Big Game Regulations
Legal Means of Taking
This includes Deer Archery, Elk Archery, Antelope Archery & Bear Archery seasons.
- Bow: Any compound bow of 30 pounds or more draw weight; any recurve, longbow or self-bow of 40 pounds or more draw weight. Hand-held releases are legal. Devices that permit a bow to be held mechanically at full or partial draw are allowed.
- Broadheads: Arrows and/or bolts must be fitted with hunting type points not less than 7/8 inches wide, including mechanical broad- heads meeting this width requirement when fully open.
- Crossbows: Minimum of 100 pounds draw weight and equipped with safety devices. Bolts must be a minimum of 14 inches in length. Leverage gaining devices are legal.
- Firearms Restrictions: Unless otherwise provided by state law, no person may carry or use any firearm in conjunction with archery equipment during any archery season. Hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other muzzleloader season regulations. Hunters also are allowed to carry both archery equipment and legal firearms during any modern gun season, again provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other regulations to participate in those seasons.
- Illegal Devices: Laser sights (unless certified 100% disabled or legally blind), thermal tracking devices, and light enhancement devices (including nightscopes) from sunset to sunrise.
This includes Youth Deer Gun, Deer Gun, Youth Elk Gun, Elk Gun & Antelope Gun seasons.
- Rifles: Centerfire rifles firing at least a 55-grain weight soft-nosed or hollow-point bullet.
- Shotguns: Any centerfire shotgun firing a single slug, are legal.
- Handguns: Any centerfire handgun firing a single bullet with at least a 55-grain weight. Minimum barrel length is four inches.
- Archery: Equipment described as legal in the archery section.
- Muzzleloaders: Equipment as described as legal in the muzzleloader section.
- Suppressors (Silencers): Hunters are allowed to use legally acquired and possessed suppressors on both private and public lands.
- Illegal devices: Fully automatic firearms, laser sights (unless certified 100% disabled or legally blind) thermal tracking devices, and light enhancement devices (including nightscopes) from sunset to sunrise.
This includes Deer Muzzleloader, Elk Muzzleloader & Bear Muzzleloader seasons.
- Muzzleloading rifles, muzzleloading shotguns or muzzleloading pistols: .40 caliber or larger rifle or pistol, or 20-guage or larger shotgun, firing a single slug or ball that is loaded from the muzzle.
- Unless otherwise provided by state law, no person shall carry or use any modern firearm in conjunction with any legal muzzleloading firearm during any muzzleloader season.
- Archery: Equipment described as legal in the archery section.
- Illegal devices: Blackpowder firearms loaded from the breech, laser sights (unless certified 100% disabled or legally blind), thermal tracking devices, and all light enhancement devices (including nightscopes) from sunset to sunrise.
Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide seasons. Consult public hunting lands special regulations.
One-half before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset.
Tracking With Dogs
Hunters are allowed the use of a leashed dog to help locate downed game after notifying a game warden (message, email or call) with location and time. No person may have a means of take on their person while tracking with dogs.
More Than One Method of Take in the Field
Hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and a muzzleloader during the muzzleloader season provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other muzzleloader season regulations. Hunters are allowed to carry both archery equipment and legal firearms during any modern gun season, provided they have the appropriate licenses and follow other regulations to participate in those seasons.
No person may dump the carcass of any dead animal in any well, spring, pond, or stream of water or leave it within 1/4 mile of any occupied dwelling or public highway without burying the carcass in an appropriate manner where it is not likely to become exposed through erosion of the soil or where such land is subject to overflow. Anyone transporting deer and/or elk carcasses or parts must abide by the regulations in each state in which they travel through. When importing, transporting or possessing deer and/or elk carcasses or parts in Oklahoma, ODWC recommends using these best practices to prevent the introduction and/or spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which can be concentrated in spinal fluid and brain matter: Only finished taxidermy products and/or cleaned skull plates should be brought into the state; and, hunters should only bring in boned-out animal quarters and/or hides or tanned products. See Appendix 2-3 for additional best practices concerning the prevention of CWD and proper carcass disposal.
Field Tagging Requirements
All hunters (including lifetime license holders) who harvest a deer, elk or antelope must immediately attach a field tag, securely to the carcass, with their name, customer ID number or lifetime license number, and date and time of harvest.
A field tag can be any item, so long as the tag contains the required information. The information must remain attached to the carcass until it is checked.
Field tagging requirements for bear are listed on Bear Hunting Seasons.
In all cases prior to processing the carcass all deer and elk must be checked within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area through the E-Check system online at wildlifedepartment.com or the Go Outdoors Oklahoma mobile app, or with an authorized Department employee.
In all cases prior to processing the carcass all antelope must be checked within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area at an open check station in Cimarron or Texas counties (see Antelope Hunting Seasons), or with an authorized Department employee assigned to one of the counties where antelope are hunted.
Once checked, the animal will be issued a carcass tag or an online confirmation number. This tag or number must remain with the carcass to its final destination or through processing and/or storage at commercial processing or storage facilities.
Deer and elk carcasses may be checked in quartered with sex organs naturally attached and head accompanying the carcass.
Antelope must have evidence of sex (head) remain with the carcass until the antelope is checked in.
Checking requirements for bear are listed on Bear Hunting Seasons.
All hunters participating in any antelope, bear, deer or elk season using a firearm (muzzleloader or gun) must wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline, both totaling at least 400 square inches of hunter orange that are clearly visible while in the field. Camouflage hunter orange is legal as long as there are at least 400 square inches of hunter orange.
Antelope, bear, deer or elk hunters using archery equipment during any antelope, bear, deer or elk firearms (muzzleloader or gun) season in any open hunting area (zone, county, or area) must conspicuously wear either a head covering or an outer garment above the waistline consisting of hunter orange. Camouflage hunter orange is legal.
All other hunters, including trappers, except those hunting waterfowl, crow or crane, or while hunting furbearing animals at night, must wear either a head covering or upper garment of hunter orange clothing while hunting during any antelope, bear, deer or elk firearms (muzzleloader or gun) season in any open hunting area (zone, county or area). Camouflage hunter orange is legal.
Deer hunters can find a list of deer processing sites online at wildlifedepartment.com. Many deer processors participate in the Hunters Against Hunger program, which allows hunters who legally harvest a deer during any deer season to donate the meat to feed hungry Oklahomans.
ODWC Rack Madness
The 4th Annual ODWC Rack Madness event has been set for Feb. 25, 2020. Bring in your deer, elk, antelope or bear to be officially scored for FREE. For more information, visit wildlifedepartment.com.