The Oklahoma Wildlife Department is proposing a plan to legalize statewide public elk hunting in 2014.
The plan would allow for archery, muzzleloader and gun hunting, and would run in parallel with Oklahoma’s deer hunting season.
Oklahoma currently limits elk hunting to private land and wildlife refuges in the southwest and northeast regions of the state, which contain the most of the private elk herds.
The state Department of Wildlife’s proposal is intended to curb agricultural damage caused by free-range elk throughout the state.
“It turns elk from a liability for farmers and ranchers into an asset,” said Alan Peoples, chief of the wildlife division for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, in the Oklahoman piece.
Additionally, private land owners to charge hunters trespass fees.
Peoples also said that a survey conducted by his agency showed that each of the state’s 33 counties contain at least six or more free-range elk.
Check out this video of a bull elk making friends with a dog.
The proposed statewide elk hunting season would not interfere with the state’s private elk hunting. Under the proposed plan, Oklahoma hunters who currently hold a lifetime private land elk hunting license would not need to buy a separate license for the public hunt; however, annual private license holders would.
The proposal must be approved by the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission in order to take effect.