The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is hosting a youth controlled deer hunt opportunity the weekend after the regular nine-day gun season. Ten antlerless permits will be drawn Monday, Nov. 27, for youngsters between the ages of 12 and 14.
The one-and-a-half day hunt will begin on Saturday, Dec. 2, with a pre-hunt briefing at 1:00 p.m. The youth along with their non-hunting adult partner will then hunt Saturday afternoon and then all day Sunday, Dec. 3.
According to Tom Smeltzer, Wildlife Division sr. biologist for the southwest region, participants should have very good opportunities to harvest an antlerless deer.
"The hunt is taking place on a private ranch in Ellis County near Arnett," said Smeltzer. "The property has an abundant deer population, especially does. With the wide-open terrain, all the youth hunters should certainly see good numbers of deer, and will have a good harvest opportunity.
The landowner is enrolled as a DMAP (Deer Management Assistance Program) cooperator and needs to harvest antlerless deer to accomplish his herd management goals. The fact that he is allowing young hunters, many of whom may be hunting for the first time, is truly commendable." To apply for this hunt, applicants must send a 4x6 index card titled, "Ellis County Youth Deer Hunt." The card should include the hunter's name and date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, and hunter education certification number. Also, include the name of the non-hunting partner. Applications must be received at Department of Wildlife headquarters no later than: 1:00 p.m., Nov. 27. Successful applicants will be notified by phone on Nov. 27.
If selected for the hunt, youth must possess a $14.75 Resident Youth Deer Gun permit unless they possess a Resident Lifetime Hunting or Resident Lifetime Combination License. The youth's non-hunting adult partner, however, will not be required to possess an Oklahoma hunting license or deer permit. Participants must also pay a $7 controlled hunt fee at the pre-hunt briefing. The youth's proof of age and hunter safety certification are also required at check-in. Any antlerless deer harvested during the controlled hunt will be considered "bonus" deer and will not count against the youth's yearly aggregate limit.
Applications for the Ellis County youth deer hunt should be sent to Attn. Wildlife Division/Ellis Co. Hunt, OK Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 N. Lincoln, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. For additional information concerning drawing details, contact Tom Smeltzer at 405/823-8619.