The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday voted to open a black bear hunting season beginning Oct. 1 in four southeastern Oklahoma counties.
The bear season (archery and muzzleloader only) is contingent upon lawmakers passing a black bear hunting license, but commissioners on Wednesday also created two other new hunting seasons that do not need legislative approval. Bow hunters will get a two-week archery season for antelope in the Panhandle beginning Sept. 14. In northeastern Oklahoma, elk hunting will be allowed on private lands. State wildlife officials say the antelope population in Cimarron and Texas counties is now more than 5,000 and can support additional hunting. "Since there is a limited percentage of success with archery on antelope, we think the population can withstand the (hunting) pressure very easily,” said Richard Hatcher, assistant director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Antelope archery licenses will be sold to the general public and will not be part of the state’s controlled hunts program, which is a drawing for state hunts. An archery antelope permit will cost $51 for residents. A state hunting license also will be required. For non-residents, an archery antelope permit will cost $301, which includes a hunting license.