As a sportsman, it’s great to live in a state that offers so many hunting opportunities. Oklahoma has numerous ways for hunters to pursue their passion outside of leases and private lands and it’s one of the most ecologically diverse states in the nation. As far as game is concerned, Oklahomans can hunt whitetail and mule deer, elk, antelope, black bear, wild hog, turkey, duck, pheasant, and quail to name a few. There are more than 65 public hunting areas and over 1.6 million acres devoted to hunters and anglers in Oklahoma. Within state hunting areas there are “controlled” hunts.
Would-be lucky hunters can apply to win a hunt in a lottery type setting, and although harvest ratios are good, hunters will find out there is nothing controlled about the actual hunts!
Hunting in a somewhat controlled environment is frowned upon by those in and out of the hunting communities.
The hunts awarded to applicants are nothing like high fence hunts, which are, in my opinion, a form of canned hunting that can benefit youth and disabled hunters.
The draw hunts offered by Oklahoma are strictly controlled and regulated. Each hunting area has different rules and guidelines that hunters must follow to participate; however, all hunts consist of 100% wild game and fair chase hunting.
Draw hunts are awarded to applicants selected in a random drawing. Hunts are held in areas where unrestricted hunting would pose safety concerns or where over harvesting could occur. There are several categories from which hunters can choose, and while “drawing in” doesn’t happen every year, applicants do build up preference points, which help their odds for next year’s hunt. Hunters can choose from elk hunts, antelope hunts, deer hunts, youth deer hunts, turkey hunts and youth turkey hunts. In 2011, 121,547 applicants applied for at least one of the 6,210 individual hunt permits available. The cost to apply is only five dollars, and it takes less than 10 minutes to complete an application online.