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MOHunter
10-16-2011, 08:45 PM
I returned last week from my first trip to WY. We went to hunt unit 25 for antelope. Believe it or not we had 6 goat tags and did not fill any of them! Unfortunately, there was no accessible public land. I know that Eastmans warns about this type of situation which is why we tried to do as much research as possible.

I purchased the huntinggpsmaps software, which is fantastic by the way. I studied maps before the trip. I called the Game and Fish and BLM departments. My main question was how to tell a public road from a private. Basically, the answers I received were that the 2 tracks were mostly private. The BLM dept. even told me that if the road is maintained by a grader it is a public county road. Well, when we got there we quickly found out that there was only 1 public road in the entire unit with access to only 1 piece of public property!!

We are somewhat frustrated about the way the rules are written in WY, but our biggest complaint is the lack of help we were given by the state. While at the G&F office in Casper the game warden could just tell us "it's your responsibility to know what your on". How pathetic when we're there to ask HOW do we know. It almost felt as if the state was afraid to be honest for fear we wouldn't buy tags. It's either that or they're mostly just plain stupid.

We ultimately received some good guidance for future trips and I'm hoping to hit unit 19 for elk just south of Casper next year. Unfortunately, some of our group was so turned off they ready to write the state off altogether. I'd like to be able to complain officially to someone who matters but I'm not sure who and doubt it would have any effect at all.

Umpqua Hunter
10-17-2011, 01:08 AM
MOHunter: I feel your pain....

In Wyoming, a good indicator if a unit has poor public access is available in the "Hunting Information and Regulations Booklet" (the annual regulation booklet). Areas that have difficult public access are clearly marked with an asterisk (*) right next to the unit number. I just looked up Unit 25 for antelope in the 2011 regulations, it has an asterisk by it. If you see the "asterisk" you know upfront it will be challenging to get hunting access. It's not to say it can't be done, but it will take a lot more work than on a unit with lots of public access.

You also mentioned that you are considering hunting elk in Unit 19. You might want to thoroughly check this area out for access as well. Unit 19 is also marked with an asterisk indicating difficult public access. It's not to say there is not hunting access in Unit 19, but it will be more challenging and really do your homework ahead of applying.

Another thing I have run in to over and over again when researching these "difficult to access" units. You might find a place to hunt, but in many of these areas, the elk know where the fence is for private land. As soon as the shooting starts, the elk move on to private in a hurry. Frustrated hunters end up seeing a lot of game, but in places they can't hunt.

Before applying for a unit indicated as "difficult public access", I would recommend getting a good map, such as the BLM map for the unit. Determine where you will actually be hunting. Make sure you have good access on "county" roads (not just any road). On a BLM map these "county" roads have county road numbers.

A general rule of thumb, if a unit is easy to draw, it usually has poor access, or poor hunting. Of course there are exceptions.

birdhunter
10-17-2011, 07:24 AM
You have to be careful in many units east of the big horns. Most of the land here is private. I would think that for elk in unit 19 it will be difficult public access south of casper. Im not familiar with this area however but know that there are a lot of ranches and a ton of private land. That just means that in todays hunting world, that land will be leased by an outfitter. When you go on the website as umpqua has said, there are asterisks that are red by the units with difficult access. Then it tells you to make sure you already have permission to hunt or a place to get access into BEFORE buying your license.

Also remember that if you get into any public land that is in a unit mostly covered in private land, that there will be more hunters on that land than animals.Please dont get too frustrated at the game and fish. Trying to learn where the public land boundries and private land are in an area here you have grown up in your whole is hard enough. It changes every year. People donate to walk ins then take them away half way through the year or the next year. Most of this is due to people mistreating and abusing the land that was donated to the wia program.

I know its hard to do when your an out of stater but you really need to research the area before you hunt it. It sounds bad but it is the hunters responsibility to know where the boundries are. The game and fish should have explanied a little better to you however. To let you know, there are also roads on private land that are graveled. Not just the two tracks. eastern and central wyoming is difficult to navigate because of all the privat land. Just keep that in mind.

MOHunter
10-17-2011, 08:26 AM
Please dont get too frustrated at the game and fish.
I know its hard to do when your an out of stater but you really need to research the area before you hunt it. It sounds bad but it is the hunters responsibility to know where the boundries are. The game and fish should have explanied a little better to you however.

Believe me, we definitely tried to research the area beforehand. That is exactly why I'm so frustrated. The G&F definitely misled us. If someone would have simply said, "there's only one public road and one piece of huntable property" we would have stayed away. Unfortunately, they all told us this AFTER we got there to hunt.

Someone once mentioned on this forum how useless the BLM is, and I now understand what they meant. They have been absolutely no help at all in this entire process.

I understand that it's the hunter's responsibility, but it's also the government's responsibility to make the rules accessible. It's a cop out to throw out that phrase when you don't know enough to give a knowledgable, understandable explanation of the laws.

By the way, the landowners were horrendous to deal with. We actually had one of them call the local sherriff. We were so glad to see him so we could get a straight answer, and to our pleasant surprise he was on our side. He told the landowner to chill and quit complaining. That just tells me more that the entire property/access situation in WY is really messed up.

wyomingmaniac
10-17-2011, 09:35 AM
My cousins from Utah all drew area 89 close to where I live. They all tagged out with no problem (6 antelope). There is plenty of public land in this part of the state to hunt. I would recommend staying away from difficult to access areas even if the better areas are harder to draw. In the long run you will be much happier and probably more successful. just my two cents

Umpqua Hunter
10-17-2011, 01:15 PM
Please know this is not meant to be sarcastic at all...but I'm not sure how much more accessible the Fish and Game could make the information.....

When you apply for a hunt, you have to look up the hunt number and type. On page 24 of the 2011 regulations is the Unit 25 that you applied for. Next to the hunt number is an "*". At the bottom of the page it says "* INDICATES HUNT AREAS WITH DIFFICULT PUBLIC ACCESS* (please see page 44 entitled, "HUNT AREAS WITH DIFFICULT PUBLIC ACCESS" of this packet for more information)."

On page 44 it says "Hunt areas marked with an asterisk (*) on the tentative hunting season information charts are predominantly private lands or have inaccessible or limited access to public lands. If you are considering applying for a license in any of these hunt areas, you are advised to obtain landowner permission prior to making application for a license. Obtaining permission to hunt after you receive a license is often difficult or impossible. You may hunt legally accessible public lands within these hunt area, but often such lands are in small parcels, receive heavy hunting pressure and may not sustain the species of wildlife you desire to hunt. In addition, wildlife abundance and distribution are often greater on the private land portions of these areas. The inability to secure a place to hunt is not cause for a license refund or exchange of license for another hunt area. For information on access to private lands, see the WGFD website. There are numerous walk-in and hunter management areas that allow free access, but hunters should check first to determine their availability in the area and for the species they wish to hunt."

Another great resource for this is the Eastman's MRS section. In the Feb 2011 edition of Eastman's magazine it listed Unit 25 for antelope as "poor" access. The other ratings are:

Trophy quality: B
Hunting Pressure: C
Access: D
Terrain: A
Quality of Hunt: C

As others have mentioned the antelope hunting in Wyoming is crazy good in numerous units with fantastic public access. Some of the top units in the state can be drawn with no points on the "special" license.

MOHunter
10-17-2011, 02:27 PM
Please know this is not meant to be sarcastic at all...but I'm not sure how much more accessible the Fish and Game could make the information.....

When you apply for a hunt, you have to look up the hunt number and type. On page 24 of the 2011 regulations is the Unit 25 that you applied for. Next to the hunt number is an "*". At the bottom of the page it says "* INDICATES HUNT AREAS WITH DIFFICULT PUBLIC ACCESS* (please see page 44 entitled, "HUNT AREAS WITH DIFFICULT PUBLIC ACCESS" of this packet for more information)."

On page 44 it says "Hunt areas marked with an asterisk (*) on the tentative hunting season information charts are predominantly private lands or have inaccessible or limited access to public lands. If you are considering applying for a license in any of these hunt areas, you are advised to obtain landowner permission prior to making application for a license. Obtaining permission to hunt after you receive a license is often difficult or impossible. You may hunt legally accessible public lands within these hunt area, but often such lands are in small parcels, receive heavy hunting pressure and may not sustain the species of wildlife you desire to hunt. In addition, wildlife abundance and distribution are often greater on the private land portions of these areas. The inability to secure a place to hunt is not cause for a license refund or exchange of license for another hunt area. For information on access to private lands, see the WGFD website. There are numerous walk-in and hunter management areas that allow free access, but hunters should check first to determine their availability in the area and for the species they wish to hunt."

Another great resource for this is the Eastman's MRS section. In the Feb 2011 edition of Eastman's magazine it listed Unit 25 for antelope as "poor" access. The other ratings are:

Trophy quality: B
Hunting Pressure: C
Access: D
Terrain: A
Quality of Hunt: C

As others have mentioned the antelope hunting in Wyoming is crazy good in numerous units with fantastic public access. Some of the top units in the state can be drawn with no points on the "special" license.

I don't want to argue with you too. Yes, I understand it's difficult public access, which I why I tried so hard to find out what the definition of public access really is. Believe me, I've been studying the MRS for a long time. Here's the bottom line, I could not get an accurate definition of what "legally accessible public lands" meant. That is where they fall short. They do a fine job of saying it's limited, but I could not get any help in determining what "limited" really meant. Having never been to WY that's a somewhat vague and relative description. Again, now I know when they say limited they mean virtually none. By the way, I checked on HMA and Walk-In, which there was none for this unit.

Someone from this forum advised this unit over another due to access issues. The BLM dept. told me that any road maintained by a grader is a county road, and G&F told me the only thing I could not drive on was 2 track. All of these things are false. That's not being clear in my book.

Also, paying double for a tag isn't an option for most people.

birdhunter
10-17-2011, 05:58 PM
MOHunter, Im not trying to make you mad. But here in Wyoming, public land is either State land, BLM land or forest service land. If your map shows you are in a white section it is private land. If its blue yellow or green you are on public land. The eastern side of the state is very difficult. Many land owners of big ranches next to the mountains are owned now by rich people moving into the state and are just trying to make money off of their hunting land. It is very tough here to get onto private land. I lucked out this year and found a landowner let me pay only $25 for a bull elk. Everyone around him was asking for $1000 to 4000. The sad thing about hunting every where is that it is turning into a rich mans sport. I think its kinda sad that the game and fish has to round up a bunch of money each year so that they can buy land from these landowners for the WIA program. Then the land that they get isnt that good to begin with. But at least they are trying to get more land for people to hunt on. YES, limited public access means very limited or impossible to access. Next time I would really study the WIA and HMA along with the public lands before making your decision. The western side of the state has a lot more public access than the eastern.

bullelk
10-17-2011, 07:32 PM
We went to 25 as well, and were very lucky to find some public land with a few animals. We filled our tags, but access was very difficult. I would not do it again.

Umpqua Hunter
10-18-2011, 10:41 AM
Also, paying double for a tag isn't an option for most people.

After a half a dozen hunts to Wyoming, I guess my point is you do what you have to do to secure a good hunt that has good access. You either spend several years and spend $30 a year building preference points, or you spend the extra $240 up front and get a great tag in a year or two. In the end its about a wash financially, and a heck of a lot cheaper than a guided hunt. It prevents drawing a tag, driving to Wyoming and not being able to hunt.

Also I wanted to point out that you are considering Unit 19 for elk, you may be getting yourself into another bad situation, with poor access and marginal hunting. I have max points for elk and have been watching unit 7 for a couple years. Its a fantastic elk unit, but has the same private land issues. I know guys who bow hunt and backpack in a couple miles and have an outrageous hunt, however I've been told if you rifle hunt the unit you better get it done quick, because the elk will be on private land in a hurry. My wife has two points and I have researched about every special draw unit in Wyoming and if there is a shortcut to a good tag, it has usually been found.

shootbrownelk
10-21-2011, 10:21 AM
Wyoming antelope area # 25 is horrible as far as access goes. There are some accessible BLM sections and
a few walk-ins & HMA's but generally, unless you have deep pockets, landowners deny access. The Casper
G&F office has never been a good source of information for Non-residents or Residents for that matter.
Don't count on any research help from this particular office. Others are MUCH better. You would have been
much better off applying for antelope area # 72...just outside Casper, lots of antelope & lots of Public access!

Colorado Cowboy
10-21-2011, 12:01 PM
Don't take what I going to say personal, but it sounds like you really should have looked at the Hunting/Application booklet carefully. Unit 25 is list as having DIFFICULT public access! The unit with this type of access are all indicated with * on all of their information in the booklet. Unit 72 is also listed this way.

DrHJH
10-21-2011, 04:09 PM
Except for the Black Hills and a little bit of public land scattered around the district, the Casper Region does not now nor has it ever had, much public land. Folks in the region are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't situation", since they know the results of offering advice when the hunter later can't get access because something changes, or if they don't offer help because they wouldn't hunt the areas themselves, but the hunter decides to get the licenses despite all of the signs saying don't do it.
Hunters always look at the list of leftover licenses or areas easy to draw and think they've found something good. There is always a reason licenses are still available somewhere after the drawings. Either there is little access, access fees are high, or the licenses are for females in areas where the average guy can already hunt either sex on a general license, something like that. If you decide to ignore the warning signs, you often have a poor hunt.
I offered lots of advice to hunters during my career, and I never sent anyone to NE Wyoming outside the Black Hills for fear they would not find decent access.
Accessible public land in Wyoming, by the way, is any that you can access from a public road. As one of the owners of the public lands, you have to allow the private landowner access to his or her land across the public land, but the reverse is not true. You may be excluded from acessing large tracts of public land by less than 100 yards of private land if the private landowner locks a gate or puts up a No Trespassing sign. There is more and more of this every year, only partially alleviated by GPS units. Be consoled by the fact your tax money subsidizes the guys who deny you access. Wyoming continues to favor the large private landowner in all things. And make certain to put the blame where it lies, with the private landowners who aren't giving you access and the folks who lease up their land, not the Game and Fish folks who not only can't get landowners to agree on management, they can't get landowners to open up access even as they bitch about game damage. As someone said above, many new landowners don't want hunters on their places, locking up more access. The guy who owns the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets now controls 1 million acres in and around the Shirley Mountains in central Wyoming, all of which was accessible 25 years ago. The Private Lands/Public Wildlife guys, who have so far got 1.6 million acres of private lands access, could open up more access with more money, by the way, but donations from hunters have stagnated while they complain about access. And don't forget to keep voting for the guys who want to turn all of the public land into private land.

dcestnik
10-21-2011, 08:43 PM
For elk area 19 look around the reno hill area late in the season and hope for snow. There is an HMA that opens a lot of access but on the other side there is a large ranch used for refuge until they get snow. Also the ranchers/guides have a stranglehold on just about any land East of Rawlins.

SouthernWyo
10-23-2011, 09:13 AM
So let me get this straight, you got a tag for an area that was CLEARLY identified as having poor public access, you found that to be true, couldn't fill your tags, and now are again considering applying for an area with poor public access, again CLEARLY stated.

Wow, must be the fault of the BLM, WGFD, and the mean nasty landowners. Obviously everyone's fault but your own. Buddy, you should probably look into other states in the future.

P.S. Figuring out the public access roads is not that tough. Buy and read a map.

shootbrownelk
10-23-2011, 11:55 AM
Cowboy, #72 may be listed this way..but a BLM map shows good (not great) access. A GPS helps too,
showing private ownership/BLM and State lands. I never had an access problem to shoot a good goat.
You have to do your homework.

MOHunter
10-23-2011, 07:17 PM
So let me get this straight, you got a tag for an area that was CLEARLY identified as having poor public access, you found that to be true, couldn't fill your tags, and now are again considering applying for an area with poor public access, again CLEARLY stated.

Wow, must be the fault of the BLM, WGFD, and the mean nasty landowners. Obviously everyone's fault but your own. Buddy, you should probably look into other states in the future.

P.S. Figuring out the public access roads is not that tough. Buy and read a map.

I'm not sure what I'm missing, maybe I am as dense as many of you probably suspect (though I highly doubt it). I don't see how it's my fault when I read the regs. and MRS and see that it's difficult access - therefore contacting the various agencies for further info. Upon talking with them I was given the WRONG information. I received maps and info. from the BLM dept. along with purchasing the maps for my gps. I was hoping for a situation like shootbrownelk describes in 72.

Also, unit 19 for elk is a bit of a different story due to the vast amount of HMA (Muddy Mountain) in that area. I used part of my recent trip to drive down there and check it out some. Thanks to everyone who's providing some helpful information for future trips. I thought that was really the purpose of these forums.

llp
10-25-2011, 12:32 PM
MoHunter,
While I understand your frustration, you are acting a bit dense. No law enforcement officer can give you a simple answer to the question "how do i determine if land is legally accessible". There are some guidelines, but it takes a lawyer to answer that question fully.
Sure, if a county road goes through public land it is accessible. Most times it is more complicated. Some two track roads are accessible on public land, sometimes off-road travel is prohibited. It takes a lot more than a brief visit to the area and stopping in to the G+F office to answer these questions. And looking at a map and determining if the public land is accessible is useless if the game isn't there. It really takes more research in these "difficult public access" areas then you seem willing to commit. The good news is many units have great public access. Any even in these units I have been occcassionally hassled by landowners acting like pricks. On the other hand, many have been very friendly and helpful, so you just never know. If you insist on hunting units with limited public access, be prepared to do a bit more research, scout the area in advance, etc., Not cheap, or even practical for someone out of the area, but a simple fact of life.
llp

dcestnik
10-27-2011, 08:12 PM
Rocky Mountain Sports on CY ave used to print custom maps that could help but antelope hunting without having large blocks of contiguous land is extremely frustrating. I had also heard that the Muddy Mountain HMA was not going to allow archery access, not sure though.

Roboz
11-21-2011, 09:03 PM
I hunted 25 last year, it is tough to find some huntable land but it can be done if you study your map. There is a nice walk in area off of Jade road with 2800 acres, we took 2 bucks off of it. Took a nice 14" out of a small 1 mile section of BLM that nobody was hunting and took another off a State section that the G&F officer told us about when he was checking our licenses. I studied that topo map for 2 months, talked with BLM and with the County offices regarding access months before going. The G&F officer said he wished everybody could read a map like we did. I didnt make it this year but the other 3 made the trip and came back with 3 nice bucks out of 25 again, so it can be done. Study those maps! I live in Colorado and study my hunting maps all the time, In fact i am looking at Wyoming deer and antelope maps for next year already.
Good Luck next year!

airwingdevildog
11-30-2011, 11:21 PM
Stay out of the Casper Region, crappy access and poor hunting. If you want to kil antelope hunt the red desert region of Wyoming. South Central, south of Atlantic city has some pigs in it. Oh and it is BLM for as far as you can see and drive. Lierally hundreds of miles of public access. Locally area 64 always holds some of the biggest goats n Wyoming.

EBOLAVIRS
12-01-2011, 04:28 AM
Problem is you can only hunt unit 64 every 5 years or so...I am guessing he was around casper because he didn't have points to draw a well known unit like 64....

Sent from my AT100 using Tapatalk

Drhorsepower
12-01-2011, 08:09 AM
Stay out of the Casper Region, crappy access and poor hunting. If you want to kil antelope hunt the red desert region of Wyoming. South Central, south of Atlantic city has some pigs in it. Oh and it is BLM for as far as you can see and drive. Lierally hundreds of miles of public access. Locally area 64 always holds some of the biggest goats n Wyoming.

I beg to differ on Casper. I hunted 73 in 2010 with great access and tons of blm land. There was antelope every where you looked! I killed a great buck, it took five days though. I counted 53 different bucks the first day driving around. They are all 12-13" range with good mass. The biggest problem I ran into was ranchers claiming blm was theirs! As soon as I pulled out my blm maps, their story changed. They do own water up there though so sitting on a water hole is out without a trespass fee. One dude wanted 300$. I don't think he gets alot of business. I do agree on red dessert. I am building points now and will be hunting there In 15 years when I get enough points!

SouthernWyo
12-11-2011, 06:12 PM
If you were on BLM and someone told you that they "owned" the water, and you belived them, you got screwed. Water rights on developed water sources on BLM is held jointly by the government and the permittee. You can't be charged to set a blind on a public land waterhole.

HuntWYODon
12-19-2011, 12:47 PM
DrHJH,
You are right on the money with everything you said. I've been hunting Wy. every year since 1983 and have wittnessed everything you said. Glad to see when guys have the guts to publicly say it ! There are a few million and billionares who want to buy up all the public land between Mt.,Wy.S.D.Co., NM.,etc. and land lock it. Look at Ted Turner for a great example. He loves all his buffalo though ! Now days if you can't afford an outfitter or know someone with private land to hunt, you have to hunt hard on what's left or pay tresspass fees. I commend the walk in / hunter managemant areas but the get hunted hard just like public land. My favorite is not being able to hunt wilderness areas if youe a non res. Federal land which is not owned by the state and the state sets the rules. Huh ? Locked out of public land because of the outfitter's lobby... Oh well, I'll continuse to hunt Wy. until I can't anymore.
Colorado Cowboy,
You are right about area 72. It's mostly private. I know. I own 40 acres of it. Another post in here said to try 72 because of all the public land. Not so. Area 68 and 69 would be much better. You have walk in and public and lots of loper's.

fox30buck
12-30-2011, 10:43 AM
Sorry to hear that, working on plans for a 2014 trip, i appreciate your heads up.

TRM54
02-29-2012, 05:07 PM
I feel bad for you, however the other posts are right, you have to be very diligent when it comes to applying for a hunt area. I have hunted southeast Wyoming my whole life and access is getting harder and harder. What with the old time ranchers selling out to rich doctors and lawyers, and outfitters buying up hunting leases, DYI hunters are being crowded into what public land is accessible. There are vast areas of public land is surrounded by private lands and the common Joe hunter is left high and dry. Some are as close as 100 yards to a public road or the corners touch but if you "corner cross"' the outfitter or landowner will call the law and have you arrested for trespassing. It is really frustrating! I believe there needs to be legislation that permits legal hunters and fishermen to access all public lands in reasonable acreages on existing roads, trails etc., across private land.

Ilovethewest
08-12-2012, 09:25 PM
http://www.fs.fed.us/maps/forest-maps.shtml

Well I do feel for you somewhat. My family has lost lands that we used to hunt due to outfitters taking over. Cant blame the landowners completely.....everyone has to make a living. But I do think there is a little greed at play too in some cases. Same thing is happening here in WI. Unless you got some big bucks, land is hard to find. and land is cheap out west compared to here.....taxes are better too than in WI. But anyways, thats a different topic. It is sad to see our sport slowly going towards big money pay to play........hope that trend somehow changes.

I do think you were kind of naive and didnt do enough homework, even though it seems like you were well intentioned. I too have hunted "hard access" units, and you really need to do your research. I posted a link to the Forest Service Maps. These are THE maps to use. Unlike BLM maps or online web maps, the FS does a great job of clearly showing public access rds. One hunt jumps to mind......an antelope hunt west of newcastle in the Thunder Basin NGL. We had BLM maps too (always get them as a backup reference), but they were more vague. The FS showed roads that were open to public access and crossed private lands. We used this map to get to a good chunk of public land that you had to cross private lands to get to. The FS highlights those roads in Yellow usually, and marks them "public access" road. We also verified this with the local warden, just to be sure. We watched with Binocs numerous trucks that went up to the gate, stopped, and turned around. A couple of trucks came through like we did, but not many. And we saw more and better goats in that area. HOWEVER.........there are very few roads like this in eastern WY. And there were some areas that we couldnt get to without getting permission, which would most likely would not have been given, or we would have been charged with fees. But if you do your homework, you can find a spot or 2 like we did, and you can have success. You dont need huge areas. Just 1 good spot will fill your tags.

I have nothing but good things to say about the WGFD. They have been nothing but helpful to me so far. Most of the wardens and biologists have been helpful, and honest, too. One warden we talked to said he would much rather talk to us ahead of time, answer our questions and try to help us, than end up responding to a tresspass call down the road. Most of the wardens we talk too, if you tell them where EXACTLY you want to hunt, they will help you get there. Simply saying "i want to hunt unit xyz" will get you nowhere. But syaing you want to hunt this draw, or this ridge in this area........then I have had nothing but positive feedback from the WGFD and the local wardens.

Hope my advice helps and good luck on future hunts.

Drhorsepower
08-13-2012, 01:14 AM
If you were on BLM and someone told you that they "owned" the water, and you belived them, you got screwed. Water rights on developed water sources on BLM is held jointly by the government and the permittee. You can't be charged to set a blind on a public land waterhole.

I'm sorry i didn't see this sooner, most water where I hunted was clearly marked private on the map. An old rancher told me the old timers homesteaded the the water holes a long time ago, then lease the land around it for grazing. Seems brilliant to me.

SouthernWyo
08-20-2012, 10:36 PM
That makes more sense, water sources on private land surface is obviously private. This was common practice during the homesteading period.