Cherokee Wildlife Management Area

 

By: Brent Morgan, Biologist for Cherokee and Tenkiller WMA’s. Phone: (918) 931-0432.

Driving Directions: From Ft. Gibson: 10 miles east on U.S. Hwy 62, turn south at the Midway gas station (S460), 2 miles to the Zeb entrance to area.

Area Description:
The Cherokee WMA consists of approximately 31,360 acres in southwestern Cherokee County and is located 2 miles south of Hwy. 62 at Zeb, Oklahoma.

The WMA is a mixture of uplands with scattered fields and small stream riparian areas.  Numerous ponds dot the landscape.  Oak-hickory timber on rolling hills predominate the area.  Fields and meadows with native bunch grasses and brushy thickets are found throughout with several seasonal small streams bisecting the area.  The main drainage is Greenleaf Creek, which runs east to west, and contains typical bottom land over-story such as: sycamore, elm, ash, hackberry, mulberry and pecan.  The average annual precipitation is about 41 inches.

The management area is divided into a 16,000 acre Public Hunting Area (PHA) and a 15,360 acre Game Management Area (GMA).  The PHA is generally open year around for legal seasons, while the GMA is open mainly for controlled hunts.  Consult regulations for area use restrictions.

Game Species of Interest: 

Bear: No season. Sightings are very rare, usually only transient animals.

Deer: White-tailed deer are present in good numbers throughout the area. 

Turkey: Rio Grande wild turkeys are present in good numbers. 

Quail: Bobwhite quail present in fair numbers.  

Rabbit: Both cottontail and swamp rabbits are found on the area with cottontails being the most common. 

Squirrel: Both fox and gray squirrels are abundant.  

Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat, gray fox, raccoon, skunk, opossum and mink are available. 

Dove: Dove are present in low numbers. 

Waterfowl: Limited opportunity. Restricted mostly to area ponds. 

Elk: Viewing opportunity only. Currently, no open season.

Nongame Species of Interest:

Bald eagle: Eagles occasionally winter along Greenleaf Creek.

Description of Fish and Wildlife Management Practices:
Management efforts focus on improving the forage base for game species by controlled burning, mowing, strip discing, timber management and establishing agricultural food plots.  Annually, 200-300 acres (100-150 food plots) are planted on the area.  Ponds are scattered throughout for wildlife watering.  Those holding water year around are stocked with bass, sunfish and catfish.

Camping and Facilities:
One designated primitive camping area is found in the PHA. Lodging is found in Tahlequah and Muskogee.  The Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (918) 456-3742 and the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce can be reached at (918) 682-2401. 

A rifle range, which is closed during deer seasons, can be found on the north end of the PHA.  If offers both 50 and 100 yard ranges, with covered shooting benches on the 100 yard line.

Fishing Opportunities:
Fishing is limited to those area ponds that hold water year around and Greenleaf Creek.  Light tackle is generally appropriate. Abundant fishing opportunities can be found for a variety of species on nearby lakes: Webbers Falls, Greenleaf and Tenkiller.

Maps:

Cherokee WMA Map - best general purpose map, pdf format (8.5x11)

color="#0071AB">  Additional maps:  US Geological Survey Map, Oklahoma Geological Survey Branch  -  Norman, Ok.  -  405-325-3031
Zeb and Qualls Quadrangles  -  Cost $4.50 plus shipping $2.50

Regulations: Seasons on public lands section of hunting regulations

For additional information and area attractions:

Cherokee WMA - Outdoor Oklahoma Magazine Article (Jan/Feb 2004)

Camp Gruber MTC (formerly known as Gruber WMA)

www.GreenCountryOK.com
1-800-922-2118

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409
www.travelok.com

Upper McClellan-Kerr Waterway Association
PO Box 2361
Muskogee, OK 74402
918-684-6363
1-888-687-6137

Muskogee Convention and Tourism
412 Boston, Muskogee OK 74402
918-684-6363
1-888-687-6137
www.mymuskogee.com
 

Stilwell Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 845
Stilwell OK 74960
918-696-7845

Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau
Williams Center Tower II
Two West Second Street, Tulsa OK 74103
918-585-1201
1-800-558-3311
www.visittulsa.com

Tahlequah
918-456-3742
1-800-456-4860

Greater Tenkiller Area Association
PO Box Ten-K
Cookson OK 74427
918-457-4403
1-888-867-4403
www.laketenkiller.com