From the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
-- This fall Oklahoma will open 8,000 new acres of public land in the Cross Timbers Wildlife Management Area in Love County for hunting.
In July, the Commission approved emergency rules for the new property which includes 6,100 acres that have been purchased by the Department and an additional 2,000 acres under lease agreement.
The emergency rules open hunting seasons on the new WMA this fall and establish rules on camping and area use.
Since its a brand new area and in an area of the state that might receive a lot of hunting pressure, we think the best approach is to start with conservative hunting regulations, said Alan Peoples, chief of wildlife.
Most small game seasons on the area will be the same as statewide season dates, except closed from the opening day of deer archery season through the first nine days of deer gun season. Additionally, deer muzzleloader, deer gun and spring turkey hunting on the area will be conducted through the Departments controlled hunts system.
Peoples said structuring hunting seasons in this way provides a measure for the level of hunting pressure the area will receive.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers populations and habitat status for establishing hunting seasons on migratory game bird seasons that open prior to Oct. 1 at an annual meeting during June of each year. The Service publishes the federal hunting season frameworks for these species soon after its meeting, when state wildlife agencies can then make their selections within the framework guidelines. Other season regulations remain unchanged from last year.
The Wildlife Departments has a new redesigned website, www.wildlifedepartment.com which organizes information in a user-friendly format. Along with accessing information such as hunting and fishing regulations, users can also manage their own account for online purchasing of licenses and check-in harvested deer, elk or turkey online.