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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this is weird but I'm not sure how to do this otherwise. I called some nice folks at ODWC to try to learn some stuff and they tried, but I think I need some firsthand interactions/conversations and I'd prefer not to have to learn everything on my own if I can get some support. I asked about joining Hunter Ed to make some connections and they advised that all Hunter Ed is now on line so even though I am credentialed and experienced, they didn't seem particularly motivated to add me.

I moved to OK, from Oregon, in the last couple of months with my wife (who no longer hunts with me - doesn't want to be hot, cold or wet anymore - go figure; and our son (doesn't hunt) and daughter in law (doesn't hunt)). When we moved here, we knew no one and had only visited Tulsa one time in December 2020. We moved to be part of Free America and so far it has worked out pretty darn well EXCEPT... I have no idea how to get started deer and turkey hunting in OK. I know how to hunt (rifle, bow, muzzleloader, shotgun), but I am new to whitetails. BTW, I love to fish as well and so far have fished TK, Lower Illinois and Grand. I am going to try FTG next.

Anyway, I'm looking for an OK mentor, farmer, rancher, someone who would be up to get me started on places, techniques, areas, approaches, etc. I'm willing to do what I can to repay someone willing to support my efforts and I'm happy to focus my efforts on public land even if that isn't the most amazing option. Does eat like bucks. If there are any private land options out there, I am willing to consider helping out driving a tractor, throwing hay, etc. We owned a small farm for 15 years in Oregon where we bred cattle, goats, sheep, raised bees, a huge orchard/garden, etc. Ultimately I'd like to get some land, and will, but am not even sure how much or where. Presently we live in Broken Arrow.

My background. I work remotely now running a small Oregon based company. If you think you might want to help me, I can give you some LinkedIn information, some references, etc. and you can spook me to see while I might seem slightly desperate, I do have a job and track record of success.

Hunting-wise, I'm in shape and am used to walking in to hunt in OR (4-10+ miles/day). Archery elk in NE Oregon for Rockies and long range rifle in SW Oregon for Blacktails. I took a long hiatus from hunting to support a son that played college sports. I resumed about 5 years ago. Prior to taking that time out, I lived and hunted in AK for 8 years (sheep, goat, deer, musk ox, caribou, moose, ducks, geese, grouse, ptarmigan, etc.). I was a licensed assistant guide in AK. I currently have a USCG UOPV credential. I am an IHEA certified Hunter Ed Instructor. I was President of the Rogue Valley Chapter of Oregon Hunters Association (1000 members) which raised funding to support Oregon's wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage. It's a large organization with a great mission.

I'm a rule follower personality, so if it's illegal, unethical or immoral, I'm not interested personally or professionally. Illustratively, I have been chewed out for passing on a "for sure" Booner about 50 yards on the wrong side of a fence with a scoped rifle in my hands. It just isn't my thing to cheat myself, or others.

There are a lot of things that will humble a man, and this one has me very humbled. If you have constructive suggestions on how I might attack this new learning curve, I would deeply appreciate your insight(s). Maybe breakfast, or lunch or dinner or ? Thanks for considering my situation and how you might be able to assist.
 

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You're going about it the right way with volunteering to work for access. Unfortunately 1/3 of Texas (exaggeration) has moved here too over the last few years and they like to throw money at everything...so private land access is going the way of leases.

If you don't want to dig your wallet out to hunt, public land is going to be your best bet.

Oklahoma isn't what it was even five years ago.
 

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First of all, welcome to Oklahoma!!! You sound like the type of person I like to hunt with. That said, I'm afraid I can't be of any help. I'm a hundred miles away from you and hunt very little nowadays. BUT ... there are of a lot of good folks here and I'm sure some of them will be stepping up with some options for you. Again, WELCOME!
 

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Welcome to the community. I hate saying it but Diggler is absolutely right in what he said, we are the new Kansas and saying one third of Mexas is probably an understatement. Just in the areas around me I have seen several parcels get sold to folks from the wrong side of the red river. Those are some odd folk down there, not sure if Texas is even Mexas anymore looking more like “little Cali”. Plenty of public land here in this great state with the closest to you probably being around Wagoner if I’m thinking correct.
 

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Welcome to the community. I hate saying it but Diggler is absolutely right in what he said, we are the new Kansas and saying one third of Mexas is probably an understatement. Just in the areas around me I have seen several parcels get sold to folks from the wrong side of the red river. Those are some odd folk down there, not sure if Texas is even Mexas anymore looking more like “little Cali”. Plenty of public land here in this great state with the closest to you probably being around Wagoner if I’m thinking correct.
OR is little CA. Kate is Gavin's lil sis. It's hard to explain it unless you live it, but it's a tough deal. Born in OR and lived there 4 times in my life, this last time for 19 years. Like everything that changes, some things don't go the way you want them to. I have been looking at the FTG WMA maps trying to figure out how to best approach that area. I will figure it out at some point, but it would be far more efficient if I can find someone to help guide me along. Besides, hunting and fishing have a huge camaraderie component for me. You want to share the suffering and success - nothing like looking into your hunting partner's eyes and laughing "on a break" hunched over, when you are both wiped out, but still have several hundred feet up, and a few miles, to get your meat out of the canyon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First of all, welcome to Oklahoma!!! You sound like the type of person I like to hunt with. That said, I'm afraid I can't be of any help. I'm a hundred miles away from you and hunt very little nowadays. BUT ... there are of a lot of good folks here and I'm sure some of them will be stepping up with some options for you. Again, WELCOME!
I appreciate the welcome. I hope you are correct and someone can stand in the gap to inch me along. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're going about it the right way with volunteering to work for access. Unfortunately 1/3 of Texas (exaggeration) has moved here too over the last few years and they like to throw money at everything...so private land access is going the way of leases.

If you don't want to dig your wallet out to hunt, public land is going to be your best bet.

Oklahoma isn't what it was even five years ago.
Neither is Oregon, but the vast amounts of public out there put most everyone on a level playing field. If you are willing to get in shape and suffer the walks, you can have some success but there's nothing easy about all those miles. I love being in the bushes. I will keep trying to learn about public options and start doing some walks to try to figure it out. Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts.
 

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Welcome to the board, and for the record, I’m one of the SOB Texans that owns hunting land in OK. I’ve been hunting in OK on and off since the mid 70’s, so I still remember when seeing a deer in OK was a rarity.
There’s ALOT of public land in OK, and you should also look at the OLAP map on the ODWC website.
 

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Welcome to OKH. I’m of not real help as I moved outta OKC 2 years ago. I was a public land hunter.
 
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Welcome to Oklahoma Hunter! I'm also 100 miles from you but do visit Broken Arrow on a regular basis. Mother In Law is in a assisted living there, so we go visit as much as we can.
I also recommend looking at the OLAP lands. Most are archery or shotgun only though.
Oklahoma is bless with a lot of deer. The deer in the SE have small body weight but huge antlers. The NW and SW have big heavy deer with big racks to go with it.
We have a post in the hunting forum with links to public areas.
(31) Corps of Engineers hunting areas | Oklahoma Hunting Forum (oklahomahunter.net)
The Keystone public hunting area is huge. If one doesn't mind and it appears you don't, get over around the Blackburn area, walk in and do some scouting.
I know your looking for info about whitetail habits.
Our whitetail are edge dwellers, but they are also lazy and creatures of habit. If there is a big meadow, look about 10-20' inside the tree line around it. There will probably be a deer trail that's easily located. Don't walk on it, but keep following around the meadow until you see where it crosses the meadow. Usually in a small neck, they will come out of the woods and cross there. Great ambush point.
I really like creek crossings. The deer will almost always cross at the same point where it is the easiest unless they are spooked or pressured. The trail will be very distinct.
;)
Our deer are like every other critter. They survive by their eyesight and ability to smell danger so be ready to set up different stands depending on what direction the wind may be coming from that day.
Two ways to hunt them here. Sitting in a stand or still hunting on foot. The stand hunters are typically gutting their deer by 9am while watching the still hunters tromping around the woods and finally understand why it's called still hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome to Oklahoma Hunter! I'm also 100 miles from you but do visit Broken Arrow on a regular basis. Mother In Law is in a assisted living there, so we go visit as much as we can.
I also recommend looking at the OLAP lands. Most are archery or shotgun only though.
Oklahoma is bless with a lot of deer. The deer in the SE have small body weight but huge antlers. The NW and SW have big heavy deer with big racks to go with it.
We have a post in the hunting forum with links to public areas.
(31) Corps of Engineers hunting areas | Oklahoma Hunting Forum (oklahomahunter.net)
The Keystone public hunting area is huge. If one doesn't mind and it appears you don't, get over around the Blackburn area, walk in and do some scouting.
I know your looking for info about whitetail habits.
Our whitetail are edge dwellers, but they are also lazy and creatures of habit. If there is a big meadow, look about 10-20' inside the tree line around it. There will probably be a deer trail that's easily located. Don't walk on it, but keep following around the meadow until you see where it crosses the meadow. Usually in a small neck, they will come out of the woods and cross there. Great ambush point.
I really like creek crossings. The deer will almost always cross at the same point where it is the easiest unless they are spooked or pressured. The trail will be very distinct.
;)
Our deer are like every other critter. They survive by their eyesight and ability to smell danger so be ready to set up different stands depending on what direction the wind may be coming from that day.
Two ways to hunt them here. Sitting in a stand or still hunting on foot. The stand hunters are typically gutting their deer by 9am while watching the still hunters tromping around the woods and finally understand why it's called still hunting.
Thanks. Had not heard of the OLAP stuff so you are coaching me up. I will learn some more about those options. Archery and shotgun are both options I am comfortable with although I will have to learn a llittle more about shooting from trees. I did a little in OR for BTs in the timber and had success but most of my recent experience was long range on open oak/grass hillsides.

What does everyone do for packing deer out? Do folks walk into these places and drag or pack out. In OR if you win it, you carry it. A long ways in some tough country sometimes.

My wife is all over me about snakes and ticks. What is it I need to be thinking about for these issues?

Thanks again for taking the time to offer some learnings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welcome to the board, and for the record, I’m one of the SOB Texans that owns hunting land in OK. I’ve been hunting in OK on and off since the mid 70’s, so I still remember when seeing a deer in OK was a rarity.
There’s ALOT of public land in OK, and you should also look at the OLAP map on the ODWC website.
Thanks for the OLAP suggestion. I will look into it. I am already learning with your help. Thank you.
 

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Fortunately I hunt in a county that has zero poisonous snakes but ticks are a different story.
Wetting your clothing with permethrin then allowing it to dry before wearing will keeps them ticks at bay. You can even get a couple of washings before needing to reapply.
It’s available at Walmart camping section in an aerosol can.
As far as snakes, just watch where you put your feet. Later in the season they will hibernate.
Most folks either use a deer cart to recover deer or after field dressing, drag them out with a rope.
Buying one of the “deer sleighs” from bass pro or cabellas will help a lot in dragging one out. It’s a plastic sheer with grommets around the edge so one can lace up the deer and making the drag much easier on the slick plastic. It’s light enough to carry in the field with you so you don’t have to walk back to the truck for a cart.
 
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To add to Dennis' suggestions, you can get permethrin at Tractor Supply and dilute it down to save a few bucks. I have snake gaiters that I'll wear some until it gets cooler. I have came across a couple of pygmy rattlers so being cautious. The plastic sled is a great idea. I have also found a padded ski rope handle with about 10' of nylon rope to work well.

Don't forget chiggers in your list! Luckily permethrin works on them as well. Be sure to let sprayed clothes dry.
 

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Long story short, born and raised in Oregon. Had some good hunting almost exclusively n the Southern Oregon Foothills. (called mountains in OK.).

First deer 1964-Oregon Blacktail, Jackson County.

Head Elk Eye Deer Fawn


Last Oregon Blacktail-1986, Josephine County.

Deer Elk Organism Mammal Grey


Left Oregon for my career, ended up in Oklahoma in 2014-widower chasing a Okie Widow. She caught me. Lately age and infirmity dictated a change in hunting style for me. All my life I worked hard, played hard and accumulated back, shoulder, knee and heart injuries. For me getting down and up from the ground is difficult. I have adapted my hunting style here in Oklahoma to paying outfitters.

I Don't particularly care for sitting in a deer stand. But having a younger than me guide doing all the work, taking care of my deer sure is nice. I do miss the walking around and the exercise. They say you are only as old as you feel. If I were 63 I would be looking for a lease and all the work that is involved in that. But I am 73 and some days I even feel older. I do not think I could do it now. But I am still hunting

Good luck with your quest to hunt OK deer.
 
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