|The following information shows you how some Wyoming hunters are getting access to private ranches.
Three Saratoga area ranches will be open to antlerless elk hunters through the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Hunter Management Area program.
Area 12 type 1 and 125 type 1 elk license holders can access the ranches by visiting the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce September 23 - October 14, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. The chamber will be closed on Sundays.
By providing license information, plus the make, model and license number of the vehicle they will be hunting in, hunters will be issued a free access slip. Saratoga game warden Biff Burton reports participating hunters will be provided a map of the ranch boundaries, a list of area rules and a vehicle decal identifying permission has been received. Signs will also be posted marking the boundaries of the hunter management areas.
Hunters from outside southeast Wyoming can have a friend sign them up, but all the license and vehicle information will still need to be provided.
Burton says the Overland Trail Hunter Management Area is only open to elk hunting. All other species, including deer, antelope and birds, are off limits in the agreement. Extra G&F personnel will be assigned to patrol the area.
Area 12 type 1 elk licenses can still be purchased from the G&F's Cheyenne office. The season runs October 1 - November 19. Burton says the ranches have the potential to provide good late season elk hunting if weather pushes the animals off the mountain.
"Hunters often ask for more public access, and that's what we've gotten with this hunter management agreement," Burton says. "But to keep it, we've got to step up by keeping litter picked up and obeying all ranch rules. Any bad behavior, such as vandalism or driving off road, could jeopardize this agreement next year and other future agreements in the region."
One reason why ranches participate in the program is to save time by letting the G&F answer the hunting inquiries. So the G&F urges hunters not to call the ranches, but to contact the G&F office with questions.
As part of the G&F's Private Land/Public Wildlife program, this is the third year of hunter management agreements. Hunters are reminded their contributions to the AccessYes check off on licenses and applications help fund Wyoming hunting and fishing access initiatives, including hunter management areas and the Walk-in Area program.
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