Oklahoma's deer gun season opens Saturday, and the rut will be going strong across the state in the coming days, with bucks chasing does.
State wildlife biologists in Oklahoma expect the peak of the rut in most areas of the state to occur sometime before Saturday's opener.
“Chasing is going on right now,” Erik Bartholomew, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said Thursday. “It's not real hot and heavy yet, but just any time now things ought to be ramping up.”
Barring a major weather event that keeps hunters at home, Saturday will be the biggest deer hunting day of the year. More deer are taken on the opening day of gun season than on any other.
History also shows that the most successful week of archery season in Oklahoma is opening week, the first week in October.
But the number of bucks that are killed always is the highest in the sixth and seventh weeks of archery season.
Because Thanksgiving falls later this year, bow hunters are getting even more days to hunt the rut before the gun hunters get in the woods. Last year's deer gun season opened on Nov. 17.
Bartholomew said the nearly 200,000 hunters who will participate in the deer gun season this year will find different conditions than in recent drought-stricken years because of the increased rainfall.