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Deer gun season opens Saturday statewide

by Ed Godfrey Published: November 17, 2013

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.

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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Deer Gun Season

When: Nov. 23-Dec. 8

Top 10 Deer Hunting Counties

(Based on 2012-13 Deer Seasons)

1, Osage (4,947 deer)

2, Cherokee (3,499)

3, Pittsburg (3,148)

4, Creek (3,039)

5, Atoka (2,696)

6, Pushmataha (2,639)

7, Delaware (2,574)

8, Sequoyah (2,491)

9, Craig (2,427)

10, McCurtain (2,408).

Hunters Against Hunger

Deer hunters can donate meat to the Hunters Against Hunger program, which feeds needy families in Oklahoma.

A list of Oklahoma deer processors that participate in the program can be found in the Oklahoma Hunting Guide or at

To help with processing charges, each hunter is asked to make a tax-deductible $10 donation. Financial donations from Natureworks and the Oklahoma Station of


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