How does dove hunting on Christmas day sound? Or even New Year’s Day?
The 2011 dove season will be Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 as usual, but the entire state will get nine more days of dove hunting from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1.
The December dove season had only been open in portions of southwest Oklahoma in a special dove hunting zone that was approved because there were so many birds roosting along the Red River in the winter.
But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed for more hunting days this season in Oklahoma so the Wildlife Department has elected to give all hunters across the state a chance for holiday dove hunting this season.
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission approved the season dates at its July meeting.
Commissioners also established the early hunting season dates for teal and resident geese.
The early teal season will be Sept. 10-25 statewide with a daily bag limit of four. The special Canada goose season will be Sept. 10-19 with a daily bag limit of eight.
B.A.S.S. is doing something new, and kind of screwy in my opinion, in its post-season format this year.
Instead of qualifying its top 12 anglers in the season point standings to the post-season tournaments as in the past, B.A.S.S. is only taking the top eight.
The final four spots will be determined by fan voting. Instead of getting in based on merit, it becomes a popularity contest. It doesn’t seem fair to the guys who finished ninth through 12th in the point standings but B.A.S.S. is trying to generate more fan interest in pro bass fishing.
However, this new format could be good for Ardmore angler Jeff Kriet, who did not finish in the top 12 but was leading the voting in Region 2 as of Tuesday. Tommy Biffle of Wagoner was fourth behind Denny Brauer and Rick Clunn in that region.
Oklahoma already has one pro angler in the field, Talala’s Edwin Evers, who finished second to Kevin VanDam for the Bassmaster Angler of the Year title for the second consecutive year.
Evers is one of three Oklahoma anglers who have qualified for next year’s Bassmaster Classic. The others are Kriet and Bixby pro Fred Roumbanis.
Voting continues for the final four spots to the $100,000 post-season events in Alabama at Vote.Bassmaster.com through Sunday.
Oklahoma fishing fans hopefully will cast enough votes to put another Okie casting in the post-season tournaments, which begin July 23-24 at Alabama’s Lake Jordan then moves to the Alabama River for the July 29-31 finale.
The four winners will be announced July 13.
Oklahoma hunters will have another option for public hunting this fall.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission passed emergency rules for the Cross Timbers Wildlife Management Area in Love County in southern Oklahoma.
The new WMA will be open during most hunting seasons except the deer muzzleloader and gun seasons.
Deer gun hunts and muzzleloader deer hunts on Cross Timbers will be available next year by random drawing through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s controlled hunts program.
This year’s controlled hunt results are now available on the Wildlife Department’s website, www.wildlifedepartment.com.
Small game hunting also will not be allowed on Cross Timbers beginning on the opening day of deer archery season through the first nine days of deer gun season.
Cross Timbers is almost 8,000 acres, with 6,100 acres owned by the Wildlife Department. The remaining portion is leased to the department.
A portion of all hunting and fishing licenses sold in Oklahoma are earmarked for land acquisition.
The money goes to a Wildlife Department fund used to buy land to create more public hunting and fishing opportunities.
Most of the hunting opportunities on Cross Timbers will be for deer, turkey, feral hogs and small game.