BEGGS, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is inviting all hunters, natives, and non-natives who harvested deer on the reservation to bring their potential prizewinners to the Looped Square Meat Processing Co. at 11 am on Jan. 28.
Prizes will include a cooler, feeder, optional European mount, free deer processing for the following year, and more to choose from for the first five places.
According to the DANR Wildlife Project Coordinator Jacob Rippy, the game’s antlers and attached skull plate must be in hand the day of the competition, along with the carcass identification tag, limited for the 2022-23 season. Participation is also limited to one submission per participant. Pictures submissions are allowed; however, they are not the winning determinant.
Scores will be determined using the Boone and Crockett scoring system, which mathematically measures the antlers to give the size of the deer; gender is not a factor.
“We just ask that everybody bring out a clean skull so we can score them,” he said.
Rippy said gross scores would be calculated for data purposes, and ultimately, the gross score will also determine the winners.
It has been requested that “high-fence” deer harvest not enter the competition. Rippy claims that other hunters are disadvantaged as high fence harvests are in an area where they are controlled.
“Archery, muzzleloader, rifle, as long as it says that is legal in the conservation regulations that we have posted, they are good to go,” Rippy said.
All game must be harvested on the reservation. DANR is looking to gather data for further research and investigate the reservation game and wildlife.
“We are looking to see where the deer are coming from and who is using the land in our registry,” Rippy said.
The department has issued around 300 hunting and fishing permits for the current hunting season and projects that more will come as the hunting season continues until Jan. 15.
“We are interested to see what everyone comes up with,” Rippy said.
He jokingly states that deer hit by vehicles do not count as harvested deer.
This is the department’s first time holding a contest of this kind.
“We thought it would be a great addition to the program and get people to understand a little bit more about what we’re doing with our program and get some citizens involved.”
Rippy said there are no age limits on the contest; as long as contestants can hunt, they can participate.
For more information, please call Rippy at 539-244-2220.