from OSU Extension

 It appears hunter education pays off. Over the last 30 years, hunting accidents have been reduced by 32 percent nationwide. This can be attributed to the fact that 49 states now require hunter education. In addition, laws are in place requiring hunter orange and restricting loaded firearms in vehicles.

In Oklahoma, hunters 9 years of age or younger must be hunter education certified in order to hunt deer.

Certified hunters between the ages of 10 and 35 can buy any hunting license (if required) and hunt big or small game alone.

Those who are 15 or younger and no license is required, must carry their hunter education certification while hunting small game.

There are three options for completing the hunter education certification, including attending the traditional 8-hour class, the home study class or the Internet version of the home study class.

Deer hunters using a firearm are required to wear both a head covering and an outer garment above the waistline in hunter orange. The orange color must total at least 400 square inches. Camouflage hunter orange is permitted in Oklahoma.

To help ensure food safety for wild game, the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU developed “Wild Game Food Safety – Venison,” an instructional DVD containing four segments.

Viewers may select sections on “Field Dressing,” “Processing” and “Food Safety” related to handling venison. .

The DVD is available for check out at the Delaware County OSU Extension Office (918-253-4332) as well as posted online in streamed format at

http://oces.okstate.edu/nwdistrict  for access by anyone with Internet capabilities.

For  more information about hunting in Oklahoma, go to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife’s Web site at

www.wildlifedepartment.com.