Oklahoma Season Closes After One DayOK Dept. Of Wildlife Conservation, Bear Hunting Magazine
UPDATE TO STORY:
The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has closed the bow bear hunting season after only one day.
There were 31 bears taken on Friday, the day the season opened. The season was only supposed to last until 20 bears were taken, but with various intangibles in play (good weather, poor food for the bears, hunters better prepared for the season), the hunting was very good in the four counties involved; McCurtain, LeFlore, Latimer and Pushmataha counties.
There were 25 males and six females taken.
ORIGINAL STORY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010
Oklahoma's second black bear season opens this Friday, October 1st. Black bear hunting is allowed in four counties in southeastern Oklahoma; McCurtain, Pushmataha, Latimer and Le Flore.
Just as it was set up last year, the season will close once 20 bears are taken by hunters. Bear hunters must call daily or check with the Wildlife Department to see if the season is open.
The bear archery season will remain open through October 22. If bow hunters have not taken 20 bears by October 23, then bears can be hunted with muzzleloaders through October 31 or until the season limit has been reached. The bear muzzleloader season runs concurrent with deer muzzleloader season in the state.
In Oklahoma's 2009 bear season, hunters fell short of reaching the season limit, taking 19 bears. Only 239 people bought bear hunting licenses. Joe Hemphill with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation stated, "We think there will be more bear hunters this year. Crossbows are legal this year and hunters now realize that bear season will not open and close on the same day."
"Many hunters did not make the $101 investment in a resident bear license, thinking it would be a short season. But the hunting proved more difficult than many predicted. Hunters now realize they will have longer to hunt than they first thought," Hemphill said.
All bear licenses must be bought before the Oklahoma bear season opens. Lifetime hunting license holders still must buy a bear license.