SEQUOYAH COUNTY, Okla. — This fall the Cherokee Nation Wildlife Conservation will host the first controlled deer hunts on the Tribe's new Sequoyah Hunting Preserve, located north of Sallisaw and over 4,000 acres in size.
A limited number of Cherokee Nation elders, veterans and youth, as well as some at-large Cherokee citizens who reside outside the state of Oklahoma will be eligible to participate in the controlled hunts.
“Hunting and fishing are part of our inherent Cherokee lifeways,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “That’s why Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I established the Cherokee Nation Park and Wildlands, Fishing and Hunting Reserve Act earlier this year with the support of the Council of the Cherokee Nation. Hunting has been important to Cherokees since time immemorial, providing food for families and helping to ease the food insecurities that unfortunately sometimes exist among Cherokee families."
Participants will be chosen from a random drawing of qualifying applicants, which will be held during the Cherokee National Holiday. The deadline to enter the draw is Sept. 3. Cherokee Nation citizens who qualify for the controlled hunt can apply using the Gadugi Portal.
“Not only are this year’s first controlled hunting opportunities helping to secure food sources for Cherokee families, but they’re also reinforcing those Cherokee traditional values the Creator has given us for many generations,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. “I think it is fitting that we are first inviting our Cherokee elders and veterans to hunt on this new property, but that we have also provided an opportunity for Cherokee youth to experience these important life lessons.”
Cherokee Nation Wildlife Conservation said the total number of citizens to be selected for hunts will be determined by herd population data and best practices for conservation.
The following are eligibility requirements and dates for each category of the first controlled hunts:
- Cherokee youth: Applicants must be 17 years or younger at the time of the hunt, a Cherokee Nation citizen, possess a Cherokee Nation compact hunting and fishing license, be a resident of the state of Oklahoma, and must be accompanied by an adult with a valid Oklahoma hunting and fishing license. The licensed adult must be either a parent or guardian, or an individual specifically selected by the parent or guardian. The applicant must possess a valid deer tag at the time of the hunt. Dates: October 16-17 and December 4-5.
- Cherokee veterans: Applicants must be a veteran of a branch of the United States armed forces, a Cherokee Nation citizen, possess a Cherokee Nation compact hunting and fishing license, and be a resident of the state of Oklahoma. Applicants must submit valid proof of veteran status with their application. The applicant must possess a valid deer tag at the time of the hunt. Dates: October 23-24 and November 27-28.
- Cherokee elder hunts: Applicants must be 55 years of age or older at the time of the hunt, a Cherokee Nation citizen, possess a Cherokee Nation compact hunting and fishing license, and be a resident of the state of Oklahoma. The applicant must possess a valid deer tag at the time of the hunt. Dates: October 30-31 and December 2-3.
- Out-of-state at-large Cherokee citizens: Any Cherokee Nation citizen residing outside the state of Oklahoma is eligible for this hunt. If selected to participate in this opportunity, Cherokee Nation will provide a 2021 non-resident deer gun license to the applicants drawn for this hunt. Dates: November 20-21.
Deer harvested during the Cherokee Nation controlled hunt also count toward the statewide season bag limit in Oklahoma.
Click here to apply for a Cherokee Nation hunting and fishing license or call 918-453-5058.