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Bear Hunting In Oklahoma

Hunting Methods  Fair Chase - Baiting on Private Land - No Hounding

In the early 1900s, sightings of black bears in Oklahoma became rare due to unregulated hunting, the usage of the land, and loss of habitat. This caused the population to decline drastically.


When Did Bear Hunting Start In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma's first bear hunting season opened in 2009.

Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

All bear hunting is confined to four Southeastern Oklahoma counties in District 3 of the Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation.

When Is Bear Hunting Season?

Bear Hunting season Begins on October 1st (Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain, and Pushmataha Counties)

Archery: October 1 - 21

Firearm: October 27 - November 4

What Weapons Are Permitted?

Archery: Any compound bow with a 30 pound or more draw weight. Any re-curve, self bow, or longbow with a 40 or more draw weight. Arrows may not be less than 7/8 inches wide. Any crossbow with a 100-pound minimum drawback weight with safety devices and bolts of at least 14 inches or any device that allows the bow to be held mechanically at partial or full draw is allowed while hunting deer, elk, antelope, and bear during Archery Season.


Firearms: Any muzzleloading .40 caliber or larger rifle or pistol, and any muzzleloading 20 gauge or larger shotgun firing a single ball or slug are allowed during the Muzzle Loading Season of elk, deer, and bears. 

Note: Use of scope is not permitted for either season unless 100% legally certified disabled or blind. Light enhancement and thermal tracking devices are not permitted from sunset to sunrise. All hunters

must wear clothing with a minimum of 400 square inches of Hunter Orange.

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

It is prohibited to kill a female bear with cubs or cubs under 75 pounds.

Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

Baiting on Wildlife Management Areas is illegal. Baiting on Private Property is legal.

Is Dog Hunting Permitted?

No. Hunting bears with dogs is not permitted. However, a leashed dog may be used to locate a down animal, only after contacting a Game Warden via email, message, or call with location and time.

What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately upon harvesting a bear, all hunters must securely attach their name and license number to the carcass. After tagging, the hunter must call one of the following people to check the animal:

  • Sr. Wildlife Biologist Jeff Ford (918) 527-9918

  • Wildlife Tech. Matt Hensley (918) 260-3920

  • Wildlife Tech. Tres Phipps (918) 527-9921

  • SE Region Wildlife Supervisor of the ODWC Joe Hemphill (580) 471-7226


Once the carcass is checked, a carcass tag will be issued, which must stay with the bear until it arrives at its final destination or during processing at storage facilities/commercial storing facilities.

What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Trophy hunting

What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC)

When Does The Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation Hold Their Meetings?

The ODWC has 12 meetings scheduled for 2019. Dates and locations will be posted on their website

Are The Meeting Open To The Public?

You can find more information here.

Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and Oklahoma's elected General Assembly Members have the power to introduce or vote on proposed law changes.


J.D. Strong, Director of The Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation

Bill Brewster, Commissioner of District 3 of The Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation

Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

HR Outfitters Oklahoma -

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