Oklahoma Wildlife Dept is Proposing New Rules Next Month
Since it's usually the norm, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is proposing new wildlife rules as the year comes to a close.
They deal mostly with what is and isn't legal miens of harvest, bag limits, address littering on public lands, and aim to protect some critters' dwindling numbers.
Last year the big rule change was the arrow-gun. They're proposing an expansion of their use this year, but also many other new rules.
While anglers are used to the changing yearly bag limits of their favorite game fish--bass, catfish, crappie, etc... the ODWC wants to set an aggregate bag limit for all native fish. Literally all fish will have a limit if the proposed rule carries through.
Another proposed fishing rule is the banishment of "Catch and Release" bowfishing. This is understandable since speering a fish with an arrow and wishing it your best regards is fairly brutal and unsportsmanlike.... waiting until it dies and then releasing it back into the lake to the bottomfeeders is.
Hunting and fishing are currently experiencing a rennaissance these days. With more hunters, we need more public hunting areas. ODWC is proposing expanding designated hunting areas into the state parks for certain hunting activities.
Early Velvet Permits
The department is proposing a program to issue permits for hunters to harvest very early-season (August-September) bucks while they're still in their velvet. They want to start with 10 permits by lottery drawing now, possibly expanding to more in the future.
Littering and.... Littering and... Littering and...
ODWC wants to expand definitions of littering to include spent shotgun hulls. Of course it will only apply and be enforceable on public Wildlife Management Areas, but litter is litter. Modern plastic and aluminum shells take too long to decompose.
Arrow Rifle Expansion
As the popularity of muzzleloaders--AKA--smoke poles dwindle due to antiquaited breech loading rules, ODWC is proposing to allow air-powered arrow rifles to be used during the musket season. Why they couldn't just allow modern breech-loading black powder firearms is beyond all of us...
Prairie Dog Protections
ODWC wants to close the open season on prairie dogs in a few select Wildlife Management Areas. Cooper WMA up by Fort Supply, Beaver River WMA even farther out in the panhandle, and Sandy Sanders WMA down in the Southwest corner of Oklahoma.
Update Shooting Ranges
One of the biggest problems surrounding outdoor Oklahoma is the lack of public places where you can take your rifle or bow to sight them in. They are very few and far between. While we mostly get by with private ranges or the old "I know a guy with land" buddy-buddy system, ODWC wants to make improvements and add public shooting ranges around the state... which is amazing considering how anti-fun/anti-gun Mr Green Jeans usually is.
Voice your opinion on these matters.
There will be a public hearing on these topics coming up on December 7th in OKC, but you can also post your thoughts and comments online to be reviewed at that same time.
Ten Iconic Oklahoma Restaurants You Have To Try
Gallery Credit: Kelso
Top 10 safest towns & cities in Oklahoma
Gallery Credit: Don "Critter" Brown
Where Should Buc-ee's Build Their First Oklahoma Location?
Gallery Credit: Kelso