Cherokee WMA consists of approximately 31,360 acres in southwestern Cherokee County and is located two 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 round for legal seasons, while the GMA is open mainly for controlled hunts. Consult regulations for area use restrictions.
From Ft. Gibson: 10 miles east on U.S. Hwy 62, turn south at the Midway gas station (S460), two miles to the Zeb entrance to area.
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 can be found on the north end of the PHA. It offers both 50 and 100 yard ranges, with covered shooting benches on the 100 yard line and is open year-round.
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.
For additional information and area attractions:
Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
Post Office Box 52002
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2002
(800) 652-6552 or (405) 521-2409
Upper McClellan-Kerr Waterway Association
PO Box 2361
Muskogee, OK 74402
Muskogee Convention and Tourism
412 Boston, Muskogee OK 74402
Stilwell Area Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 845
Stilwell OK 74960
Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau
Williams Center Tower II
Two West Second Street, Tulsa OK 74103
Greater Tenkiller Area Association
PO Box Ten-K
Cookson OK 74427
Range Coordinates: 35°57'30.70"N 95°20'5.28"W
Driving Directions: From Tahlequah, travel south out of town on US-62W for 5.1 miles. Turn and drive south on to S 460 Rd for 2 miles to the entrance of the Cherokee Wildlife Management Area. Continue travelling south. S 460 Rd will change names to S. Burnt Cabin Rd. After .7 miles keep right to continue on S 4460 Rd. The entrance to the rifle range will be on your right.