While Oklahoma hunters have been busy with doves and ducks these last few weeks, October 1st is the traditional opening of the fall hunting season for most game animals in the state.

While each game species will have interflowing seasons, the big five in Oklahoma all open up to archery on the same day. Deer, elk, bear, antelope, and turkey.

Whitetail Deer

The most considerable excitement across the state is the season opener for whitetail deer. Even those who hunted and harvested deer in each season of taking in 2021 have probably been out of the lean protein in their freezers for weeks or months now.

Even though early-season hot-weather hunting is never fun, a bad day hunting is better than a good day at work.

While archery is the name of the game, there are other methods that are legal during this time. Crossbows have made the biggest headlines and leap forward in technology in the last decade, but arrow rifles are starting to become relatively common but they aren't legal to use during the archery or muzzleloader seasons.


Elk is among the hardest to harvest in Oklahoma, especially during the archery season.

Stalking close enough to one of these guarded behemoths is tough enough when you can send hot lead downrange with a proper rifle... Add in the effective range of most bows and their incredible hearing, this might be the second hardest hunt for Oklahoma outdoors enthusiasts.


The humble pronghorn antelope is likely the hardest big game species to hunt in Oklahoma, especially during archery.

They live in the incredibly flat and desolate panhandle of out state, where trees don't exist and you can see for miles in any direction. While archers get very creative with mirrors and stalking skills, harvesting one is a mostly uphill battle for most.

Wild Eastern Turkey

Turkeys are also on the difficult side of archery season, but only because they have such good hearing and amazing eyesight.

Hunters must remain silent and still for hours while luring in Thanksgiving dinner. The sheer mechanics of shooting a bow makes success that much harder to achieve. While crossbows have leveled the playing field of skill, it's still not as easy as the point-and-shoot of grandpa's old shotgun.


Bear are among the most curious species in Oklahoma. Being so far West in the state, the odds of seeing one near Lawton are slim to none, but in the Southeastern portion of the state, the population has grown to the point there is no longer a quota system in place for archery.

That being said, there is still a quota system in place for the primitive firearm season of 20 bears.

Pro-Tip: If you are planning on taking a bear this year, get your license early. Bear archery tags won't be issued after September 30th, and muzzleloader tags won't be issued after that season starts on October 22nd.

As with any year of hunting, it's completely up to you to read and understand the rules and regulations. Nothing makes Mr. Green Jeans happier than issuing tickets out to the law-abiding citizens that make simple and honest mistakes... I guess it makes up for all the illegal poaching they can't seem to get a handle on.

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