Oklahoma’s 2007 youth deer gun season runs October 19-21, and while past
youth seasons have been open to antlerless hunting only, this year youth
can harvest both a buck and a doe.
“We hope that a lot of young Oklahoma hunters take advantage of the
youth deer gun season this year,” said Colin Berg, education supervisor
for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “To maximize
opportunity for youth participation, we tried to set the youth deer gun
season so it falls during the week of fall break for many schools.”
Youth are already talking about the building excitement that comes with
the youth deer gun season.
“Fall break starts Thursday, and I’m looking forward to participating in
this year’s youth deer season,” said Corbin Craycraft, who lives near
Cleveland. “I’ve been lucky enough to harvest a doe during two of the
last four youth seasons, but what I really want to do is harvest a buck
Corbin has been hunting with his step-father, Colin Berg, since he was
nine, and has received a lot of mentoring from him.
“I’ve taken Corbin hunting during three of the past four youth deer
seasons, and I wouldn’t trade the time we’ve been able to spend together
for anything,” said Berg. “I am really glad I’ve had the opportunity to
pass what I know about deer hunting on to Corbin. He is 13 now and is
well on his way to becoming a really good hunter. I’d have to say the
most important part of our hunting together has been the shared memories
and the great father/son relationship that we have developed. We’ve had
some great hunts together. Corbin is a natural at everything he does.
Hunting isn’t any different. Last year I watched as he harvested a doe
opening morning of the youth deer gun season, and that very same evening
he harvested his first deer — another doe — with his bow. I told him he
accomplished something I never have — harvesting a deer with two
different methods during the same day.”
The youth deer gun season was created to encourage youth to head afield.
The youth season is open to kids under 18 years of age. Youth hunters
must be accompanied by a hunter 18 years or older (21 years or older for
apprentice hunters). Oklahoma kids under the age of 16 are exempt from
the purchase of a hunting license, and youth 16 or 17 years old can
purchase a combination youth hunting and fishing license for $9 or a
youth hunting license for $5. Unless they hold a lifetime hunting or
combination license, all youth participants must purchase a $10 youth
antlered deer gun license and/or a $10 youth antlerless deer gun license
if they want a chance to harvest a buck and a doe. Nonresident youth
hunters must purchase a nonresident deer gun antlered, antlerless or
combination license, and nonresident youth hunters ages 14-17 must also
purchase a fishing and hunting legacy permit. Youth hunters who do not
harvest a deer during the youth deer gun season may use their unfilled
youth deer gun license during the regular deer gun season. Youth hunters
who do harvest a deer during the youth deer gun season may purchase
another youth deer gun license and harvest a deer during the regular gun
season. Deer taken by youth hunters participating in the youth deer gun
season are included in the hunter’s combined season limit.
Youth under the age of 16 must be hunter education certified to
participate in the youth deer gun season. However, due to a change in
the hunter education requirements, youth 16 and 17 years of age can hunt
with an apprentice-designated hunting license. For complete information
on the apprentice-designated hunting license, youth season regulations
and season dates, pick up a copy of the “2007-08 Oklahoma Hunting Guide”
or log onto wildlifedepartment.com.
For those youth who do not have their hunter education certification,
the Department is offering several courses before the season opens in
communities across the state, including Oklahoma City, Ardmore, Duncan,
Tulsa, Madill and Jenks. Some require pre-registration. Log on to
wildlifedepartment.com for more information on each available class.