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Reported by Eric Suttles, Wildlife Senior Biologist.
Current Buck Rutting Activity: Southeast Region is currently experiencing major rut activity. Bucks are chasing does throughout the day. Scrapes are growing and being visited often.
Habitat Conditions: The acorn crop in the region is spotty. Focus on finding Red Oaks, Blackjack Oaks, Water Oaks and White Oaks. These species are not always in the bottoms, so keep a lookout for them in higher elevations. The weather has been great and forecast looks favorable for great hunting opportunities of all ages.
Hunter and Landowner Reports: Landowners are reporting a good yearling crop of young bucks. They are also seeing a good buck-to-doe ratio over much of the region. It seems very few hunting trips go without seeing a deer. Hunters are seeking the “one” that is right for them and their management goals.
Public Land Best Bets: Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area, Ouachita Wildlife Management Area (LeFlore Unit), and Atoka Public Hunting Area.
Advice for Deer Hunters: If hunting public land, take with you some extra patience. Not only is this good for deer hunting but also when interacting with other hunters. Finding a good spot and hunting that spot with patience is better than walking around disturbing the woods and other hunters.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid: A hunter needs to avoid quitting too early in the day. Plan on hunting until noon. A lot of deer are ready to stretch their legs about the same time you are.
Another big mistake public land hunters need to avoid is not reading this year’s hunting regulations. Regulations change from time to time, so review and stay informed of the latest changes.
Opening Morning Expectations: Expect more hunters in the woods than years past. People are wanting to get outdoors and enjoy a little stress relief. And The Outdoors Are Always Open! So enjoy this year’s deer season but do so with safety and patience.