Private Land Elk Hunting Opportunities
by Wyoming Game & Fish
November 6, 2007
(Pinedale) - Thanks to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Private Lands, Public Wildlife access program (PLPW) 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 (HMA) this year involving private lands near Big Piney and Boulder. The Big Piney HMA has been expanded to include a north and a south area totaling just over 28,000 private 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 must be obtained prior to hunting.
The Big Piney HMA is west and northwest of Big Piney and provides hunting for elk in hunt Areas 92 and 94. Hunters wishing to participate in this hunt must have an unused Area 94 type 1 or type 6 elk license, and an access permit obtained from the Pinedale Game and Fish office. Access permits will be limited to 100. The season for this area will run from Nov. 16, 2007 through Jan. 31, 2008 for antlerless elk only on those lands enrolled in the Big Piney HMA.
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, 2 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, 2007 to through Dec. 31, 2007 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 both HMAs will be given out at the Pinedale Regional Office on Saturday, November 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hunters will need to bring their valid unused elk license with them in order to get an access permit. Leftover access permits will be available during regular business hours at the Pinedale Regional Office beginning November 12.
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 Program comes from several sources. When sportspersons purchase a conservation stamp, $2.50 goes to the Access Program. Another main source is donations made to the 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, at (307) 473-3428.