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License Requirements

  • Residents: Must possess a hunting license (see Licenses & Permits) or proof of exemption. In addition, resident bear hunters must possess a bear license.

    Lifetime License holders are not exempt from the purchase of a bear license.

  • Nonresidents: Nonresident bear hunters are exempt from a hunting license while hunting bear but must possess a nonresident bear license.

    Holders of nonresident lifetime hunting and lifetime combination licenses are not exempt from purchasing a bear license.

  • License Purchasing Deadlines: Bear licenses for the archery season must be purchased prior to Oct. 1, 2016. No bear licenses will be sold after Sept. 30 for the archery season. An unfilled bear license from the archery season is valid for muzzleloader season.

    Bear licenses for the muzzleloader season must be purchased prior to Oct. 22, 2016. No bear licenses will be sold after Oct. 21 for the muzzleloader season.

Season Dates & Open Areas

  • Archery: Oct. 1-16, 2016; only in Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties. There is no harvest quota for bear archery season.
  • Muzzleloader: Oct. 22-30, 2016 (unless quota is met earlier), only in Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties.

Public Lands

Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide seasons. Consult special area regulations in the Appendix.

Combined Season Limit

One bear, regardless of season hunted.

Shooting Hours

One-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour after official sunset.

Prohibited Activities

No baiting is allowed on wildlife management areas. Shooting of cubs or females with cubs is prohibited. No den shooting of bears. Pursuing bears with dogs is prohibited.

Legal Means of Taking

  • Archery: Equipment described as legal for deer archery season. See Deer.
  • Muzzleloader: Equipment described as legal for deer muzzleloader season. See Deer.

Field Tagging & Checking

Upon harvesting a bear, all hunters must immediately attach their name and license number securely to the carcass and complete the “Record of Game” section on the license form.

The attached item can be anything, as long as it contains the required information. This information must remain attached to the carcass until it is checked.

Upon harvesting a bear, all hunters must call Joe Hemphill, Southeast Region supervisor, at (580) 421-7226 or Jeff Ford, biologist, at (918) 527-9918.

The carcass must be checked in by the hunter who harvested the bear. After the carcass is checked, a carcass tag will be issued, which must remain with the carcass to its final destination or through processing and/or storage at commercial processing or storage facilities.

The head must remain attached to the carcass until the bear is checked. Bear carcasses may be checked-in quartered, with or without skin, but sex organs must remain naturally attached until checked by a Department employee.

Hunter Orange

For hunter orange requirements, see E-Check, Deer Processors & Hunter Orange.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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