The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's controlled hunts program is open for online applications, with a couple of new options for hunters wanting to safeguard their standing in future drawings.
The annual controlled hunts program allows hunters to enter randomized drawings for ODWC-sanctioned hunts including once-in-a-lifetime elk and antelope hunts, highly sought-after buck hunts, and a range of other quality deer and turkey hunting opportunities.
A list of available hunts and locations will be provided online at https://quotahunt.gooutdoorsoklahoma.com. Account holders will be able to apply for hunts in various categories, all for one $5 entry fee.
The application period will continue through May 20.
New this year, applicants can choose to add PointGuard or Preference Point Only options when they apply.
PointGuard protects a winning hunter's preference points and eligibility for future drawings in case the hunter cannot attend the hunt he or she draws. PointGuard is like an insurance policy that can be claimed anytime before the day of the winner's hunt. This protection costs an additional $5 and can be purchased when applying or before the application deadline.
Preference Point Only is for hunters who choose not to enter in a hunt category but still want to obtain an additional preference point for future drawings in that category. This option is only available during the application period from April 1 to May 20.
To choose the PPO option, the hunter will apply as usual for the standard $5 fee, but the hunter will now have an option to select PPO in each category. Hunters may purchase only one point per category per year. PPO is designed for hunters who already know when they apply that they will not be able to attend hunts during certain times of the year if selected for those hunts.
Controlled hunts are held on Wildlife Department or other government-owned or managed lands where unrestricted hunting would pose safety concerns or where overharvest might occur otherwise. Anyone who experiences difficulty in applying should call the Help Desk at 833-721-1035 or email HelpDesk@GoOutdoorsOklahoma.com. Log on to www.wildlifedepartment.com/ControlledHunts for complete application instructions, including tips on enhancing chances of being selected.
Last year, more than 5,700 controlled hunt permits were available, and a similar number of hunts will be drawn for this year.