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New Oklahoma hunting regulations take effect Friday

Included are laws that lower the exemption age of hunter education and regulations for minor hunters.
by Ed Godfrey Modified: August 20, 2011 at 10:39 pm •  Published: August 20, 2011

New hunting regulations become law on Friday that will change some hunter education requirements and the hunting apprentice designations.

The printed Oklahoma Hunting Guide incorrectly states the regulations will not take effect until Nov. 1 but they will be the law as of Friday, said Nels Rodefeld, chief of the information and education division for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

The new regulations that passed the state Legislature last session and become effective Friday will:

Lower the age at which people are exempt from hunter education requirements from age 36 to age 31.

Lower the age that a youth can obtain an apprentice-designated hunting license from age 10 to 8.

Lower the age requirement from 21 to 18 for the hunter who must accompany someone hunting with an apprentice license.

Require that all hunters younger than 10 who are hunting big game be accompanied in the field by an adult.


The apprentice-designated hunting licenses allows people to go hunting without first completing a hunter education course, provided they are accompanied by a licensed adult mentor who is hunter education certified or exempt.

When hunting big game, the apprentice-designation requires the supervising hunter to be close enough that he or she could take control of the firearm.

When hunting small game, the hunter who accompanies the apprentice needs to be just close enough to be able to see and talk to the apprentice.

Lowering the apprentice designation to age 8 now will allow 8- and 9-year-olds participate in youth deer hunting seasons without getting hunter education as long as they are accompanied by an adult, Rodefeld said.

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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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