New Hunter

cdragen

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So I finally got my act together and went elk hunting after living in CO for nearly 30 years (granted a good portion of that was as a child)...and then three months later we sold the house and moved to Tulsa. I've been wanting to get out hunting here, but for a few reasons it seems a little harder to jump into. The biggest obstacle to me is that in Colorado a large portion of the state is National Forest, BLM, or other public lands, and getting a tag for a GMU/WMA in public lands is relatively easy. Public lands seem a little more sparse here by comparison, and unfortunately I don't know a lot of people with land willing to let me rifle hunt, and I'm not a bow hunter (yet anyway). On my elk hunt, we tracked herds across ridges and over mountains, but with less public land tracking and stalking deer seems less feasible here, and I hear more about blinds, tree stands, and feeders.

It just seems like a very different ballgame than what I had learned about and prepared for in Colorado, and I'm hoping some of you can de-mystify it for me and help me learn how to hunt in Oklahoma. Where are good places to go? How do I need to change my approach to hunting? Is my rifle (Savage Model 10 in .308) appropriate for deer or should I use a smaller rifle? What am I not asking that a new hunter should ask? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 

Toothpick

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.308 is a great choice.
1. You are going to have to get a relationship with landowner(s), knock on doors, go to coffee shops, meet folks at church, etc. to gain their trust and access. This is not easy, I have spent all day knocking on doors when I was younger. When I got a positive response, to dove hunt or call a coyote, I asked what they needed help with. I wasn’t a ranch hand, but could help work cattle, mend fence, etc. I always bought them a Christmas/birthday gift even if it was something small (all I could afford). Or…
2. You can lease land

Deer hunting in Ok involves sitting in a stand and using the wind to your advantage. I took a guy from Pennsylvania hunting, walked him to a stand and said that I know the land and he needed to stay in this stand until 8:30 or 9:00 and then meet me in the truck because we had work to do. At 7:30, I see him on the North 40 walking around. That is not effective in OK, apparently not much in Pennsylvania either because he told me it took him 20 years to kill a deer. I told him to stick to pheasant and never took him hunting again.
The guys on the board will give great advice. Sorry about the ramble, he would have shot a deer that morning if he would have listened.
 

swampratt

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Oklahoma has many thousands of acres to hunt that is managed by the wildlife department.
many of my deer and turkey come off public land that is owned by the wildlife department.


Yes there will be other hunters but the places I go are a bit of a walk from the vehicle and most hunters do not want to walk in that far.
Do you need to walk in far.
No .

Many times i have just got out of the car and walked a few feet and got my deer.
More of a killing than a hunting trip.

I do not use feeders on public land in fact you can't legally do it.
No baiting etc either.

I do not sit in a stand.
I will climb a tree now and then and sit on a branch.
But I have stood on the ground and leaned against a tree and killed many deer.
 

retrieverman

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My recommendation is to spend a little money and get on a lease. In my opinion, it would be easier to actually “see” what other hunters do than to have random people on an internet message board try to tell you what to do. Deer hunting isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little skill and a lot of luck.

As far as your rifle, it should be perfect for killing deer (and pigs). :thumb:
 

cdragen

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Thank you all for the replies, I appreciate the perspectives and advice. Sounds like I need to find a rifle deer hunter in my area to apprentice (which I should have guessed), but it seems like everybody I know bow hunts. I'm not opposed to learning to bow hunt, but I am not equipped for it, and I'm not ready to drop a lot of $$ on a bow hunting setup. It also seems that whether you stalk or blind is dependent on several factors, but maybe I shouldn't give up on public lands. I'll keep checking with neighbors and folks in my area to see what I can do to get some hunting access. Guess I'm just not used to people being open to that--land owners in CO were very John Dutton-like in their property access stance (I don't watch Yellowstone, but am I allowed to make the reference anyway?).

And thanks for mentioning hogs--I meant to mention I'm also interested in helping reduce the hog and coyote population. Glad to know what I've got will work for that too.
 

cdragen

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Follow up question: my wife and I were talking about it and she brought up the fact that we are getting short on room in the freezer (we're in it for the meat), but after mentioning to a buddy, he reminded me that deer are much smaller than elk and that I'm not going to put 200 lbs of meat in the freezer from a single take. How much meat do you get from an average sized buck or doe?
 

Okie4570

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Adult doe vary from 70-130lbs, mature bucks up to 230lbs depending on which corner of the state you're in. Figure about 40%-60% of the field dressed weight in meat, which also varies in how picky and thorough you are about scavenging the meat when butchering.
 

Cowbaby

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1.5 million acres of Public land down here in southeast corner that goes over into Arkansas for maybe 100miles. But don't believe everything you hear about stand hunting only. I do stand hunt some but with the amount of wide open land and hunting pressure down here it becomes somewhat pointless after about the 3-4th day unless your on a major traveling trail or other hunters run it to you. Most everything I get down this way is through stalk hunting, organized drives with other peopel or climbing to good spot that is almost inaccessible to most people and then sitting down with a good view. Its just too vast and gets a lot of hunting pressure in the easy to get to stuff near the roads.
Deer down here stay poorer, the terrain is just straight up or down for the most part, rough and rocky plus the mature bucks never stop traveling during rut. 130-140lb field dressed is usually pretty dang good. How much you put up from that depends on whatand how much you keep and how you decide to butcher it from there.
Different world than private land hunting and shooting their head in the feed bucket. Stuffs movin and not waiting around all photogenic like for you to snap a picture. lol, Certainly not the best hunting in the state but I occasionally see a few Boone and Crockett stuff come out of here over the years. Including one that would have been the state record if it had been taken legally in a season. Yea we have a lot of that kind of thing too.
.308 is fine and while not one of my personal favs it has a huge following and will get-er-done.
 
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