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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally Posted by SouthernWyo
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.
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.
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.
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!