Oklahoma Squirrel Hunting Season [Laws & Regulations]

Oklahoma squirrel hunting season

The Sooner State has over 10.5 million acres of forestlands. It has some of the most diverse ecosystems ranging from pine, hardwood, and high Plain grasslands, making it a great place to hunt squirrels and other game animals. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation requires hunters to abide by the laws and regulations put in place. So, let’s take a look at them.

Oklahoma Squirrel Hunting Season

The state offers big and small game hunting to licensed hunters. Squirrel season runs from May 15 – February 28 statewide, with a 25 bag limit regardless of species. Shooting hours start one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour before sunset. Hunters must follow the rules and regulations on the public or private land they are hunting. The dates can change yearly, so check the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation website before heading to the woods.

Who Needs A Hunting License In Oklahoma?

The following residents don’t need a license to hunt in Oklahoma:

  • Residents under 16 years of age
  • Tenants or landowners hunting on privately owned land
  • Veterans with 60% or more disability

There are no exceptions, and if you’re caught hunting without a license, you are subject to fines, license revocations, etc. 

So, what type of squirrels does the state have, and where are some of the best places to hunt? Well, let’s take a look.

Types of Squirrels In Alabama

Oklahoma is home to three species of squirrels, which consist of the following:

  1. Eastern Gray Squirrel
  2. Fox Squirrels
  3. Southern Flying Squirrels

As mentioned above, only the fox and gray squirrels are categorized as small game. The fox squirrel can be seen throughout the state, except in the extreme west panhandle areas.

Oklahoma is one of the few states that allows hunters to hunt ground squirrels. It is legal to hunt prairie dogs year-round, but it is illegal to use artificial light.

It is illegal to hunt the southern flying squirrels. Doing so can result in hefty fines and penalties.

I don’t know if they are protected or endangered, but they are not classified as small game animals.

Where To Hunt Squirrels In Alabama?

There is no shortage of hunting grounds in Oklahoma. Whether you’re a seasoned or beginner hunter, there are several places to hunt squirrels and other small game animals. 

Below is a table of some of the best public Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), according to several online forums.

Gist WMAPine Creek WMAWashita NWRBarren Fork WMA
Fort Cobb WMAThree Rivers WMABeaver River WMA – McFarland UnitCherokee GMA
Wichita Mountains WRHickory Creek WMAOptima NWRCherokee PHA
Grady County WMAWister WRPRita Blanca WMADeep Fork WMA
Mountain Park WMAYourman WMABlack Kettle WMAHulah WMA
Waurika WMAMcCurtain County Wilderness AreaShorb WMAFort Gibson PHA
Cross Timbers WMARed Slough WMAPacksaddle WMALower Illinois River PFHA
Altus-Lugert WMAMcGee Creek WMADrummond Flats WMAOzark Plateau WMA
Sandy Sanders WMABlue River PFHADrewey County WMATenkiller WMA

The ODWC operates and manages over 1.4 million acres of fish and wildlife areas for outdoor recreation. When hunting squirrels, find a WMA with a large squirrel population, flat terrain, and patches of woods that contain hickory, beechnuts, or acorns.

Starting early in the morning or late afternoon will ensure you have a good day, as that’s when they are most active. You can find detailed maps and other wildlife management areas by visiting this website.

This video provides squirrel hunting 101 tips for beginners.

Oklahoma Squirrel Hunting Regulations

Hunters are responsible for understanding and abiding by the hunting rules and regulations. This entails when hours you can hunt, private and public land, bag limits, safety, equipment, etc.

Many people enjoy hunting squirrels, but the laws differ in every state. Here’s what we found when researching the Oklahoma squirrel hunting regulations.

Do You Need A License To Hunt Squirrels In Oklahoma?

Anyone over 16 must acquire a license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). The state offers several types of licenses, and the price will vary depending on the type of license you purchase.

However, a regular hunting license is required for those interested in hunting squirrel, rabbit, or prairie dogs. 

Residents can purchase a lifetime or yearly license. Unless otherwise noted, all licenses and permits are valid from July 1 to June 30 annually.

Here’s a look at the different types available and the fees.

Resident and Non-Resident Licenses

License / PermitFee
Resident Annual Hunting$32
Resident Lifetime Hunting$625
Resident Lifetime Senior Citizen Hunting$15
Resident Youth Hunting (16 and 17 year olds)$7
Resident Lifetime Disabled Hunting/Fishing Combo License$25
Nonresident Annual Hunting License$176
Nonresident 3-Day Wildlife Conservation Passport (no hunting or fishing privileges)$15
Nonresident 5-Day Hunting License$75
Nonresident Trapping License$345

Before purchasing a license, visit the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for updated hunting license details.

How To Purchase A Hunting License In Oklahoma?

Oklahomans and out-of-state residents can purchase a hunting license online by visiting this website. The ODWC sells fishing and hunting licenses in more than 700 stores throughout the state. 

These stores include bait shops, sporting good stores, convenience stores, and large discount centers.

Individuals who want to purchase a license will need the following:

  • Valid state driver’s license
  • Social security number for identification
  • Hunters education course (if required)

Licenses are valid 365 days from the date of purchase.

Do I Need To Take A Hunters Education Course to Get A Hunting License?

Anyone under 30 years of age when applying for a license must complete a state-approved hunter education course. The course is available to anyone over 10 years of age.

If you fall into the following categories, you’re exempt from having to take the course:

  • Anyone 31 or older when applying for a license.
  • Residents honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Active members of the U.S Armed Forces or National Guard

The hunter education course is an eight-hour course that covers safety topics, wildlife conservation, and management, wildlife identification, etc. 

It has decreased hunting-related accidents and fatalities since its implementation 40 years ago.

Watch this video to find out more about the requirements.

Bag Limits

Oklahoma has one of the most liberal squirrel hunting seasons and bag limits in the nation. The bag limit is 25 gray and fox squirrels combined per day and 50 in possession after opening day.

Oklahoma Small Game Animals

Whether you enjoy hunting squirrels or not, Oklahoma classifies squirrels and rabbits as small game animals. Here’s what you need to know.

SpeciesSeason DatesDaily LimitsShooting Hours
Squirrel Fox & GrayMay 15 – February 2825 Combinedone-half hour before official sunrise to official sunset
Rabbits Cottontail, Jackrabbit, & SwampOctober 1 – March 153 daily, depending on which counties you are inone-half hour before official sunrise to official sunset

Hunting Methods

According to Oklahoma hunting laws and regulations, hunters can use any legal and approved hunting method that is currently in use.

You’ll be fine if you have a permit or license and abide by the rules and regulations.

Can You Hunt Squirrels At Night In Oklahoma?

No, the laws allow hunters to hunt rabbits and squirrels one-half hour before official sunrise to one-half hour before official sunset.

This time and date website will give you the official sunrise and sunset times, which change according to the season.

Can You Use A Dog To Hunt Squirrels In Alabama?

Yes, but dogs must always be kept on a leash when hunting on public lands. The only exception is when hunting during legal open seasons and in areas where hunting is permitted.

Hunters must abide by the rules and regulations of the hunting area. Failure to do so can result in fines.

Can You Hunt From A Motorized Vehicle In Alabama?

You can hunt from a motor vehicle when the motor is shut off, and the vehicle has stopped moving.

It is illegal to hunt on public roads such as highways. Using artificial lighting to blind the animals is illegal and can result in harsh penalties.

Violation of this law will result in fourth-degree misdemeanors.

A fourth-degree penalty consists of a $150 but not more than $300 fine and a possible revocation of your hunting privileges. 

Hunters must abide by the rules and regulations of the area they are hunting. Understanding the laws and regulations, failure to do so can result in harsh penalties and fines.

Do You Have To Wear Orange Or Camouflage To Hunt Squirrels?

All hunters, hunting bears, deer, or elk, must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange or camouflage orange. This includes outer garments above the waistline and a head covering.

Everyone else, including trappers (except those hunting waterfowl, dove, or furbearing animals at night), must wear hunter orange clothing above the waist, such as vests, jackets, shirts, etc., while hunting during deer, elk, antelope, or bear season.

Equipment and Gear

Equipping yourself with the right gear can make all the difference in your hunting experience. Here is some essential hunting gear:

  • Hunting License and Permit: A valid hunting license and a small game permit are required to hunt squirrels. 
  •  Boots: Sturdy and comfortable boots are essential for walking and hiking in the woods.
  •  Game Bag: A bag or backpack to carry hunting gear and harvested squirrels.
  •  Binoculars: for scouting squirrel activity from a distance.
  •  Knife: A sharp knife is necessary for field dressing and skinning squirrels.
  •  Hunting Clothing: Camouflage clothing that matches the environment can help blend in and stay hidden from squirrels.
  •  Ammunition: Depending on your weapon of choice or bow used, appropriate ammunition or bolts are necessary for hunting squirrels.
  •  Map and Compass: A map and compass can help you navigate in the woods and find your way back to camp or your vehicle.

Safety Tips and Considerations

Following safe hunting practices and being aware of squirrel conservation efforts is essential when hunting in Oklahoma.

Since some squirrel species in the state are protected, understanding local regulations and conservation initiatives is crucial.

Final Word

Oklahoma Squirrel Hunting Season laws and regulations are in place to protect squirrels, other small game animals, and hunters alike.

Make sure you research the rules and regulations before heading out on your hunting trip. Remember that a valid license is required for hunting, and a hunter education course is required to obtain one.

Stay safe, follow the rules, and enjoy your hunt!

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