Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
This page is displaying information for the 2014-2015 seasons.

The 2015-2016 information can be found here at the Wildlife Department Website.

Management Decisions


Statistics from the past few years indicate that Oklahoma’s deer hunters are doing a much better job in their selection of the animals they harvest. The figures indicate that Oklahomans are bagging fewer yearling bucks and taking advantage of more frequent opportunities to harvest antlerless deer.

“Hunters are better educated, and they are being more selective about what they are harvesting,” said Erik Bartholomew, big game biologist for the Wildlife Department. “This shows that more of the state’s 250,000 deer hunters are recognizing that they are deer managers when they are out hunting,” he said.

In the late 1980s, yearling bucks accounted for nearly 70 percent of the state’s total buck harvest. But over the past two decades, the percentage of yearling bucks in the total buck harvest has shrunk to 25 percent in the state.

This is a trend drawing great support from experts such as wildlife biologist Kip Adams, director of education and outreach with the Quality Deer Management Association. “I think that Oklahoma has done a tremendous job protecting yearling bucks and improving the age structure of the deer herd,” Adams said.

The QDMA recently released a report detailing the 2011 deer harvest across the United States. It showed that Oklahoma was among the top five states where hunters harvest more older bucks, those at least 3.5 years old. In Oklahoma, 51 percent of the bucks taken in 2011 were at least 3.5 years old, compared with a national average of 33 percent.

What this means is that the state’s deer hunters are letting more and more young bucks walk away in favor of waiting for a more mature, perhaps trophy, deer. “This is very positive for the deer population, and especially for Oklahoma hunters,” Adams said.

Bartholomew added that the state’s deer hunters can continue to improve the health and age structure of the deer herd by working together.

“Hunters should continue to take advantage of antlerless deer hunting opportunities, and they should strive to keep up the good work of introducing youth to deer hunting.

“Also, we encourage hunters to continue thinking about the bucks they are harvesting each year. Ask yourself each time you see a buck, ‘Is he the one I want?’ And look for opportunities to pass on younger bucks in order to wait for an older one.”

States where the % of yearling bucks in the adult buck harvest declined from 2001 to 2011 (and the size of the decline).

State Percentage

  • Pennsylvania -28%
  • Kentucky -27%
  • Nebraska -25%
  • Oklahoma -21%
  • Indiana -17%
  • Vermont -16%
  • Ohio -12%
  • Arkansas -8%
  • New York -8%
  • Rhode Island -8%
  • Texas -5%
  • Illinois -4%
  • Wisconsin -4%
  • Maryland -3%
  • Michigan -3%

From QDMA’s 2013 Whitetail Report


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
For advertising information, please visit: