The Cookson WMA consists of approximately 14,725 acres in southeastern Cherokee and southwestern Adair Counties. Located approximately 6 miles east of Cookson on Bluetop Road.
The WMA is a mixture of uplands with scattered meadows and openings, found generally at lower elevations. Dense stands of oak-hickory timber with some short leaf pine on rolling, rocky, and relatively steep hills predominates the area. Fields and meadows with improved domestic grains, like clover and rye are found throughout. The average annual precipitation is about 41 inches.
The WMA has numerous opportunities for public access, including a lengthy deer archery season, and also offers some controlled deer hunts. Consult regulations for area use restrictions.
From Cookson: 5.2 miles east on Blue Top Road.
- Bear: No season. Animals are present on the WMA but very secretive.
- Deer: White-tailed deer are present in good numbers but are highly sought after.
- Turkey: Eastern wild turkeys are present in fair numbers but are highly sought after.
- Quail: Bobwhite quail are present in very limited numbers.
- Rabbit: Cottontail rabbits are present in good numbers.
- Squirrel: Both fox and gray squirrels are abundant.
- Furbearers: Coyote, bobcat, gray fox, and raccoon can be found on the area.
- Dove: Very limited opportunity. Not a major game species on the area.
- Waterfowl: Limited opportunity. Restricted to area ponds.
- Elk: Present in low numbers. Limited hunting through the controlled hunts program.
- Bald Eagle: bald eagles occasionally winter on an impoundment known as Buzzard Lake.
- Nongame Birds;
- Bats: Several species that are uncommon or rare can be found on the area;
- Salamanders: 9 species of salamanders have been documented on the WMA, along with a host of other amphibians and reptiles;
Management efforts focus on improving the forage base for game species by controlled burning, mowing, timber management and agricultural food plots. Annually, 100-150 acres (30-50 food plots) are planted on the area. Ponds are scattered throughout for wildlife watering. Those holding water year round have fishable populations of bass and sunfish.
One designated primitive camping area is available for hunters. Other accommodations can be found in Tahlequah (www.tourtahlequah.com) or at the many cabins, lodges, COE campgrounds and state parks along Lake Tenkiller.
Lakes on area:
Fishing is limited to those area ponds that hold water year around. Buzzard Lake (approximately 7 acres) is the primary source available. Light tackle is generally appropriate.
Area closed to all activities for controlled deer and elk hunt Oct. 23-24, Oct. 30-31, Nov. 6-7 and Nov. 13-14, 2021.
Same As Statewide Seasons
Hunter and angler camping is allowed in designated areas only, and only during open hunting seasons on the area.
Closed to all nonhunting activities, except hunter camping, from Oct. 1 - Jan. 31 and during spring turkey season.
Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce
Sallisaw Chamber of Commerce
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
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