Paper Application (PDF)
August 31, 2016
Choctaw Nation Worked With the State to Provide Hunting and Fishing Licenses to Members
Members can begin signing up Oct. 1, 2016
by Tina Firquain
The Choctaw Nation will be providing tribal members with Hunting and Fishing Licenses at no charge starting Jan. 1, 2017.
The Nation, the State of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) have been working on a compact since the summer of 2015. A compact allows both parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement rather than going to court.
Chief Gary Batton said, “I am thoroughly excited that we finally got this accomplished. It has been an educational experience for them and for me and how we can build this bridge together.” He continued, “I hope our tribal members are excited to get this.”
As of now, Choctaw tribal members living in the State of Oklahoma are eligible for the Choctaw Nation Compact License. Online applications will be available Oct. 1, 2016, on choctawnation.com, but licenses will not be dispersed until January 2017.
Interested tribal members can print out the online application and mail or hand-deliver it to the Choctaw Nation.
The licensing process will work like this:
- Members will fill out the application and turn it in.
- Choctaw Nation will confirm membership and information.
- Choctaw Nation will send confirmed applications to the State.
- The State will issue the licenses.
- The State will mail licenses directly to Choctaw tribal members.
Members eligible for a Compact License
The Compact License will look different from Oklahoma licenses and will have the Choctaw Nation’s Seal on it.
In order to receive benefits from the Compact License, members must live in Oklahoma and be age 16 and over.
For any tribal citizen under the age of 16, they can go online with a parent or guardian and fill out an application to receive their license.
All Compact Licenses will be mailed out in January 2017.
What You Can Get With a Choctaw Nation Compact License
Hunting and fishing will be open to compact hunters in all 77 counties in Okahoma. That does not include tribal land.
Tribal members age 16 and over will receive the following privileges:
- An annual hunting and fishing combination license.
- A trapping license.
- A bobcat, raccoon, river otter, gray and red fox license, i.e., furbearer license.
- A state waterfowl stamp.
- Up to four turkey licenses.
- Up to six deer licenses, exclusive of bonus licenses.
- A waived access fee to Three Rivers and Honobia Creek wildlife management areas
- And a land access permit.
For tribal members under the age of 15, they will receive the following:
- A hunting and fishing combination license.
- One deer license.
- One turkey license.
Joshua Riley, Policy Analyst for the Choctaw Nation said, “The Choctaw Nation wanted to give our tribal members the same privileges as a lifetime license.” The main difference between a lifetime license and the Compact License is, the Compact License will have to be reissued every year and the Compact License provides a land access permit.
The goal is to be able to automatically reissue the Compact License to tribal members every year without them having to reapply.
In addition to these privileges, traditional hunting and fishing methods are defined and tribal members may practice these methods like, Atlatl, spear throwing, rabbit sticks and a blowgun.
Chief Gary Batton said, “This is who we are as Chahta people.” He continued, “We want to make sure people understand that this compact is not just about hunting and fishing, it’s our way of life. We want people to understand the Atlatl and how it was used, it is about trapping, and how we learn to trap. It is also important that we pass on to our future generations because these are becoming a lost art. It is important to keep our way of life. I think we accomplished what we wanted in this compact.”
What You Need to Know About Your Compact License
While using the Compact License, tribal members will have to obey State and Tribal hunting and fishing laws and regulations. Whose law you are under will depend on whose land you are on at the time.
Oklahoma laws and regulations can be found at WildlifeDepartment.com.
According to the Compact in Article II, Part 1 (b), Choctaw Nation will “Enact tribal legislation that is equal to or more restrictive that the official requirements for hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife conservation as established by Title 29 of the Oklahoma Statutes and implement administrative rules.”
Licenses will expire every year on Dec. 31 of the same calendar year as issued and will be reissued in January the following year.
The Hunting and Fishing Compact will expire Dec. 31, 2019, as this is a temporary agreement. This compact is to allow the State and the Nation to see how effective and beneficial this will be.
Along with the privileges of the license, the Nation hopes to be adding new jobs in order to meet the processing demand and to expand and define a Choctaw Nation Wildlife Department.
The compact is going to cost the Nation up to $375,000, according to Riley.
Chief Gary Batton said, “The dollars will be coming from our General Operating Fund which is funded through our tribal businesses. This is relatively low because we are paying $2 per person for each license.”
The $2 is to help the ODWC get a rebate from the state.
Also, Choctaw Nation will be donating $200,000 to the ODWC that will go directly towards their conservation efforts and will pay $75,000 yearly for administration costs to help process the applications.
Chief Gary Batton continued and said, “We are providing some conservation fees because we as Native Americans have always been the first conservationists. So we feel this is a small amount in regards to the protection of the environment as a whole and still giving us the opportunity to have hunting and fishing for our tribal members.”
Last edit: October 3, 2016 10:40 am