ODWC reminds people that the outdoors are always open, tips for fall hunting

Hunting seasons are fast approaching, and your Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation wants to pass along some items to keep in mind for anyone planning big game or other hunting pursuits this year. Additionally, there’s never been a better time than now to log in to your Go Outdoors Oklahoma profile to make sure your hunting license is up to date.

Deer and elk hunting seasons will begin in a matter of days in several states. So, hunters who might be taking a trip outside of Oklahoma’s borders need to be aware of a new restriction on bringing cervid (deer and elk) carcasses back into this state. The rule is designed to reduce the risk of chronic wasting disease (CWD) entering Oklahoma and potentially infecting native herds.

The restriction states that no one shall import, transport, or possess any cervid carcass or part of a cervid carcass from outside Oklahoma’s boundaries, except for:

Antlers, or antlers attached to clean skull plate, or cleaned skulls (all tissue removed);

Animal quarters containing no spinal material, or meat with all parts of the spinal column removed;

Cleaned teeth;

Finished taxidermy products;

Hides or tanned products.

Proper Carcass Disposal

While CWD has not been detected in Oklahoma’s wild cervids, it has been documented in animals nearby in bordering states. This always-fatal disease could adversely impact the health of the state’s cervid populations. The Wildlife Department wants all hunters to practice proper carcass disposal to help minimize the potential spread of CWD.

Long after an infected cervid carcass decomposes, the soil will remain infectious for years. To learn about proper and improper ways to dispose of cervid carcasses, go to click here.

Anyone can be a hunting mentor. All it takes is to ask someone to join you and introduce them to the sport. And now you can refer a friend to the Go Outdoors Oklahoma license system by generating a code in your Go Outdoors account. When your friend uses your referral code to buy their first hunting license, you’ll both get a coupon to Academy for $10 off a purchase $50! Just log in and click the “Refer a Friend” tile.

Oklahoma’s annual Free Hunting Days are Sept. 5-6, when Oklahoma residents may participate in open hunting seasons without a state hunting license.

This year, open hunting seasons during Free Hunting Days include dove, squirrel, coyote, raccoon, beaver, striped skunk, prairie dog, rail and gallinule. State Game Wardens will not check for state hunting licenses for residents on those days.

For articles about hunting, check out our new blog, the Outdoor Oklahoma Journal, where new content is added weekly.

Before spending time in the outdoors, be sure to check out and follow guidance from the Oklahoma Department of Health to minimize the spread of COVID-19. To help you stay healthy, the department urges you to follow the same social distancing practices in the woods and on the water as you would in other settings.

The department manage and protect fish and wildlife, along with their habitats, while also growing our community of hunters and anglers, partnering with those who love the outdoors, and fostering stewardship with those who care for the land.

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