The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) is mandated to manage, protect, and perpetuate Oklahoma’s wildlife. ODWC issues permits to landowners, lessees or their designated agents to control nuisance or damage by regulated species of wildlife or feral hogs. The NWCO program was developed to provide assistance to the public who encounter such problems.
The NWCO program was not developed to address complex damage situations or problems with any and all forms of domestic or imported non-native wildlife, migratory birds, or any federally protected species. The Wildlife Services (WS) program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is authorized, in both Federal and State law, to take necessary action in assisting any landowner in management and control of rodents, non-game birds, feral pigeons and furbearers on their property.
Oklahoma laws generally grant citizens substantive latitude to deal with wildlife problems and considerable assistance is available from USDA Wildlife Services. However, many landowners may prefer to employ individuals who are skilled and educated in handling human/wildlife conflicts. Although permitted and regulated by the ODWC, Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCOs) are not state employees. They operate as private enterprises and normally charge a fee or solicit a donation for their services.
The NWCO program was also developed to provide ODWC with a record of activities of those responding to nuisance wildlife calls/complaints and a reference base of various wildlife species; the types of problems that they cause and the frequency of such human conflicts. Additionally, the program provides documentation of the various methods used for addressing wildlife damage and human/wildlife conflicts.