Oklahoma's biggest hunting season — the 16-day deer gun season — opens Saturday, but before then, bow hunters will want to be in the woods as the rut should be in full swing the next few days.
Bucks have started aggressively chasing does in parts of the state, which means motorists will want to keep a watchful eye on the roads.
“The next four or five days it's going to get really good,” Game Warden Rick Cagle said. “People better be aware and watch out what they are doing when they are driving.”
While there have been some reports of smaller body weights, the drought doesn't seem to have hurt Oklahoma's deer herd this season, judging by what's been checked in by bow and black powder hunters thus far.
Terry Mayberry, owner of Terry's Taxidermy in Edmond, said the deer brought into his place of business this year have all looked pretty healthy.
“I am sure some of them found the feeders and stayed on the feeders,” he said.
There have been fewer sightings of fawns this season in southwestern and western Oklahoma, but the repercussions of drought might be felt more next year in poorer reproduction and antler development, said Jerry Shaw, big game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The Wildlife Department continues to encourage deer hunters to use the online check station at wildlifedepartment.com.
“Any computer or cellphone with Internet access can be a check station,” said Micah Holmes, spokesman for the Wildlife Department.
OKLAHOMA'S DEER SEASONS
Archery – Open now through Jan. 15
Gun – Opens Saturday through Dec. 4.