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Oklahoma whitetail hunting
Any of you have much experience hunting in Oklahoma? Curious as to what areas are considered the best area for whitetail hunting. Any recs for reputable outfitters are appreciated.
SE Oklahoma (close to you), probably has the most available public land and some of the best quality. The terrain lets the deer get old, because it's tough to hunt in most areas. Look at Pushmataha WMA and even Hugo lake area. Other areas are three rivers and Honobia WMA. Keep in mind, these are hunted (poached too), by locals and NR's as well. I've ran into LOTS of Texans. Out West, I'd try Black Kettle or Packsaddle.
There's still deer to be had, and quality deer. Just got to work a bit harder than the next guy. Give it try.
Don’t come to OK, no deer here, nothing to see, move along now. LOL
I think Rick pretty much covered the public. Most of the top quality deer hunting will be found on private. OK is like 97% private, so that seems kinda obvious. If you can get on some decent private OK can be a very good state to hunt. Reasonable $, centrally located, generous bag limits, etc.
IMO public can be much more hit and miss, further from population can be better maybe (as Rick eluded to). But to me if I was coming from out of state with the expectation of killing a buck I would really try to find some private/outfitter. Of course public can produce, I’m just saying coming in blind and expecting success may be tough. If you just want a fun hunt/camping trip then there are some decent public spots. I guess it probably depends on your expectations.
I live in OK, so never really paid much attention to outfitters. But I have a couple in mind that I don’t really know personally though so I would be hesitant to give their names on the public forum. I’ll PM you.
OK is WAY BETTER than KS! Definitely should stay a little south. :)
Actually I know some guys that regularly kill monster bucks down there, and I know guys who are covered in small bodied does and lucky to see a buck bigger than 50 inches in a yr. I suppose it depends a lot on location as the 2 posters above said.
I like hunting Oklahoma. I've found the bucks to be every bit as big as Kansas. Kind of hit or miss on numbers where I hunt in the NW though.
I know big bucks regularly cross the Red River back and forth between OK and Texas. However that doesn't narrow it down much for you.
I also hunt private land but if looking for big bucks then you might start with the ODWC Cy Curtis listing for deer. It'll at least show you the counties of what has been entered. But we all know guys who shoot record deer every year yet don't enter.
Best of luck!
I know a few guys from Oklahoma. They aren't very bright and still manage to kill some nice bucks so it must be pretty good hunting down there. ;-)
You must be talking about JohnMC and NativeOkie, Nick.
Rick I was think he might be talking about me too when I read the not very bright part. Then I read still manages to kill some nice bucks. At that point I knew he was not talking about me.
I assume Nick would have added “good looking” too if he was talking about me. So I’m not sure who he is taking about…
He didn't say anything about mullets either so rules us out Jim.
You guys are too kind, to yourself.
All the good lookin guys moved outta there years ago…….like clear back in ‘97.
LMAO…Rick, how’s the shoulder?
Little over a week and a half. I’m SICK OF THIS SLING! Other than that, it sucks. I’m ready for PT.
My nephew use to live there by Pawhuska and sent me some cam pics of huge bucks. He keeps asking me to go there with him to deer hunt on his old neighbors place. I might do it this year??
Shhhhh Rick, the Push WMA is supposed to be our little secret. BTW: helicopter rides from there can be quite pricey.
I've seen big antlers all over the state but in general the deer have bigger bodies in the ag areas (North and West). An enormous exception is the McAlester Ammunition plant where giants roam.
That said, most of my hunting is in the SE (Coal county) with close-to-home hunting in Kingfisher county all on private.
I lived in Oklahoma almost of my life, bowhunted from 2005 to present. Both public and private and I've hunted a lot of the public lands in the eastern half of the state.
Now I live in Kansas. I think it's ridiculous when people compare the two states. There is no comparison. I've killed many mature bucks in Oklahoma, none of them have broken 130 inches. These are 4 to 7 year old animals. I had a lease for one year and we had some incredible age structure including many bucks well past their prime. It was 1500 acres and I sure wish I still had it leased. Not a single picture of a buck over 150 inches and it was in a prime location in a County which is generally considered very good.
Kansas on the other hand has the genetics but actually lacks the age structure in any place with small tracts. I believe that this is simply because a 3 1/2-year-old buck in Kansas is probably pope and young and it's hard for people including myself to pass them up. Oklahoma lacks this genetic potential. And don't let the trophy pictures to see view, they are not a Midwestern sized animal, anytime I get a animal on the ground in Kansas I'm still blown away by the size of their bodies compared to the deer I grew up hunting.
I would definitely recommend Oklahoma but not if you were looking for anything over 150 inches. Another thing is that Oklahoma bucks look deceiving. They are much smaller than the Kansas counterparts in body size and it's not till you get them on the ground and measure them that you know.
Comparing oklahoma to kansas would be like comparing Missouri to Arkansas or Kentucky to Tennessee, you get my drift.
Sorry that first one came off as an asshole response. I just want people to know they are going to come to Oklahoma have a 160-170 inch buck to hunt. But in the right situation they might have some great hunting of mature animals from 115-150 with an occasional specimen that might be a real gagger. I'd stay away from outfitters in Oklahoma, they have ruined kansas and oklahoma is one of the states that are still somewhat affordable to hunt still so not worth it in my opinion
Michael, I don't think your post sounded like an a**hole. The management goals of Kansas and Oklahoma are different. Look no further than their rifle seasons and buck bag limit. Oklahoma manages for opportunity and includes rifle season in the rut. Kansas manages for quality (one buck).
KS used to manage for quality
I think it depends where in OK you are the NW has some great bucks. SE mostly smaller deer but some huge antlered deer occasionally come out of there.
Most guys I know who want trophy deer in OK absolutely hate their 2 buck limit. If OK got rid of that and made it a one buck state, I think there would be a major improvement in the age structure and overall quality.
and just think Blake, it was a three buck state only a few years ago.
I grew up hunting in NE Oklahoma for many years. As with most hunting if you can access private land that's your best bet
However we always used our boat and hunted public land around lakes and on the river bottoms. There's a ton of really good land locked public land that people can only access with a boat. You'll find some solid bucks in there.
We've always hunted the river bottoms if we wanted to hunt public as well. There are some big ones in those spots for sure.
There is some dang good deer in OK. There is also a bunch of methhead local poachers…lol
Friend of mine is from a large farming family in SW Oklahoma . I see the pictures of bucks his brothers and nephews kill every year . Another friend hunts NC Oklahoma . I see those deer as well. Don’t kid yourself there are some monster deer in Oklahoma . You just won’t see them on a public forum.
It blows my mind to hear people talk like every deer born is going to grow to record book status, if left to mature. It’s the guys that say it with authority that crack me up.
You tube is your friend. Take that and the advice the majority has given here and see for yourself.
MichaelArnette- scanning back through the thread it appears that I the one who brought up KS so maybe your post was directed to me. I said the comparison of states it in jest. Even put a smiley face on it. Didn't mean for it to be a thing for anyone.
The other part is true. I know guys who regularly kill 160+ deer down there, and I know guys covered in small body deer that seldom grow more than a basket rack.
It's interesting to me in a time where fewer and fewer people are hunting, some are continuing to want restrictions heaped on those that are.
Like many states Oklahoma has good deer. It is not Kansas. I used to think there was nothing special about crossing that state line but there is. 20 years ago you could drive through any random horse pasture and find a 170” deer in Kansas. Those places in Oklahoma don’t even hold deer. Kansas isn’t what it was 20 years ago but it’s still better. You can’t manage genetics. If I were looking in Oklahoma I’d look at Alfalfa, grant and Kay counties. There are pockets of good deer all over the state but those counties would be where I’d look. The first couple tiers of counties just across the Kansas line north of those counties would be where I would want to be.
I grew up hunting in the grueling mountains of SE Oklahoma. Other than an occasional family garden, there isn't any crops for deer to dine. It's mast crops and browse (Nutrition) all-day every day. Year in and year out for the last 30- or 40-years Pushmataha County has been in the top 5 producers of Cy Curtis winners. In over 50 years of hunting there I seen a hand full of true giants. Trail cameras have revealed they are there but putting a hole in one comes with its challenges. All one has to do is be on one of those mountain ridges after a rare snow fall to realize the numbers will revile almost any other part of the state. I would not count the rolling open plains of Alfalfa County or any of the other northern counties out either. I've hunted both, give me the mountains.
Boy the hear this one would think Oklahoma is barren of good bucks, it is not. No, it's not Kansas but there are plenty of nice deer in Oklahoma. Take a look at Google Earth just north of the Red and you'll see quite a bit of ag fields.
If "good bucks" just means big antlers then yes, there are good bucks all over the state but if body size/weight are important then stick with the ag counties mentioned by Link.
"Bergmanns rule" still applies even here in Oklahoma.
The OP ghosted this thread like the OP of the Gary and Sue thread. :)
Rick but unlike the Gary and Sue thread. I don't blame this OP his thread got taken of the rails a bit.
Tom McMillan shot a big Oklahoma 4x4 on Blake Shelton’s property tonight on outdoor channel.
Not sure it went off the rails, talking about different areas in Oklahoma that have good deer. I know the 190+ whitetail that was taken off of our family place in Texas crossed the Red. Plenty of good bucks to be found in Oklahoma. Stuart Ranch takes some nice bucks every year. Love Valley WMA might hold some good bucks too.
Look to the South Central part of the state too, some ag down there.