Sportsmen, are you ready to hunt? Several early hunting seasons will open in the next few weeks, and the Wildlife Department wants you to be legal in the field. Now is an ideal time to review which licenses and permits you will need before opening day arrives.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation receives no general state tax revenues. Instead, hunting and fishing license revenues form the backbone of funding for the Department’s fish and wildlife conservation and management activities.
“We are proud to be funded by sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Mike Chrisman, license section supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “Every time you buy a hunting or fishing license, you are helping fund the management activities that improve hunting and fishing across Oklahoma.”
Hunting seasons that will open soon include dove, Sept. 1; teal and resident Canada goose, Sept. 12; rabbit, Oct. 1; and archery seasons for deer, elk, turkey, antelope and black bear, Oct. 1.
To find out which hunting licenses and permits are required when in the field and who is exempt from specific licenses or permits, consult the 2015-16 “Oklahoma Hunting/Oklahoma Fishing” regulations guide online at wildlifedepartment.com/laws_regs.htm or in print wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
In addition, license reference guides are online at wildlifedepartment.com/license/resident.pdf for state resident hunters, and wildlifedepartment.com/license/nonresident_license.pdf for nonresident hunters.
“The Wildlife Department takes its responsibility seriously to conserve the state’s wildlife for future generations and provide sportsmen and sportswomen with the best recreational opportunities possible,” Chrisman said. “Revenue from license sales allows the Department to fulfill that mission.”
About 35 percent of the Wildlife Department’s annual funding is obtained through license sales. This funding goes toward managing fish and animal species across the state. Habitat provided for one species often benefits all the species in the area, from largemouth bass to turtles, from white-tailed deer to songbirds, and many more game and nongame species.
Hunters and anglers who buy licenses have helped bring back wild turkey populations rivaling those found here around the turn of the 20th century. License revenue helped bring fish species to our state that our fathers could only dream about: striped bass, saugeye, trout and hybrid striped bass. And the Department’s deer management programs, paid for with license revenues, have garnered national honors and produced annual deer harvests around 100,000 in the past several years.
All required hunting licenses and permits are available at the Wildlife Department’sonline License Counter at wildlifedepartment.com. Licenses are also sold by hundreds of authorized vendors across the state. Sales of resident lifetime, senior citizen lifetime and disabled veteran lifetime licenses require additional paperwork and are only sold at Department headquarters or by mail. Anyone needing to buy a license in person can do so at the Wildlife Department’s Oklahoma City headquarters, 2145 N.E. 36th St. For more information, call the License Section at (405) 521-3852.