TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation Wildlife Conservation department is hosting its second annual controlled hunts this fall on preserve land in Sequoyah County.
The 2022 controlled deer hunts will be held on Cherokee Nation’s 4,000-plus-acre Sequoyah Hunting Preserve north of Sallisaw in Sequoyah County, with a select number of Cherokee elders, Cherokee veterans, Cherokee youth and Cherokee citizens being selected by a random draw of qualifying applicants. The controlled hunts are not subject to any residency requirement and applications are open to all Cherokee Nation citizens.
“With such a successful first controlled hunt last year, it’s exciting for Cherokee Nation citizens to be able to participate again this year and enjoy these bountiful lands and provide food for their families,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “When Deputy Chief Warner and I established the Cherokee Nation Park and Wildlands, Fishing and Hunting Reserve Act, it was events like this that we envisioned to not only bring food security to Cherokee homes, but also connect to our traditional Cherokee lifeways.”
Cherokee Nation citizens who qualify for the controlled hunt can apply using the Gadugi Portal at https://gadugiportal.cherokee.org/. Applications will be available Aug. 16 and the deadline to apply is Sept. 16. Results of the draw will be announced Sept. 19, with successful applicants being notified via email and on the Gadugi Portal.
“I’m thankful to see the growth of the Cherokee Nation Wildlife Conservation program. The controlled hunts are a blessing and I know they’ll continue to be for those selected this year,” Cherokee Nation Principal Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “These hunts are so important for many different reasons, but one of the top reasons being that it’s helping us preserve the Cherokee culture with traditional hunting.”
The eligibility requirements and dates for each category of the controlled hunts are:
- Cherokee youth: Applicants must be 17 years or younger at the time of the hunt and a Cherokee Nation citizen. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult with proof of Cherokee Nation citizenship or a valid Oklahoma hunting license. The licensed adult must be either a parent or guardian or an individual specifically selected by the parent or guardian. Dates: October 14-16.
- Cherokee veterans: Applicants must be a veteran of a branch of the United States armed forces, a Cherokee Nation citizen and must submit their DD-214 with the application. Dates: November 19-20.
- Cherokee elder hunts: Applicants must be 55 years of age or older at the time of the hunt and a Cherokee Nation citizen. Dates: October 28-30.
- Open hunt: Any Cherokee Nation citizen is eligible for this hunt. Dates: November 25-27 and December 2-4.
Each person is allowed to bring one non-hunting guest with them.
The Cherokee Nation Wildlife Conservation department has determined the total number of citizens to be selected for this year’s hunts using herd population data and wildlife conservation best practices. Future draw hunt opportunities may vary based on continued data collection and herd management analysis.
For more information about eligibility or submission of the application, call 918-453-5058.