Hunting and ATVs
Responsible riding helps keep areas open to ORVs
August 23, 2005
Without question, off-road vehicles (ORVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become a valuable tool and an integral part of many peopleís hunting experience in Wyoming. Use of ATVs has increased dramatically in the last ten years, making many back country areas more accessible and big game retrieval easier for more hunters.
The two main points we want to get out to hunters who plan to come to our area and use ATVs this fall are: Responsible riding and "get that ORV permit".
Responsible ATV and ORV use With the increasing spotlight on a few irresponsible users who have gone riding where they shouldnít be and caused resource damage, there are more people watching out for ATV offenders who are damaging the landscape and creating problems for the rest of the users in our area who are responsible riders.
Please be sure to know the rules for where you can ride for the area you plan to go and stay on existing roads and trails. There are maps available that show where ATVs can and cannot be used. Pick one up for the area you want to go so you know where you can and cannot ride your ORV. Avoid riparian and wet areas or steep slopes where tracks will stay on the land and cause damage to vegetation and future erosion problems.
Remember you need a permit for your ATV ORVs are restricted to routes and open roads designated for that use. They may be operated on public lands only when on roads, trails or areas identified as "open" for motorized travel by the appropriate local land manager. When riding on motorized trails or cross-country travel areas, all ORVs are required to display a Wyoming ORV permit, even if it has a street legal license plate.
When on state, county or local roads, ORVs must be street legal and have a motorcycle plate, an "M" endorsement on their operatorís license and carry proof of liability insurance.
When on USFS, BLM, State lands, you donít need the "M" license endorsement, but the operator must have a valid operatorís license, current Wyoming ORV permit and required working lights on the ORV.
A driverís license is not required on designated TRAILS enrolled in the ORV Program, but the current ATV permit is still required. The Forest Service tells us the most common offense for hunters using ATVs around here is forgetting to get the permit.
More information is available from the Wyoming State Trails Program by calling 307-777-7477, online web address at the link at the end of this article.
Where to get the ORV permit and ATV maps
ATV/ORV maps are available from the Forest Service district offices in Pinedale and Big Piney, the Chamber of Commerce, BLM and Game & Fish offices. You can also write the state to get a copy showing open ORV roads and trails in the Pinedale and Wyoming Range areas.
Pinedale/Boulder/Cora/Daniel: Pinedale Ranger District-USFS, Buckyís Outdoors, Big Jís, Country Lane, Performance Tech, Sublette County Treasurer, Daniel Junction, Elk Ridge Lodge, K&N Power Sports
Big Piney/Marbleton: Big Piney Ranger District-USFS, The Sno-Palace
LaBarge: Eagle Bar
State of Wyoming: Call the Wyoming Permit Selling Agency at 1-877-996-7275
On a last note about ATV/ORV use for hunting, be aware of the philosophy of "fair chase". Increasing numbers of hunters are actually hunting with their ATVs rather than on foot. Studies have shown that slow-moving vehicles on primitive roads and trails are more disturbing to elk than fast-moving vehicles on highways, indicating that hunters using ORVs can cause displacement of big game. Keep your ATV properly tuned and muffled to reduce exhaust sounds and emissions and operate it in a courteous manner around other outdoor recreationists. There is a great brochure entitled, ďHunting and ATVsĒ, put out by the USFS, BLM and Wyoming Game and Fish Department that has a lot of good pointers for hunters who use ATVs.