Hunting Season is always a special time of the year. Whether you are planning on waiting patiently in a deer stand to bag that trophy buck or sitting knee deep in the marsh hoping to bag a band when Oklahoma Duck Hunting. Being able to take advantage of all the hunting seasons is why The Waterfowl Hunter has put together the hunting dates for Oklahoma Duck Hunting and other species as well.
These dates serve as a general guide for more specific hunting visit Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife.
Oklahoma Hunting Seasons –
Deer Hunting Seasons
|Deer Archery||Oct. 1, 2017||Jan. 15, 2018|
|Youth Deer Gun||Oct. 20, 2017||Oct. 22, 2017|
|Deer Primitive Arms (Muzzleloading)||Oct. 28, 2017||Nov. 5, 2017|
|Deer Gun||Nov. 18, 2017||Dec. 3, 2017|
|Holiday Antlerless||Dec. 22, 2017||Dec. 31, 2017|
|Elk Archery||Oct. 1, 2017||Jan. 15, 2018|
|Youth Elk Gun||Oct. 20, 2017||Oct. 22, 2017|
|Elk Primitive Arms (Muzzleloading)||Oct. 28, 2017||Nov. 5, 2017|
|Elk Gun||Nov. 18, 2017||Dec. 3, 2017|
Special Southwest Zone Elk Seasons
|Archery||Oct. 7, 2017||Oct. 11, 2017|
|Archery||Dec. 9, 2017||Dec. 13, 2017|
|Gun||Oct. 12, 2017||Oct. 15, 2017|
|Gun||Dec. 14, 2017||Dec. 17, 2017|
|Antlerless||Nov. 18, 2017||Dec. 3, 2017|
|Antlerless||Jan. 1, 2018||Jan. 31, 2018|
|Weapon Type||Hunt Type||Opens||Closes|
|Archery||Oct. 1, 2017||Oct. 14, 2017|
|Gun||Either Sex Hunt||Sep. 7, 2017||Sep. 10, 2017|
|Gun||State Drawn Doe||Sep. 11, 2017||Sep. 20, 2017|
|Gun||Landowner Drawn Doe||Dec. 2, 2017||Jan. 15, 2017|
|Bear Archery||Oct. 1, 2017||Oct. 15, 2017|
|Bear Muzzleloader||Oct. 28, 2017||Nov. 5, 2017|
|Turkey Fall Archery||Oct. 1, 2017||Jan. 15, 2018|
|Turkey Fall Gun||Nov. 4, 2017||Nov. 17, 2017|
|Youth Spring Turkey||Mar. 31, 2017||Apr. 2, 2017|
|Youth Spring Turkey (SE)||Apr. 15, 2017||Apr. 16, 2017|
|Spring Turkey||Apr. 6, 2017||May 6, 2017|
|Spring Turkey (SE)||Apr. 17, 2017||May 6, 2017|
|Nov. 12, 2016||Feb. 15, 2017|
|Oct. 10, 2017||Nov. 16, 2017|
|Dec. 9, 2016||Mar. 4, 2017|
|Oct. 1, 2016||Mar. 15, 2017|
Raccoon, Bobcat, Badger, Gray Fox, Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, River Otter and Weasel
|Dec. 1, 2016||Feb. 28, 2017|
Oklahoma Duck Hunting –
When it comes to Oklahoma Duck Hunting it’s one of the best least talked about locations. Oklahoma is not the first to state most waterfowl hunters think of to hunt. However, it needs to get on your list as it can be one of the most productive in the Central Flyway. The Flyway is comprised of ten states that were formed in 1948. With over 5,000 miles from North to South territories, the flyway serves as a leading migration path for waterfowl flyways.
Most waterfowl hunters bypass Oklahoma Duck Hunting because of the more popular states of North Dakota, and neighboring states of Texas and Arkansas. However, Oklahoma is a large state that potential for large harvest numbers. In previous hunting seasons, Oklahoma duck hunters have been able to harvest over 260,000 ducks statewide. If you’re interested in knowing how many that is per licensed hunter it’s over 16 ducks per hunter. For reference, most waterfowl hunters assume Arkansas has the best hunting but they averaged about 19 ducks per hunter. Therefore in comparison, Oklahoma isn’t too far off from the leading duck hunting states. Plus since Oklahoma doesn’t have the attention of places like Stuttgart, Oklahoma Duck Hunting has far less pressure and hunters in the marsh.
Public Hunting Lands –
Access is always a challenge no matter what state you hunt. Oklahoma has just 2% is publicly owned. However, with almost 900,000 acres of land, it leaves a lot of opportunities for public hunting locations. With nine National Wildlife Refuges alone. Oklahoma Duck Hunting is a stop for any serious waterfowl hunter.
National Wildlife Refuges – Oklahoma Duck Hunting
Optima National Wildlife Refuge –
Located in the middle of Oklahoma’s panhandle you’ll find 4,333 acres of the Optima National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is comprised of grasslands and wooded bottomland on the Coldwater Creek arm of the Army Corps of Engineers Reservoir project.
The refuge isn’t only home to Ducks but also white-tailed deer, coyotes, turkeys, quail, and other species as well. You’ll find that the refuge is open seven days a week sunrise to sunset. Open to wildlife watching, photography and great public hunting. One of the best features of the refuge is that it’s adjacent to the refuge run by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the North Canadian (Beaver) River. The land encompasses over 8,000 acres that is open to public hunting as well. Therefore, making the Optima National Wildlife Refuges a top destination for Oklahoma Duck hunting.
Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge –
When you stop at Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge you stop at one of the largest saline flats located in central lowlands in North America. The 11,200 acres of salt flat springs wildlife every year. The plains date back to where Native Americans hunted and gathered for so many years. The salt flats today provide shelter, foraging, and breeding grounds for waterfowl, breeding birds, and large game such as bison and deer. Therefore, with such a vast difference in wildlife, it’s become a number one location for public Oklahoma duck hunting.
The entire refuge is more than 32,000 acres and between the waters managed and flats. The refuge is abundant with waterfowl. It’s even designated as a critical whooping crane habitat refuge for spring and fall migration. When thousands of wetlands and the Great Salt Plains Lake, you’ll be sure to find ample water for Oklahoma duck hunting the refuge. Hunting is permitted in designated areas so be sure to read where the legal hunting locations are.
Washita National Wildlife Refuge –
The slow-moving Washita River winds through this beautiful refuge of more than 8,000 acres. The Washita National Wildlife Refuge is made up of farmlands and prairies that merge together with the Foss Reservoir. Therefore, this has become a mecca for Geese and waterfowl. The small rolling hills and ravines provide the waterfowl with necessary water and food sources to persevere. The geese and ducks survive the winter months feeding on abundant wheat, and milo is grown locally.
During peak fall migration there can be over 20,000 geese using the refuge as a home for the winter months. Mallards top the list for the most abundant duck to visit the refuge. However, you may find mergansers, and pintails in great abundance as well. It’s also not uncommon to see waves of snow geese that come to stop amongst the refuge for feed and rest. Hunting is permitted however there are special rules and regulations that must be followed. Therefore, read more to find out where you can hunt and when.
Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge –
Deep Fork spans 34 river miles on the refuge, with bottomland hardwoods the river helps the habitat that depends on water. With over 10,000 acres the refuge is home to various wildlife. However, because the refuge has seasonal flooding it creates the perfect habitat for waterfowl that travel the Central Flyway. Among the top duck species are mallards, blue-winged teal, shovelers, pintails, and resident wood ducks. Over the winter months, estimates of mallards are in the 5,000-20,000 range, with nearly 1,000-5,000 wood ducks as well.
The Deep Fork Refuge was established to help protect and preserve the Oklahoma bottomland hardwood forests that were cleared in the 1980s. The refuge has a headquarters that is open Monday through Friday where staff can help assist in teaching you about the refuge and any particular questions you would have.
Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge –
Located in eastern Oklahoma you’ll find about 4,200 acres of refuge that touches the edges of the Ozark Plateau and the Boston Mountains. Instead of one large refuge, the Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of nine separate units over four different counties. Established in 1986, it was intended to help protect the endangered species found in the Ozark Plateau cave systems, which were bats and cavefish.
The refuge doesn’t have hunting as it primarily was preserved for the sole purpose of saving an ecosystem and habitat that call it home. Therefore, to protect the cave resources visits are to be done so by appointment only.
Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge –
Established in 1901, the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest at 59,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie and grasslands. The habitat is most suitable for Bison, Rocky Mountain Elk, and white-tailed deer. During the fall the bugling Elk are usually the sight to be seen. However, over 240 bird species are found on the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge.
Hunting is permitted for elk and deer each fall. To learn more about the regulations and permit process click the read more link below. Nonetheless, the refuge is a top destination for visitors and can serve as a great scouting opportunity for Oklahoma duck hunting.
Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge –
If you’re interested in a top notch Oklahoma Duck hunting experience make plans to stop at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. Originally created to help protect the habitat found along the Arkansas River Flood plan. Hence, including the bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands. Therefore, home to numerous waterfowl species each migration. One of the main purposes of the refuge was to create habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. The 20,800 refuge is designed to help protect and provide habitat for numerous wildlife for people to enjoy every year.
Since the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge was designed to provide recreations Oklahoma duck hunting habitat. The refuge allows hunting, however, there are areas closed to hunting. Therefore, to find the open hunting grounds, read more in the hunting brochure. However, the refuge is home to some of the best public Oklahoma duck hunting. Plus they even allow for boats during waterfowl season, which is one of the few Federal Wildlife Service areas that allow motor boats.
Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge –
The 3,150-acre Wildlife Refuge is known as Tishomingo, named after a Chickasaw Chief and the great warrior. The refuge’s major objective was to provide habitat for wintering waterfowl and nongame migratory birds. Providing breeding habitat for ducks and other waterfowl. The refuge is set around Lake Texoma Cumberland Pool with the Washita River running through it. Therefore, providing a premier habitat for ducks, geese, and any other migratory birds that seek to winter.
Hunting in Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge is open from dawn to 1:00pm. The Waterfowl blind or pond selection is on a first come basis. The blinds are selected by the awaiting hunters, and they even have a few blinds that give access to hunters that have disabilities providing better access. Boats and dogs are allowed to hunt with during waterfowl season. If your interested in learning other hunting seasons and regulations read the hunting regulations here.
Little River National Wildlife Refuge –
In the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, Little River National Wildlife Refuge can be found. Established in 1987, the refuge is home to over 14,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest habitat. Therefore, making it one of Oklahoma’s largest bottomland hardwood refuges. The land is comprised of low, wet habitat, and oxbow lakes and sloughs that provide plenty of habitat for wildlife.
The refuge has plenty of hunting opportunities, with deer and turkey as being some of the most notable. However, duck hunting is permitted during the same season as Statewide laws and regulations permit. However, the hunting is 1/2 hour before sunrise to 12:00 pm noon every day. The only time that Oklahoma duck hunting closes on the refuge is for the refuge controlled deer quota hunts. No permanent blinds are to be built on the property as only portable blinds can be used. If you’d like to read more about the hunting regulation read the brochure here.