Access Quality of Eastern Wyoming?

np307

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I'm planning on making 2019 the year I finally get out West to do some hunting, specifically Wyoming. My current plan is to put in for a cow tag for one of the general units in hopes of drawing it while I build some points (I know there aren't general cow units, but I want to draw a cow tag in a unit that's a general bull tag). If I don't draw a cow tag though, I have a couple buddies who are interested in a group antelope hunt. All of the units I'm looking at that we would easily be able to draw are in Eastern Wyoming. Some of them are listed on gohunt as having "good" access, but all of them are starred by WGFD website as having "difficult" access. I'm wondering what the actual state of these units is. I assume most easy to draw units are going to be much more limited in public land access than the harder units, but a couple of them look like they have good chunks of accessible land. Is it worth it for us to pursue these easy to draw units?
 

Topgun 30-06

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You can't just look on a map like you probably have and think the big chunks of public land are accessible since it probably doesn't show what roads are actually legally accessible by the public. Paper maps from the BLM are inexpensive and show land ownership as far as BLM, state land, and private property, but they don't show legal public roads. You can go on the net and get a map of all the public roads that a particular county maintains by going to that county's website. Match the roads up with the public land on the paper map to see what public lands you can legally get to on those public roads. You'll want to buy a chip for your GPS showing landowner designations or pay to download the map on your phone for the actual trip so you know exactly where you are at all times. Here is a map of Campbell County taken right off that county website. At the bottom right of that map and many others from other counties you can zoom in to a particular road with the + sign to read the name.

https://www.ccgov.net/DocumentCenter/View/2017/County-Road-Map?bidId=
 
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efw

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NP307 you assume right.

TG’s advice is good.

Whatever you do do NOT let difficult access keep you from going. A tough hunt with GPS in hand jumping from small plot to small plot is more fun than staying home!
 

Wyo7

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Careful hunting Eastern Wyoming. There are a lot of landlocked chunks and a lot of ranchers itching to run you off what they believe to be "their land." Make sure to do your homework with respect to Hunter Management Areas too. They can be your best friend if you can get permissions slips to them but I have seen a lot of people trespass and get tickets by thinking it's a walk in area. They are not the same. However, if hunting antelope you can find them on these pieces but be prepared to have a lot of hunting pressure on those parcels. Feel free to message me if you want more info. I am a Wyoming native, born and raised on the West side of the state and now living on the East side of the state. I'm more than willing to help someone out on their first antelope. Best of luck!
 

neffa3

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I found with the county roads map TG mentioned and some careful planning, and of course onx in the field, difficult public access felt rather easy.
 

TOGIEGOAT

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Not so much eastern wyoming, but I carried a respectable buck out of a "difficult public access unit" this fall in Wyoming off BLM. The wyo game wardens are super helpful people.
 
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Awesome info guys. This was one of my concerns, but ALMOST sounds like it shouldn’t be as concerning as others make it out to be.
 

PrairieHunter

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On make sure to check out the different walk in properties, HMA's, etcc as that part of the state has a lot of those that are not listed on the main deer/antelope maps.

Here is the link for walk in properties.
https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Public-Access/Walk-In-Hunting

It's a different style of hunting sometimes hitting a section here and then a walk in piece here, then a school section here, etc.... but there is good hunting to be had.
 

np307

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Wow, thanks everyone for the input thus far. Just as a couple points of clarification, I have the kmz files downloaded from the WGFD website for the prospective units and I have been following the roads on there looking for access, not just looking for big blobs of green and yellow. I hunt public land for whitetail here in NC and have gotten pretty used to looking over maps and using OnX to find less frequented but accessible public land. I'm also no stranger to having crowded hunting seasons. I've also looked at the WIAs and HMAs, though not quite as extensively. I'm glad to hear that y'all feel it would still be worthwhile for us to give this a shot.
 

Dooger

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Topgun,

That map looks too easy. What am I missing? I’m new to WY hunting too and I’ve heard some roads are not open to the public. How do you know? That map only has Co., Interstates, Etc listed.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Dooger---Any road showing on that map is a public road maintained by taxpayer dollars either by the state or county and are, therefore, open to the public. Any of them that touch or go through public land are legal access to that public land. That Campbell County map is one of the better ones in that it not only shows the roads, but also lists them and how long they are along with where they are on the map.
 
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PrairieHunter

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PrairieHunter- thanks for the link. In all the research I’ve done I hadn’t yet come across that!!
I have not idea why they keep it a secret but it kinda is if you don't know to look for it. Makes it easy to see all the properties that are available to hunt. Once you add those to the limited public it's adequate for hunting, just takes a little different strategy. Lots of glassing and moving from property to property.
 

Guy

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I often hunt eastern Wyoming for mule deer & antelope. There is some public land, more than many would imagine, but an awful lot of it is private. It's cattle country, and has been for 100 years or more.

Actually prefer hunting on private land. I pay a fee to hunt the ranch, but... 40,000 acres with only three hunters on it at any given time is pretty nice.

The animals actually act "natural" because they're not being chased by a bunch of yahoos on ATV's & pickups etc... Pretty much no pressure. The animals go about their natural daily activity. And I get to plan how to intercept the mule deer and how to stalk the antelope. It works out well. Yes, it involves extra cost. Worth it to me because of the quality of the hunt.

Regards, Guy
 
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LCH

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Have everybody toss their names in the hat for some Type 6 elk tags and Type 6 pronghorn tags in a decent area. Areas don't have to overlap, just be within 1-2 hours commute. Odds are somebody will draw something and you can share the meat.
 

np307

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I often hunt eastern Wyoming for mule deer & antelope. There is some public land, more than many would imagine, but an awful lot of it is private. It's cattle country, and has been for 100 years or more.

Actually prefer hunting on private land. I pay a fee to hunt the ranch, but... 40,000 acres with only three hunters on it at any given time is pretty nice.

The animals actually act "natural" because they're not being chased by a bunch of yahoos on ATV's & pickups etc... Pretty much no pressure. The animals go about their natural daily activity. And I get to plan how to intercept the mule deer and how to stalk the antelope. It works out well. Yes, it involves extra cost. Worth it to me because of the quality of the hunt.

Regards, Guy
Thanks. Private land isn't something that I'm really ready to look at right now. I'm not completely opposed to it, but I've also really enjoyed the satisfaction of hunting public land here in NC, and want to experience that elsewhere as well. I certainly won't rule it out, but it's not high on the list currently.
 

Guy

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Thanks. Private land isn't something that I'm really ready to look at right now. I'm not completely opposed to it, but I've also really enjoyed the satisfaction of hunting public land here in NC, and want to experience that elsewhere as well. I certainly won't rule it out, but it's not high on the list currently.
Roger that! :) I've taken elk & mule deer on public land in Wyoming, but not antelope. Hunted more western areas in Wyoming when I hunted elk, and some of my mule deer hunts. The potential is awesome. I think you're going to really enjoy your Wyoming hunt, and doing your homework, like this, and more, will help tremendously.

A successful DIY/Public Land hunt is certainly something that can be done! Took a nice 6x6 bull elk that way, some years ago. Hard hunt, rough country, but what a hunt!

Regards, Guy
 

Dooger

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Dooger---Any road showing on that map is a public road maintained by taxpayer dollars either by the state or county and are, therefore, open to the public. Any of them that touch or go through public land are legal access to that public land. That Campbell County map is one of the better ones in that it not only shows the roads, but also lists them and how long they are along with where they are on the map.
Thanks, now that being said, in other parts of WY are there roads that are hard to distinguish between being public and private? I know there’s obvious private roads like any where else, but it seems like WY has a road system that can be confusing.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Thanks, now that being said, in other parts of WY are there roads that are hard to distinguish between being public and private? I know there’s obvious private roads like any where else, but it seems like WY has a road system that can be confusing.
I don't believe there are any particular areas in other parts of the state that would be more difficult. Just get a map on the website for each county you want to check out and if you have any questions after checking it out then call the county and talk with the top dog for the road commission that takes care of them.
 
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