Turkey hunting in Oklahoma is a time-honored and age-old tradition. Turkey hunting wasn’t always as successful for hunters ten or fifteen years ago. The turkey population in Oklahoma was drastically reduced, and restoration actions had to take place.
That wasn’t a good look for a state that started the Lieutenant Governor’s Invitational Turkey Hunt. Restoration efforts were very successful, and today, hunters travel to Oklahoma from all across the country to participate in turkey season.
Oklahoma is host to three subspecies of turkeys—Eastern Turkeys, Rio Grande Turkeys, and Merriams Turkeys. Of course, a good level of hybridization is to be expected, whenever the three species overlap.
Turkey Hunting Oklahoma
When is Turkey Season
Spring and fall turkey seasons don’t always start on set dates from year to year. The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission gets together each year and makes decisions on when turkey seasons will start.
Spring season generally starts sometime in April and ends in May. The entirety of the season lasts about one month, with youth turkey hunters having the advantage of an early start.
Fall turkey hunting season is broken down into two categories—fall archery and fall gun. Both of them will overlap each other at some point, depending on what the commission comes up with in terms of start and end dates.
Fortunately, the Oklahoma Wildlife Department updates its online site frequently, and unlike a lot of state wildlife departments, they keep it pretty simple to read through and understand. Fall season for archery starts on the first of October in most seasons and runs through to the middle of January.
Turkey fall gun season usually starts a month later than archery season and shuts down in about two and a half to three weeks. Fall season doesn’t include an early start for youth turkey hunters. You only get that in the spring season.
Public Hunting Land in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has 650 public hunting areas set aside for fishing, hunting, and recreation throughout the state. The 650 areas comprise a total of 1.4 million acres.
Black Kettle WMA
The Black Kettle Wildlife Management Area is easily one of the most popular WMAs in the entire state. Most avid Oklahoma turkey hunters will point you in that direction. Black Kettle is located in the southwest region of Oklahoma, and turkey hunters have very high success rates in spring and fall.
Hickory Creek WMA
In the central region of Oklahoma, there are two WMAs—Kaw and Hickory Creek of which the latter is usually the most popular. Located in Love County, Hickory Creek covers a stretch of nearly 7,400 acres.
If you hunt Hickory Creek, you can only hunt with a shotgun. Why that’s a rule is unclear. You are also limited to Toms and nothing else.
Fort Supply WMA
In the northwest region of Oklahoma, you will find Fort Supply, a 5,400-acre area in Woodward County. According to the WMA site, it’s mostly river bottom and forested areas, and the turkey hunting, there is usually pretty successful.
It’s also the place to go if you are in the mood for bagging a Rio Grande wild turkey as they are the most prevalent.
Camp Gruber WMA
Finally, in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, is the Camp Gruber WMA in Muscogee County. They have a one-Tom limit in the spring for adults and youth hunting, but bagging a turkey here is almost guaranteed.
Rules and Regulations
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is an eight-body commission that determines new rules and regulations every year. Keep in mind that the information you find here might change as we enter the next spring turkey season in Oklahoma.
The spring season bag limit is one Tom turkey or one bearded turkey per hunter. That’s it for the entire hunting season in the spring, and that extends to the youth hunters as well. Most other rules and regs are the same as in most states.
- No hunting turkey within 100 yards of any bait
- Artificial decoys are permitted
- Live decoys or recorded calls are prohibited
- Hunters have to immediately attach a field tag when harvesting a turkey
- Roost shooting is prohibited
- Shooting hours are half an hour before official sunrise until official sunset
Turkey hunting in Oklahoma is a major event every spring and fall. However, due to some changes this year, hunters are a little more limited. Fortunately, restoration efforts are improving turkey populations across the state, and limits may become less strict over time.
Oklahoma offers new turkey hunters and out-of-state hunters plenty of opportunities to hunt turkey, with 1.4 million acres of land spread across 650 locations across the entire state. With three different subspecies to hunt, it adds a layer of intrigue to the entire spring and fall season.
Oklahoma is a beautiful state, and hunting season is definitely upon us. While the rules for the next spring season have yet to release, there is still plenty to enjoy before the fall season comes to a close.
Visit the OutdoorWorld Reviews homepage for more expert information and guides!
Leave a Reply