This year 38 youth deer hunters, ages 12-17, who have harvested no more than one deer, have a unique opportunity to participate in one of six deer hunts that will take place on private land in:
- Dec. 8-9, 2023
- Dec. 15-16, 2023
- Oct. 21, 2023 (mandatory orientation on Oct. 20, 2023) – ANTLERED ONLY
- Dec. 9, 2023 (mandatory orientation on Dec. 8, 2023)
- Dec. 15-16, 2023
- Oct. 20-22, 2023
These hunts provide a win-win for those involved. Landowners are able to better address their deer herd management goals and pass on the hunting tradition to a new generation. New youth hunters and their parents/guardians often struggle with issues of access (where to go) and uncertainty about the quality of the hunt experience, and these hunts provide direct access to areas where the hunter/guardian will have a quality experience that allows them to take their time and not feel pressured or crowded. Additionally, on most of these hunts the landowners or hunt assistants will provide guidance or help on how to process their deer after its harvest. An additional benefit is that antlerless deer taken during these hunts are considered “bonus deer,” the same as other controlled hunts, and do not count towards the hunters annual bag limit, so young hunters could have the opportunity to go again during youth, rifle, or holiday antlerless seasons.
Continued this year is an antlered-only youth hunt opportunity in Love/Carter Counties (Oct. 21). The antlered-only option will require the purchase of a youth deer gun antlered or nonresident youth deer gun either sex license, unless exempt, and the antlered deer will count toward the combined season limit. To be eligible for these private lands youth hunts, youth must have completed their hunter education requirements prior to applying and must be 12-17 years old at the time of their scheduled hunt.
“These hunts are on private property and should provide beginning hunters a great opportunity to see some deer as well as a chance to potentially harvest one,” said Bill Dinkines, Chief of Wildlife for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission has endorsed the youth hunt program, and we are thankful for the landowners’ willingness to allow these kids the opportunity to hunt on their property.”
To apply for a hunt, youth applicants must create and/or log in to their own Go Outdoors Oklahoma license account at Go Outdoors Oklahoma, select Controlled Hunts, and apply by Aug. 13 with the following information:
- Accompanying adult’s first and last name*
- Accompanying adult’s telephone number
- Accompanying adult’s email address
- List of hunts by order of preference**
*** Every participant must have an adult (licensed or unlicensed) who is at least 21 years of age accompanying them on the hunt. Do not list any hunt that you are not interested in or know in advance you cannot attend.
All applicants will receive an email notification on or before Aug. 24. Applicants that were successfully drawn will need to sign in to their Go Outdoors Oklahoma license account to purchase any required license and/or permit, unless exempt, and receive specific information about their hunt.
If you have any questions before or after applying, please call Kyle Johnson at (405) 590-2584.