Deer hunters have a final opportunity to take a firearm into the woods when the 10-day holiday antlerless gun season opens Friday in most of the state.
The antlerless season is closed in the western reaches of the Panhandle and far southeast Oklahoma.
Deer taken during the antlerless season are not included in the hunter's combined season limit.
State wildlife officials encourage a high doe harvest to reduce overpopulation and improve buck-doe ratios for a more healthy deer herd.
Archery deer season continues through Jan. 15 statewide.
GOOSE HUNTS STILL AVAILABLE ON REFUGE
The Washita National Wildlife Refuge, located west of Butler, still has blinds available for three midweek hunts this season.
Located on the upper end of Foss Reservoir, the refuge offers some of the best goose hunting in the state.
All of the weekend dates have been filled, but three Wednesday hunts remain available: Dec. 18, Jan. 8, and Jan. 15.
Blinds will be filled by reservation only, on a first-call, first-served basis.
Hunters may reserve a blind by calling the refuge at (580) 664-2205 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the Tuesday before their desired hunt date.
BLUE CAT RECORD AT ARCADIA
Bruce White of Oklahoma City set a new blue catfish record for Arcadia Lake when he landed a 63.5-pound blue cat on Dec. 4.
White was fishing from the bank near 33rd Street. The previous blue cat record at Arcadia Lake was 53 pounds.
Brandon's Bait and Tackle Store is the record keeper for Arcadia Lake.
GAME WARDEN OF THE YEAR
Dru Polk, an Oklahoma game warden stationed in McCurtain County, has been named the game warden of the year by Shikar-Safari Club International.
Polk was recognized by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission at its December meeting.
Polk is a 1990 graduate of Durant High School and earned a bachelor's degree in conservation of natural resources in 1998 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
He has been a game warden since 2001.