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Pheasant hunting should be best in north-central Oklahoma

State wildlife director J.D. Strong (left) and his brother-in-law, Bennett Anderson, pose with Strong's buck taken last weekend in Osage County. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

State wildlife director J.D. Strong (left) and his brother-in-law, Bennett Anderson, pose with Strong's buck taken last weekend in Osage County. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Oklahoma's two-month pheasant season opened Friday and hunters likely will not see any dramatic difference from last year.

“I think pheasant (hunting) is going to be decent,” said Derek Wiley, upland game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

“Based on our surveys we saw a few less broods than last year but we saw more total pheasants. I am anticipating similar to last year. Hoping for a little better, but that will depend on where you go.

“North-central Oklahoma looks pretty solid and last year it was pretty good. Grant is one of our historically strong counties. It's been good for a while. Northwest (Oklahoma), based on some reports I am hearing from people, could be a little down from last year.”

Pheasant hunting is restricted to northwest and north-central Oklahoma. Pheasant hunting is allowed in Alfalfa, Beaver, Cimarron, Garfield, Grant, Harper, Kay, Major, Noble, Texas, Woods and Woodward counties, as well as the portion of Osage county west of State Highway 18, and portions of Blaine, Dewey, Ellis, Kingfisher and Logan counties north of State Highway 51.

Bird hunters also have more public hunting options this season. The new Oklahoma Landowner Access Program (OLAP) properties that are now open in northwest and north-central Oklahoma could hold some quail and pheasant.

Hunters statewide also get a bonus bird to shoot in December. This year, dove season re-opened on Friday and will run through Dec. 29.

In addition, the second half of Oklahoma's waterfowl season opens Saturday in Zones 1 and 2. It will remain open through Jan. 21 in Zone 1 and Jan. 28 in Zone 2.

The waterfowl season is currently open in the Panhandle and will remain so through Jan. 10.

Trout fishing begins at Dolese Park

Trout fishing is now underway at the Dolese Youth Park Pond, 5105 NW 50.

The 17th annual trout season at Dolese Park opened Friday and will run through Feb. 28.

Anglers age 16 to 62 must have a state fishing license and a city fishing permit. City fishing permits cost $3.50 per day or $18.50 for an annual permit.

Only one rod and reel is allowed per angler and the daily limit is six trout. Anglers must keep their fish on one stringer with their name and state fishing license number attached. Fish cannot be released once put on a stringer.

Approximately 5,000 rainbow trout will be placed in the pond during the 13-week season and new fish will be added about every two weeks.

For more information, call the H.B. Parsons Fish Hatchery at (405) 297-1426.

State wildlife director gets first buck

Oklahoma's new wildlife director bagged his first buck last weekend.

J.D. Strong, the new director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, has been a bird hunter and bass fisherman all of his life.

His brother-in-law, Bennett Anderson of The Village, is a longtime deer hunter and guide. Anderson operates a deer camp each year in Osage County on a ranch owned by Thatcher and Jemme Drummond, a place where he used to work.

Anderson was adamant that Oklahoma's new wildlife director must experience deer hunting, the state's most popular hunting season.

“I said. ‘J.D. you have to do this. It's not an option. You have to have at least one deer,'” Anderson said.

Strong went deer hunting in Osage County last weekend and was able to kill a 5 x 5 buck that field dressed at 160 pounds.

“I have never seen my brother-in-law this excited,” Anderson said. “It became obvious to me he is absolutely hooked on deer hunting. It now appears J.D. is going to be permanent fixture in my hunt camp.”

Dec. 3 is the final day of Oklahoma's deer gun season.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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