Know the rules if you hunt state lands

Wyoming hunters can access most state trust lands, but it’s important to know the rules if you plan to hunt them.

As long as there are public roads leading to state trust lands, and as long as there are no cultivated crops on that land, Wyoming hunters can most likely hunt on those state trust lands. There are a bunch of these state sections scattered all over Wyoming.

In several cases, though, shooting is not allowed on specific state trust lands. Most of those chunks where shooting isn’t permitted are close to the state’s bigger cities. But there are still plenty where you can hunt with firearms. If you’re a bowhunter, you can likely still hunt on those lands.

You can also drive on most state sections to pick up downed game, as long as the signs don’t say vehicular access isn’t permitted. Again, some pieces of state land are off limits to vehicles, mostly because people have abused those particular state trust areas.

There are some state trust lands that are locked between private lands, though. If there’s no public road leading all the way to that state section, you have to have permission from the private landowners to cross their land if you want to hunt that landlocked state section, and those landowners are not required to grant that permission. And as I noted a minute ago, if there are crops planted in a state section, you can’t hunt there.

If you want to know what areas are public and which ones are private, you can pick up a color-coded map from the BLM. Quite a few of the GPS manufacturers also offer downloads or chips for their receivers that will tell you the ownership of the land you’re standing on. And then there’s my favorite – MyTopo.com. They sell maps you can custom-design, and you can get overlays for land ownership and hunt areas printed right on them.

Know the rules, though, and follow them. And good luck this hunting season.

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