Public meetings on proposed changes in the state’s hunting and fishing regulations are scheduled Tuesday (Jan. 10) in Poteau and Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City meeting will be at the headquarters of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, 1801 N. Lincoln Boulevard.
The meeting in Poteau will be at the Kiamichi Technology Center. Both begin at 7 p.m.
There also will be a town hall meeting in Antlers on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Wildlife Heritage Center where the hot topic of discussion is expected to be about the Honobia Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Restricting ATVs to established roads only on the Honobia Creek WMA is one of the proposed regulation changes the Wildlife Department is wanting to implement.
Ending off-roading on Honobia Creek has angered many recreational riders and businesses in the area who profit from the tourism.
Alan Peoples, head of the wildlife division for the state Wildlife Department said, the three timber investment groups that own Honobia Creek want to restrict ATVs to established roads only because of the damage they are causing to the land.
Off-roading already has been restricted at the nearby Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area and the new agreement with the landowners for public use of Honobia Creek calls for the same.
“If we don’t adhere to that agreement, we will lose use of the land entirely,” Peoples said.
Sportsmen have through Friday (Jan. 13) to comment on any of the proposed changes online at www.wildlifedepartment.com.
Other proposed rule changes to the state’s hunting and fishing regulations are:
- To make it unlawful to bait wildlife on all of the state’s wildlife management areas
- To change the bear archery season to Oct. 1 through the third Sunday in October and eliminate the 20-bear total quota for bear archery season
- To set the statewide daily limit of striped bass at five, except at Lake Texoma
- To eliminate daily harvest limits on furbearers so that only season limits apply.
- To make it legal to harvest two does during the deer youth gun season. The bag limit is currently one antlered deer and one antlerless deer. The total number of deer taken would remain two per hunter.