With a bill recently passing through the state Senate, Oklahoma bowhunters may be the next to enjoy an early velvet buck hunt to kick off the fall deer season.
Senate Bill 910 has passed through the Senate and is moving on for consideration by the House of Representatives. The bill comes from Senator Blake “Cowboy” Stephens, an avid hunter with his sights set on giving hunters a longer deer season, increased opportunities, and additional revenue for the state.
The plan behind the bill is for a 9-day archery season to take place in late August. The season opener would kick off Saturday morning prior to the last weekend in August, and end Sunday evening on the last weekend of August.
In order to hunt the velvet season, hunters would need a hunting license, and velvet buck permit. There would be a set number of permits, established by the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission, and hunters would draw for a permit (90% of velvet buck tags would go to Oklahoma residents). Permit price is to be determined by the commission.
The hunt would initially be offered for private lands only, with a 1-buck limit for the hunt. Keep in mind, this is not a bonus buck tag. Any buck taken during the velvet buck season counts against the hunter’s regular season 2-buck limit.
The hunt would obviously be a great move for hunters across the state. But it would also be a great benefit to the state’s tourism industry as a number of hunters would soon be making plans to add an Oklahoma bowhunt to their calendar each year.
“Hunters from across the country will be looking to travel to our state to take part in the first season and many thereafter,” says Stephens. Sources say that if the bill becomes law, the inaugural season will likely kick off in the 2024-2025 deer season.
Oklahoma would join states like Tennessee and Mississippi in offering season dates set specifically for velvet buck hunting opportunities for its deer hunters.
Are you planning a velvet buck hunt this fall? Be sure to read our article, How to Plan a Velvet Buck Hunt for more info on how to make it happen.