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Oklahoma Furbearer Hunting & Trapping Regulations

  • License Requirements for Hunting and Trapping

    Hunting and trapping in Oklahoma are subject to specific license requirements for both residents and nonresidents. Below are the license requirements for hunting and trapping:

    Resident License Requirements:

    • Resident Hunting License: This license is required for residents of Oklahoma who wish to hunt various game species.
    • Resident Fur License: Residents must obtain a resident fur license if they intend to take raccoon, bobcat, gray/red fox, or river otter.
    • Resident Trapping License: Residents planning to trap any furbearer must possess a resident trapping license, unless exempt.

    Nonresident License Requirements:

    • Nonresident Hunting License: Nonresidents who want to engage in hunting activities in Oklahoma must obtain a nonresident hunting license.
    • Nonresident Fur License: Nonresidents are required to obtain a nonresident fur license if they intend to take raccoon, bobcat, gray/red fox, or river otter.
    • Nonresident Trapping License: Nonresidents who wish to trap any furbearer in Oklahoma must obtain a nonresident trapping license, unless exempt.

    Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits for Fur-Bearing Animals in Oklahoma

    Oklahoma offers a variety of hunting opportunities for fur-bearing animals, each with its own set of regulations. Here's a detailed overview of the hunting seasons and bag limits for select fur-bearing animals in the state:

    Beaver, Nutria, Raccoon & Striped Skunk

    • Season: Open year-round
    • Bag Limits: There are no daily, season, or possession limits for these species.

    Bobcat, Badger, Gray Fox, Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, River Otter & Weasel

    • Season: December 1, 2023, to February 29, 2024
    • Bobcat: No daily limit, season limit of 20, possession limit of 20 per license.
    • Gray Fox / Red Fox: The daily combined limit is two, with no more than one red fox. The season combined limit is six, with no more than two red foxes.
    • River Otter: There is no daily limit, but the season limit is six.
    • Badger, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, Weasel: There is no specific limit for these species.

    Swift Fox, Spotted Skunk & Ringtail

    • Season: Closed year-round
    • The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) is collaborating with the University of Central Oklahoma to track spotted skunks in the state. If you happen to spot a spotted skunk, please report the sighting to Jerrod Davis, ODWC Furbearer Biologist at jerrod.davis@odwc.ok.gov.

    Coyote

    • Season: Open year-round
    • Bag Limits: There are no daily, season, or possession limits for coyotes.
    • It's important to note that hunting, taking, or attempting to take coyotes from dark to daylight with the aid of any artificial light and/or any sight dog is prohibited.

    Legal Means of Taking

    When hunting fur-bearing animals in Oklahoma, there are specific regulations regarding the legal means of taking, including firearms, archery, and traps:

    Firearms or Archery

    • Daylight Only: Any legal firearm or archery equipment can be used during daylight hours.
    • Nighttime Only: During the legal open furbearer season, hunters may possess a .22 caliber rimfire rifle or .22 caliber rimfire pistol and a light carried on their person while in pursuit of furbearers with hounds. This is allowed if the hunter possesses a valid hunting license, unless exempt.
    • Laser Sights: There are no restrictions on possessing a .22 caliber rimfire rifle or pistol with a laser sighting device while hunting or taking furbearers with hounds during the legal, open furbearer season, while possessing a valid hunting license.

    Traps

    • Legal traps include box traps and colony traps.
    • Smooth-jawed single-spring traps with an offset of no less than 1/8 inch are allowed.
    • Smooth-jawed double-spring traps with an offset of no less than 1/8 inch are permitted.
    • Smooth-jawed coil-spring traps with an offset of no less than 1/8 inch are allowed.
    • Enclosed trigger traps, also known as dog-proof traps, are legal for use.
    • Body-gripping traps with a diameter of no more than twelve (12) inches are allowed for fully submerged sets, but only on private land.
    • Any trap not listed here is considered illegal.

    Public Lands

    Hunting seasons on public lands in Oklahoma may vary from statewide seasons. To ensure compliance with specific regulations on public hunting lands, hunters are advised to consult the special area regulations provided in the "Special Area Regulations" section.

    Hunter Orange

    Hunters in Oklahoma are required to adhere to specific hunter orange requirements, which are detailed in the General Hunting Regulations. These regulations outline when and where hunters must wear hunter-orange clothing to ensure safety and visibility during hunting activities.

    For comprehensive information on hunter orange requirements, including when and where it must be worn, hunters should refer to the General Hunting Regulations. Adhering to these guidelines is essential to promote safe hunting practices and reduce the risk of accidents in the field.

    Bobcat & River Otter Tagging Requirements

    Hunters in Oklahoma must adhere to specific tagging requirements when harvesting bobcat or river otter pelts. These regulations are essential to ensure proper documentation and compliance with state wildlife laws. Here are the key details regarding bobcat and river otter tagging:

    1. Tagging Deadline: No bobcat or river otter pelt may be held in possession after 10 working days following the close of the furbearer season.

    2. Permanent Tag: A permanent tag must be affixed to the pelt. This tag also serves as an export tag.

    3. Authorized Affixation: The tag must be affixed by an authorized employee of the Department or a designated private tagging agent.

    4. Responsibility: It is the responsibility of the possessor of the bobcat or river otter pelt to ensure that it is legally tagged.

    5. Prohibition on Untagged Pelts: Unharvested bobcat or river otter pelts from other states may not be possessed in Oklahoma if they are untagged.

    6. Tag Availability: Tags can be obtained from various sources, including game wardens, wildlife biologists, state fish hatcheries, Department field offices, and specifically designated private tagging stations.

    7. Tagging Fee: Designated private tagging stations may charge a fee of 75 cents per tag.

    8. Tagging Deadline: Bobcat or river otter export tags will not be affixed after March 14.

    Sale of Carcasses

    In Oklahoma, there are specific regulations governing the sale of carcasses or parts of legally acquired furbearing animals and coyotes. These regulations are in place to ensure proper handling and compliance with wildlife laws. Here are the key details regarding the sale of carcasses:

    1. Authorized Sale: Skinned carcasses or parts of legally acquired furbearing animals and coyotes (excluding the hide/pelt/fur) may be:

      • Purchased
      • Bartered
      • Traded
      • Sold
      • Offered for sale
    2. Exclusion: It's important to note that the sale of the hide, pelt, or fur of furbearing animals and coyotes is not covered by these regulations. These regulations specifically pertain to skinned carcasses or parts other than the hide, pelt, or fur.

    Buying/Selling of Furs in Oklahoma

    In Oklahoma, the buying and selling of fur, especially from furbearing animals like bobcats and river otters, is regulated to ensure responsible and legal practices. Here are the important details regarding the buying and selling of furs in the state:

    1. Fur Dealers License: Any person engaged in buying fur in Oklahoma is required to possess a current Fur Dealers License. This license is essential for individuals or businesses involved in the purchase of fur from trappers and hunters.

    2. Rules and Regulations: Rules and regulations governing the purchase of fur in Oklahoma are available upon request from the Furbearer Biologist. It is essential for fur buyers to be aware of and adhere to these regulations to operate legally within the state.

    3. Timeline for Selling Pelts: Individuals who have taken pelts during the fur-bearing season have a maximum of 10 working days after the close of the season to either sell or dispose of the pelts or notify the Department in writing of their intent to hold the pelts after the 10-day deadline.

    4. Inventory Requirement: For pelts held after the 10-day deadline, an inventory must be maintained using a form provided by an authorized Department employee. This inventory helps ensure transparency and compliance with wildlife regulations.

    5. Permanent Tags: Bobcats and river otters intended for later sale must have a permanent tag affixed for the current year before being held for sale. This tagging requirement helps track and regulate the sale of these furbearing animals.

    Possession of Carcasses or Hides in Oklahoma

    The state of Oklahoma has regulations in place regarding the possession of live animals, carcasses, or raw furs of certain wildlife species, specifically ringtail, spotted skunk, or swift fox. Here are the key points to understand regarding the possession of these animals, carcasses, or hides in the state:

    1. Illegal Possession: It is illegal to possess live animals, carcasses, or raw furs of ringtail, spotted skunk, or swift fox within the state of Oklahoma unless it can be demonstrated that each carcass or hide was legally obtained from outside of Oklahoma.

    2. Proof of Legality or Origin: To establish the legality or origin of carcasses or green hides, there must be a tag or other marking or device attached to or imprinted on each and every hide in a way that makes it impossible to remove intact. This tag or marking must be the official method used by the issuing agency.

    3. Hunting or Trapping License: If an identification tag is not required by the issuing agency, individuals in possession of these carcasses or hides must provide a hunting or trapping license that is appropriate to the species taken as proof of legality.

    Tagging Hints for Bobcats and Otters

    When it comes to tagging bobcats and otters in Oklahoma, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Proper tagging is essential to ensure compliance with state regulations. Here are some helpful tagging hints:

    1. Plastic Tag Placement: Typically, bobcats and otters are tagged with a plastic tag that is looped under the skin from the eye to the mouth. This tag placement is important for identification purposes.

    2. Freezing Prior to Tagging: If you choose to freeze your bobcat or otter whole before tagging, it's a good practice to prepare the carcass for tagging. To do this, open a 1/2-inch wide slot under the skin from the eye to the gum line using a knife or sharp screwdriver. Then, install some sort of spacer that can be removed later to allow for tagging once the bobcat or otter is frozen.

    3. Spacer for Frozen Carcass: Installing a spacer under the skin allows you to keep the tag location intact while the carcass is frozen. This spacer can be removed later, making it easier to attach the tag in the proper location without the need to thaw the bobcat or otter.

    4. Partially Thawing: Alternatively, if you haven't used a spacer and need to tag a frozen carcass, partially thaw the carcass before taking it for tagging. This will make the process smoother and ensure that the tag can be properly attached.

    Exemptions from Regulations

    While there are specific regulations in place for hunting and trapping fur-bearing animals in Oklahoma, there are also exemptions that allow for certain activities under certain circumstances. Here are the exemptions from these regulations:

    1. Protection of Livestock or Poultry: Nothing in these regulations prevents the killing of furbearers that are actually found destroying livestock or poultry. In cases where furbearers pose a threat to livestock or poultry, they can be dealt with to protect these animals.

    2. Sport Running or Chasing with Dogs: It is allowed to run or chase coyote, bobcat, fox, or raccoon with dogs for sport purposes only. However, this exemption does not apply to public lands where such activity is prohibited. Bobcats and foxes taken under this exemption cannot be removed from the property where they were hunted. They must remain on the property.



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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.