Hunting in Oklahoma
Whether you're after deer, waterfowl, quail, pheasant, turkeys or something more exotic, this round up of diverse Oklahoma hunting grounds will help you find the right spot and see why Oklahoma is one of the top hunting destinations on the southern Plains.
|Photo: Samantha Lamb|
Washington Irving’s 1835 book, A Tour on the Prairies, told of Oklahoma’s abundant wildlife. In a letter to his brother, Irving wrote that he aimed to see the last of the wild game before it was pushed beyond the reach of civilized man. Fortunately, many of the game species mentioned in his 1835 book survived the settlement of Oklahoma – and still make this a top hunting destination on the southern Plains. If you're interested in a Sooner State hunt here are some areas to consider:
Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area
In southwestern Oklahoma, near Frederick, is the Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, which offers 7,100 acres of upland and wetland habitats. Early settlers once drained these prolific wetlands for agricultural use, but this land has since been reclaimed and restored to its native state. Today Hackberry Flat is known as the state’s premier waterfowl-hunting destination. In fact, Field & Stream called Hackberry Flat one of the top 25 public hunting areas in the United States.
Located along the Central Flyway, Hackberry Flat attracts ducks such as mallards, pintails, gadwalls and teal, in addition to Canada and snow geese, sandhill cranes, and upland birds like dove and quail.
If you like deer, the quality herd at the Chain Ranch in Woodward County offers trophy opportunities. With 60,000 acres available for hunting, the outfitters at Chain Ranch put guests on the trail of some of the largest whitetail deer in Oklahoma, along with wild hogs and exotics like ibex and oryx.
The terrain in this part of northwestern Oklahoma varies from river bottoms and canyons to rolling plains, and guests hunt out of established tree stands, tripods, ground blinds and tower stands.
The Chain Ranch offers package archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunts, which include guide service, lodging, meals and field dressing of game.
Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area
The Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area is a haven for hunters in southeast Oklahoma. This McCurtain County property consists of 250,000 acres of pine and hardwood forest, and offers self-guided hunting for white-tailed deer, squirrel and rabbit. There are even two areas offering walk-in-only turkey hunting for those wishing to get away from automobile disturbance.
Field & Stream called Hackberry Flat one of the top 25 public hunting areas in the United States.
Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area is largely primitive, though a limited number of agricultural food plots are planted annually. It's also remote, offering Oklahoma’s truest wilderness experience. Because of this, you may want to consider hunting with a buddy and bringing along any necessary provisions.
A Land Access Permit, available everywhere Oklahoma hunting licenses are sold, is required to utilize Three Rivers WMA. This permit ($40 for Oklahoma residents; $85 for non-residents) is valid for one calendar year.
Meadowlake Ranch features a variety of lodging options including bed and breakfast, cabins and even tepees, which are outfitted with chimeneas. The ranch is happy to host individuals, families or large parties and recommends reservations. And, if you get tired of hunting, Meadowlake offers a dude-ranch option where you can learn to rope a calf, fire a six-shooter and ride a horse.
Quail Ridge Hunting & Sporting Clays
Established in 1999, Quail Ridge Hunting & Sporting Clays is an upland hunting and sporting facility that offers quail, pheasant and chukar hunting near Tecumseh in central Oklahoma. It also features European-style pheasant shoots, sporting clays and overnight accommodations through its cabins and bunkhouse. Guests may hunt with their own dogs or choose one of Quail Ridge’s professional guides and hunt behind his dogs. Upland hunting is available seven days a week from Sept. 1-April 15.