OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State Department of Wildlife Conservation is taking public comment on dozens of new proposed rules.
One proposal said if a hunter leaves behind their shotgun shells, that’s littering.
“It’s pretty simple, pick up your trash,” said Micah Holmes, with the ODWC. “Our game wardens, if they find a situation where someone is littering and is leaving shotgun shells, they could, you know, write a ticket for that.”
Another proposal limits the hunting of “velvet bucks.”
“That would allow a limited harvest, of I believe, it’s ten bucks, to be taken in a draw system,” said Holmes.
A bowfishing rule is gaining attention. It would be a 10 fish bag limit, per day, on non-game native fish.
Holmes said some non-game native fish can live up to 50 years, meaning the episodic spawners reach sexual maturity later in life.
“We want to provide as much opportunity to the public as possible, but while at the same time conserving those species for generations to come,” said Holmes. “What’s different about bow fishing, there’s no catch and release.”
The ODWC said bow fisherman are great for catching unlimited amounts of invasive fish.
Stephen Banaszak currently holds the state record for the biggest silver carp caught in Oklahoma. However, Banaszak said spots to hunt invasive fish are limited, whereas spots to catch non-game fish are plentiful.
“Native non-game fish are going to be over three times more heavily regulated than game fish. So, if you wanted to go out and shoot every species you’re allowed to shoot, you wouldn’t be able to make it half-way through,” said Banaszak. “If this is allowed to go through without any sort of data showing it’s necessity, what’s to say they can’t do that with something else?”
Banaszak adds this rule could hurt the already small bowfishing community. It wouldn’t be worth the time or the money.
“All we’re asking for is the same respect that all other anglers and outdoorsmen are getting,” said Banaszak.
The ODWC is taking public comment on the proposed rules now unitl December 8th. Then, the commission will vote on them around the beginning of the year, before the rules go into effect six months later.