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Are Hunting Rules Different for Children?

Oklahoma, like many states, has age requirements on hunting. It’s important to understand hunting rules for children, as the child’s age determines whether a license is required and whether the child must complete a hunter education course. In 2011, Oklahoma updated its hunting regulations, including requirements for apprentice hunting licenses and hunter education. The following information is up-to-date.

Hunting Licenses for Kids

Children who are 10 and under are required to complete a hunter education course and be accompanied by a licensed hunter who is at least 21 years old. Kids who are at least 11 are allowed to hunt alone if they have completed a hunter education course and purchased a license.

Youth deer gun licenses are required for every deer hunted. Children who are 16-17 years old need a hunting license to hunt deer, but kids who are under 16 are exempt from getting a license. Youths are allowed to harvest a turkey in Oklahoma counties with a fall rifle turkey season, as long as the youth has a turkey license.

Youth hunting licenses in Oklahoma include:

  • Youth hunting license (16- and 17-year-olds), $5
  • Youth combination hunting/fishing license (16- and 17-year-olds), $9
  • Youth deer archery license (under 18), $10
  • Youth deer primitive license, antlered or antlerless (under 18), $10
  • Youth deer gun license, antlered or antlerless (under 18), $10
  • Youth holiday antlerless deer gun license (under 18), $10

Apprentice Hunting Licenses

An apprentice hunting license permit can be purchased for youths aged 8 and older who have not completed hunter education certification. The minimum age for an apprentice license was lowered from 10 to 8 a few years ago to allow 8- and 9-year-olds to participate in youth deer hunting season without completing hunter education.

Kids with an apprentice license must follow regular hunting requirements and be accompanied by a hunter who is at least 18 and who is certified, licensed, or exempt. During big game hunting, the hunter must stay within arm’s reach of the apprentice hunter to take immediate control of the bow or firearm if necessary. With small game hunting, the apprentice youth must stay within sight.