Representative working on new law to target hunters, hunting accidents

OKLAHOMA CITY -   This past Saturday was a big day for football in the state.

However, about 200,000 Oklahomans decided to hunt instead of tailgate.

The opening weekend of hunting season also brought hundreds of citations.

Like many Oklahomans, Randy Blood has been hunting since he was a child.

He said, “Everybody wants to get a big buck.”

On opening weekend, more people fight the cold in deer stands than in football stadiums.

That’s why the Department of Wildlife wants to warn everyone about hunting safety.

James Edwards Jr., a game warden with the department, said, “There are going to be a lot of people out in the woods hunting but there is also going to be a lot of people around doing their normal daily activities. They need to be aware of that.”

Blood said, “A lot of guys come out and never even shot the weapon that their friend gives them to go hunting with and it’s the first time they’ve shot a gun or maybe they shot BB guns as a kid.”

The high-powered rifles hunters will be using can fire up to a mile or more away.

With the hunt, things don’t always go as planned and accidents can happen.

Blood said, “There are a lot of things that happen that they’re calling an accident that’s not.”

Oklahoma State Representative Scott Biggs is working on a bill that’ll make it a requirement to report hunting accidents.

Doing so will help wardens better enforce the law.

Biggs said, “Immediate notification does not take place right now. Maybe three or four weeks after the fact that game wardens get notice and by that time, it may be too late to do a complete investigation. Notifying them immediately is going to help the game wardens do their job and make it a safer hobby.”

For more information on hunting regulations, visit the Department of Wildlife’s website.