Wildlife Department Considering Extending Oklahoma Deer Gun Season
Hunters are getting ready for deer gun season, which starts this weekend.
Now, the wildlife department is considering extending the season to include a third week. Any changes wouldn’t go into effect this year. Public comment on the proposals will start Dec. 2 and last for a month.
Mike Rainey is right in the middle of his busiest time of year.
“Each basket has the person’s name on it, all their cuts,” said Rainey.
He owns Rainey's Custom Butchering. They process over 1,000 deer annually for hunters.
This weekend the two-week period of deer gun season begins, which means it'll only get busier for him.
“Deer gun season is the big day. There will be 100,000 people in the woods,” said Micah Holmes with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Holmes said each year; rule changes are proposed to keep the herd healthy and maximize the experience.
“We want a healthy herd of deer. There's discussions about a proposal for a longer deer season,” he said.
He said rifle season could be extended to three weeks, and the wildlife commission has to the option to adjust bag limits accordingly.
“We're all busy having one extra week, and it could make it easier to go deer hunting," he said.
Rainey said he understands how that could be beneficial, but said they're already working 12-hour days, seven days a week, just to keep up with current demand.
“As far as allowing hunters to get all six deer during rifle season, it will make it complete and utter chaos,” Rainey said.
There will be public hearings before any decisions are made to extend the season.
The wildlife department estimates deer gun season already has a $600 million economic impact each year in Oklahoma.