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Hunting, fishing rules could change under Oklahoma Wildlife Department proposal

A blond prairie dog (they look about like a cat with no ears and a short tail) stands on a patch of dry grass.
Jena Donnell
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Proposed rules would close prairie dog hunting on the Cooper, Beaver River, and Sandy Sanders wildlife management areas.

Every year, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation revises the rules that govern hunting and fishing across the state.

This year’s proposed fishing updates would limit anglers to 10 native non-game fish per day. Oklahoma’s native non-game fish, like gar and carpsuckers, usually aren’t valued as meals, so catching them is often for sport.

The changes would also ban people who fish with bows or spears from returning fish they’ve shot to the water, instead requiring them to properly dispose of the carcasses.

Back on land, potential new rules would require hunters to pick up their shotgun shells in wildlife management areas, as they’d be classified as litter. And prairie dog hunting could come to an end on some state-managed lands.

These are only a few of the proposed rules changes listed on the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s website. The public can share input on them through Dec. 8 by filling out an online comment form or mailing comments to the ODWC. A public meeting will also be held on Dec. 7 at the ODWC’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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