across the ground in order to hide from the animals. With little to no cover like rocks and trees, using the grass is necessary. Bowhunting for pronghorns is possible, but most hunters find success using long-range guns. Ideally, you want something that delivers a lethal punch at 500 yards at least. One-thousand-yard shots are possible.
Sharing a long border with Texas, Oklahoma also shares the problem of feral hogs. Fortunately, game management officials see the problem and allow hog hunting at night with permission from the landowner, provided the landowner also has a night-hunting permit. No other license is needed for hunting with rimfire rounds at night. Wild pork can be hunted with any weapon and any license during big game season. The bag limit is all you can kill. Oklahoma hunting guides and outfitters in the state offer trips with dogs and your choice of a weapon from knife to rifle.
Oklahoma has three subspecies of wild turkey: the Eastern, Rio Grande, and Merriam’s. The biggest concentrations are in the western side of the state. The Rio Grande is mostly in the west and central part of the state. It has the broadest range. The Merriam’s is confined to the western part of Cimarron County on the west end of the panhandle. The Eastern is found along the east side of the state. Hybrids are likely where two populations meet.
The Sooner State is on the southern end of the Central Flyway. By the time migratory birds arrive for the winter, they’ve literally flown the gauntlet of potholes, rivers, and fields from the US-Canada border all the way down. These are educated birds. Hunting them means having a good spread of dekes and someone who knows how to work a call properly. Oklahoma hunting guides and outfitters have access to the private land with the best potholes. They can also set up a spread the afternoon before.
Oklahoma Hunting Trips
Get your hunt on in Oklahoma with Hunt Anywhere. We have the guides, they have access to private land, and they’ve done the needed scouting. All they need is you behind the trigger. Let’s get this hunt moving!