Help keep public lands healthy this hunting season
Written by broebling on September 12, 2018
Press Release – Fall marks the beginning of hunting season on public lands in Wyoming and across the country. BLM values hunting and fishing as meaningful forms of conservation. Hunters and anglers also contribute millions of dollars in retail sales to Wyoming’s economy each year. We encourage you to visit your public lands this season, and to share in the traditions of community stewardship that will help keep the lands healthy and productive for generations to come.
When visiting public lands for hunting, fishing, or for any other activity, it is vital to respect private property rights by avoiding inadvertent trespass. Land status maps are available at each BLM office for a small printing fee. They should be used for any trip off the beaten track, as well as for navigation across BLM-administered roads. GPS devices can make excellent navigational aids. However, they should be used in conjunction with land status maps, rather than as a substitute. Avoid hunting close to property lines, as animals may cross onto private property before they can be recovered. If in doubt about the exact location of property boundaries, err on the side of caution.
A call or visit to your local BLM field office is an essential step when visiting an unfamiliar, BLM-administered location. Beyond supplying you with useful documents and information on our many multiple-use programs, BLM offices can also provide you with recreation passes and information on camping, fire and motorized-use restrictions.
In general, a 14-day occupancy limit within a 28-day period applies across the state for any eligible camping location on BLM-administered land. The 14-day limit may be reached either through several separate visits or through 14 days of continuous occupation during the 28-day period. After the 14th day of occupation, campers must move outside of a 5-mile radius of the previous location. In addition, no person shall leave personal property unattended on public lands for a period of more than 72 hours. Unattended personal property will be counted toward the 14-day camp limit. Check with your local BLM office for special guidelines in your area.
When you’re planning your hunting excursion, remember that it’s not always possible to retrieve downed game with a vehicle, so bring a game cart, pack frame, capable friend or horse to help. Driving off roads and trails to retrieve game within 300 feet of an existing road when no resource damage will occur, including degrading soil, damaging vegetation or archaeological sites, or creating ruts when driving on wet soils, is permissible in some areas. Information on the specific restrictions in your area is available at the nearest BLM office.
Do your part to prevent wildfires by practicing fire safety and checking for fire restrictions in your area. Ensure your fire is “dead out” before going hunting or turning-in for the night. In addition, all OHVs are required to have a Society of Automotive Engineers approved spark arrestor. Nothing can ruin a hunt more than burning a favorite area due to neglect. For a list of active fire restrictions, visit www.blm.gov/Wyoming-fire-restrictions.
More important than taking home a game animal is making sure you and your companions get home safely at the end of the day. Make sure to:
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Be prepared for Wyoming’s changing weather while out in the field.
- Exercise the utmost caution with knives while processing your animals and supervise young hunters while they are processing their animals.
- Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
Also, please do your best to tread lightly and minimize impacts. We encourage adhering to Leave No Trace principles, in order to help keep areas pristine for other visitors.
If you suspect violations of land use regulations, please do not risk escalating the situation by personally contacting the violator. A safer way to resolve the situation is to write down the license plate information if possible and contact appropriate law enforcement. You may also call 1-888-358-2310. The BLM offers a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of any person damaging your public lands through OHV violations, vandalism or any other criminal activity in the state of Wyoming.
By following these regulations and best practices, you will participate in the shared stewardship that keeps Wyoming a top destination for world-class hunting and fishing. Thank you for participating in this legacy, and to our many partners who help us maintain and enhance recreation access throughout the state.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.