“Hunters are not going to find deer in their normal places,” he said. “They (deer) have got more food and water than they have seen in a couple of years. You might have to go out there and look a little harder than in years past.”
The rut, the mating season of deer, is triggered primarily by moon phases, but “the rutting activity that hunters see has more to do with the weather,” Bartholomew said. “Hopefully, we will get some cool weather during deer gun season and get some deer moving and hunters will have success.”
The first time Oklahoma hunters checked in 100,000 deer for all seasons combined was 13 years ago. Since then, there have been only three years that Oklahoma's deer harvest has not exceeded 100,000.
Wildlife biologists estimate deer hunters take about 10 percent of the population during hunting seasons, giving Oklahoma an estimated deer population of around 1 million.
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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 www.wildlifedepartment.com.
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