I realize that people have a pretty tepid relationship with the City of Lawton due to all the bureaucratic red tape and additional taxes pet owners are supposed to pay to keep a furry family member inside city limits, but don't let your local government speak for the whole state. The list of "banned" pets on the state level is surprisingly short and logical.

While some municipalities tie strings to pet ownership, the state has just one classification of pet that the average person isn't legally allowed to have... any animal the state considers and classifies as wildlife... which can be a broad statement, but like most statements like that, you are allowed to possess wildlife at certain times of the year. Mainly whichever hunting season it is so long as you're licensed, in which case you're more than welcome to possess the wild animal you've bagged along with any part or parts of said wild animal. That's poetically pretty savage. Obviously, if you're licensed to hunt a wild beast you're in the clear to possess it... but what about as a pet?

According to Oklahoma State Title 29: Fish and Game, Chapter 1 in terms of wildlife ownership...

no person may possess any wildlife or parts thereof during the closed season, any endangered or threatened species or parts thereof at any time, or any native bear or native cat that will grow to reach the weight of 50 lbs. or more, with exceptions. A conviction could result in a fine of $100-$500 and/or by imprisonment up to 30 days. In addition, no person may buy, barter, trade, or sell all or any part of any fish or wildlife or the nest or eggs of any bird protected by law, with exceptions. A first violation could result in a fine of $100 to $500 and/or by imprisonment up to 60 days.

It's understandable that the state doesn't want you having a wild deer or bear as a pet, but that doesn't mean you can't gain the license it requires to do so. There was a family up the road from us in my hometown that had a pet whitetail deer. It would eat vegetables out of your hands and let you pet it, but it also lived its entire life in a 12x12 kennel. Looking back, I feel sorry it had to live like that.

What about ducks? Ducks are considered wildlife... but the caveat there is you can buy your own non-wild ducks at the farm store, therefor they aren't considered wildlife.

I had a coworker a few years ago that went through some of these broad bureacratic shenanigans. A dove had flown into his front door and hurt itself. His daughter wanted to nurse it back to health, and being the modern typical American he put a pic and a story about the ordeal on facebook. Turns out, since it was a migratory bird during that species hunting season, it was illegal for his family to help this bird themselves. We'll never know if it ever made it to the wildlife rehabilitation center the game warden went on about, but they took the bird that same night.

I had a pet largemouth bass when I was a kid, it was totally illegal and my parents made me toss him back in the creek the moment they realized it wasn't a green goldfish. That doesn't mean you couldn't have your own pet bass, you'd just have to acquire it through a means other than catching and removing it from a city/county/state body of water. All the same, the way these are sold nowadays, they're sold by the pound as fingerlings and even a few pounds equates to hundreds of fish anyway, so nobody does this unless you're stocking a private pond.

While that seems shockingly "free" compared to some cities like Lawton and OKC, there are states where it's legal to catch and keep wildlife as pets. Alabama is one of those places where you can pull fish out of the lakes and rivers and toss directly into a tank or backyard pond... but if everyone caught onto a trend like that, fishing quality might go down and fish fry's wouldn't go up, and nobody likes that idea.

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