Elk NetworkMore Access to Hunt in Wyoming? Heck Yes!

General | February 12, 2021

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a long-time supporter of Wyoming’s Access Yes program. In 2019, RMEF contributed $15,000 that provided nearly 46,500 acres of habitat for hunters to access.

Wyoming Game and Fish’s Access Yes Program provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate public hunting and fishing access on private lands or landlocked public lands while building the relationship between hunters, anglers and private landowners.

Through the program, a participating landowner and Department personnel negotiate the terms of an agreement to allow hunting or fishing access on their property including: agreement length (one to five years), the species that can be harvested, the geographic location, dates access will be allowed, and any other specific rules or stipulations.

The program offers two access options. Hunter Management Areas (HMAs) are access areas where each hunter must first obtain a permission slip from the Department website prior to hunting. These areas are generally larger than Walk-in Areas (WIAs), and usually have some level of vehicle access. Walk-in Areas are parcels of land open to anyone who has a valid hunting or fishing license; no permission slip is required. These access areas are usually smaller than HMAs and, as the name implies, typically require hunters or anglers to walk in to hunt or fish.

In return for public access, landowners receive a modest monetary payment based on the number of acres or stream length/pond acreage  enrolled, an increased law enforcement presence on the enrolled property, increased wildlife management (population control and damage prevention) and management of hunters – alleviating phone calls and other disruptions to landowners. The Department creates and makes available to hunters access maps and instructions on ranch rules.

Property sign-ups for Access Yes programs are taking place now. Please contact Sheridan Region Access Yes Coordinator Troy Tobiasson at 307-684-2489 to learn more about participating in this unique program. The program is funded with generous donations from hunters, anglers, businesses, organizations and nonprofits.

(Photo credit:  Wyoming Game and Fish Department)