Private land elk hunting opportunities near Big Piney and Boulder
by Wyoming Game & Fish Department
November 12, 2012
Thanks to the Wyoming Game & Fish Departmentís AccessYes 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. 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. Each hunter must have a permission slip and a displayed vehicle pass to the specific HMA and the species they are hunting. Anyone without department permission shall be subject to trespass charges.
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 a permission slip obtained from the Game and Fish website. One hundred (100) permission slips will be issued online on a first come, first serve basis starting November 9, 2012. The licenses are valid for ANTLERLESS ELK hunting November 21, 2012 - January 31, 2013 on those lands enrolled in the HMA.
The Chimney Butte HMA is southeast of Boulder and allows hunting for elk in hunt area 98. One hundred (100) permission slips will be issued online on a first come, first serve basis starting November 9, 2012, for unused area 98 type 1, 4, and 6 licenses. In addition to the HMA, the licenses are valid for ANTLERLESS ELK hunting November 16, 2012 - January 31, 2013 in that portion of Area 98 between Scab Creek and the East Fork River drainage, excluding Irish Canyon Creek and Muddy Creek.
Permission slips for both HMAs will be available starting at 8AM, November 9 via the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website at: http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/home.aspx under "Hunting" and then under the "Private lands, Public Wildlife" tab. Once there, hunters can click on the "Permission Slips" link or go to it directly at the following link: http://wgfd.wyo.gov/plpwfrontend2008/default.aspx.
Hunters will need to have their valid, unused elk license 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 a permission slip. A listing of the "Ranch rules" and maps for each of the HMAs is also available at the site. Hunters should be aware that rules governing the use of specific HMAs can vary.
In the Chimney Butte HMA, there will be 10 permission slips issued through a random draw valid for ANY ELK hunting January 16-31, 2013. These permission slips will be available only to those hunters with an unused Area 98, Type 1, elk license and are only valid for the private lands within the HMA. Hunters can apply online November 20-30, 2012. Results will be posted by December 7. Hunters must successfully draw one of the limited 10 permission slips before they can participate in the ANY ELK season on the Chimney Butte HMA.
"These late season elk hunts are designed to reduce elk damage on private lands, but do not necessarily mean they are an easy elk hunt," said Adam Hymas, Big Piney game warden for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "The hunting pressure typically does help keep elk off the private lands, but success can be very low." Hunters are reminded that access on the HMAs is by foot or horseback only, except on roads specifically designated by a white arrow. Also, hunters are reminded to avoid hunting near livestock.
Funding for the AccessYes 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 AccessYes 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 AccessYes, which goes directly to and can only be used for purchasing easements for both Hunter Management and Walk-in Areas. "In essence, AccessYes 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, Andrew Countryman, at (307) 723-2444 or the Statewide Access Coordinator, Matt Buhler in Casper, at (307) 473-3428.