Private land elk hunting opportunities available in Sublette County
by Wyoming Game & Fish
November 10, 2010
Thanks to the Wyoming Game & Fish Departmentís Access Yes program and some local cooperating landowners, there are additional elk hunting opportunities for some limited quota license holders. Unfortunately, these hunting opportunities are not available to those with general elk licenses.
There are two Hunter Management Areas (HMAs) this year involving private lands near Big Piney and Boulder. The Big Piney HMA involves private land totaling just over 26,000 acres. The Chimney Butte HMA (south of Boulder) has 10,470 acres. There is also previously land-locked public land available within the HMA.
An HMA is composed of one or more large ranches that enter into an agreement with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department to allow free hunting access. The Department takes on the responsibility of managing the hunters by giving out permission slips to eligible hunters. Permission slips must be obtained prior to hunting.
The Big Piney HMA is west of Big Piney and provides hunting for elk in hunt area 94. Hunters wishing to participate in this hunt must have an unused Area 94 type 6 elk license, and an access permit obtained from the Pinedale Game and Fish office. Access permits will be limited to 100 hunters. The season for this area will run from Dec. 1, 2010 through Jan. 31, 2011 for antlerless elk only on those lands enrolled in the Big Piney HMA.
The Chimney Butte HMA is North of Big Sandy and southeast of Boulder and allows hunting for elk in hunt area 98. Again, hunters must have an unused Area 98 Type 1, 4 or 6 elk license and an access permit to hunt the private lands within the Hunter Management Area. The season for this area will run from Nov. 16, 2010 to through Dec. 31, 2010 for antlerless elk only in that portion of Area 98 between Scab Creek and the East Fork River drainage, excluding Irish Canyon Creek and Muddy Creek.
Access permits for all three HMAs will be given out at the Pinedale Regional Office on Saturday, November 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters will need to bring their valid unused elk license with them and be prepared to provide a description (make, model, color, year and license plate number) of the vehicle they plan to hunt with in order to get an access permit. Leftover access permits will be available during regular business hours at the Pinedale Regional Office beginning Monday, November 15.
Hunters are reminded that access is by foot or horseback only, except on roads designated by a white arrow. Also, hunters are reminded to avoid hunting near livestock.
Funding for the Access Yes program comes from several sources. When sportspersons purchase a conservation stamp, $2.50 goes to the program. Another main source is donations made to the Departmentís Access Yes program either through a direct donation or when sportspersons purchase or apply for licenses. When anyone purchases or applies for a license, they have the option of including a donation to Access Yes, which goes directly to and can only be used for purchasing easements for both Hunter Management and Walk-in Areas. "In essence, Access Yes donations provide public hunting and fishing access onto private and land-locked public lands," says Matt Buhler, Statewide Access Coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The remaining budget is made up of Game & Fish general funds.
Information on all Hunter Management Areas is available through the Internet at: http://gf.state.wy.us/ under the PLPW Access Program. Interested people can also contact the Regional Access Coordinator, Dan Smith in Cody, at 307-527-7322 ext. 27 or the Statewide Access Coordinator, Matt Buhler in Casper, at 307-473-3428.