OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The public is invited to express their opinions on a series of proposed rule changes for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is proposing several changes to the administrative rules that govern hunting, fishing, and department operations.
Some of the proposed rule changes involve hunting restrictions.
One proposed change increases the deer gun hunting season by adding seven days to the end of the current season. Also, another change would open all of Osage County to pheasant hunting.
Another proposed rule change would establish restrictions on importing cervid carcasses or carcass parts to help prevent potential chronic wasting disease infectious materials from coming into Oklahoma from out-of-state.
In January, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation proposed adding language to its rules that deal with the import, transport or possession of deer carcasses and live deer to help protect Oklahoma’s deer and elk populations from chronic wasting disease.
“Oklahoma deer hunters may have heard about chronic wasting disease afflicting deer and elk in other states. ODWC has been following the progress of CWD for decades and is making preparations in case the disease is detected in the state’s wild herd,” Micah Holmes, Information Supervisor for ODWC, said at the time.
Chronic Wasting Disease is a neurological disease that attacks the brains of deer, elk, moose and other members of the deer family. The disease creates holes in the brain, which is always fatal to the animal. It is a slow-progressing disease with a long lag between infection and visible symptoms.
Infected animals began to lose weight, lose appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to separate from the herd, walk in repetitive patterns, stumble or tremble, carry their head low, salivate, urinate frequently and grind their teeth.
At this point, no treatment or vaccine exists.
Other rule changes include expanding the Lower Mountain Fork River Trout Area boundaries and revise trout size limits, bag limits, and tackle restrictions.
To read all of the proposed changes, click here.
The public comment period for the proposed rule changes is open until 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 3.