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Two men charged with 60 counts of wildlife crimes in Cherokee Nation

white tail deer
Posted at 2:39 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 15:39:10-05

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation prosecutors charged two men with more than 60 counts of wildlife crimes, the Cherokee Nation Attorney General's office announced Friday.

Charges were filed against 19-year-old Nikolas John Bird and 18-year-old Ethan Lee Hardin.

Bird and Hardin are accused of illegally hunting and killing 18 whitetail deer in Adair County and dumping the carcasses in Cherokee County.

The counts against both of them include a felony count of cruelty to animals along with dozens of misdemeanor counts.

“The Cherokee Nation collaborated with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, which investigated this case cooperatively with the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service," Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill said.

"We are committed to ensuring that the Nation’s hunting and fishing laws are enforced throughout the Reservation."

In addition to the one count of cruelty to animals, the charges include one count of capture out of season, one count of shooting from the roadway, one count of headlighting, 21 counts of possession of wildlife not legally taken, 18 counts of capture or mutilation of protected wildlife, 18 counts of failure to check deer in as required and eight counts of hunting outside legal hunting hours.

Arrest warrants have been issued for Bird and Hardin.

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