MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

November 19, 2009

Rut will benefit deer gun season, but will weather?

Saturday morning when Oklahoma gun hunters head to the field for another whitetail 16-day gun season the rut should be in full swing. I witnessed two bucks chasing does when I was coming in from bow hunting this week. Talking with other hunters they all agree the rut just started this week. Several large bodied deer have been taken already during primitive and bow season. Art Brown of Tahlequah harvested a 180 class deer this week and said the cooler weather is making for lots of deer movement. He sixteen day gun season should be one of Oklahoma’s best if the weather stays cooler.

The full moon and hot weather slowed the bow hunting down for the first two weeks of this month. Interesting note is that 65 percent of last year’s total deer harvest was taken during the deer gun season. That’s a lot of deer considering there was 111,427 deer harvested last year, the second-largest deer harvest ever on record.

What I’m predicting is that 2009 will be the largest deer harvest ever if the weather is cool and not too windy during the 16 days. The revenue deer gun season provides for Oklahoma economy is in the many millions of dollars each year and is much needed with this year’s struggling economy.

Also worth noting — the acorn crop this year has been very good. Good rains early and warm weather made a bumper crop this year. Lots of green foliage and browse are still around with the continuing rains and sunshine we have been seeing this October and November. High winds in October have removed most the leaves on the trees making the woods look like late December. The ground is very muddy and with forecast of more rain to come, getting around during gun season on some roads will require four wheel drive vehicles. Be prepared for some muddy roads this gun season, especially on the heavily traveled public hunting lands.

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