BLM boundry question.

Apachemagnum

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
18
Location
Platteville Colorado
I am seeking opinions and advise about a condition that some may have encountered .. This is a bit long winded but I want to set the scene. Two years ago, mid-day I decided to head out by myself and I entered a small BLM section just off a main hwy. The BLM mostly was sage but at the back side was full of aspen and the far end was thick timber that butts up to two private property fence lines or so I thought at the time. The forested area on the BLM is about 400 yards deep by 1/2 mile long. This would be a prime example of the land most drive by on their way to their destination and never stop to give it a chance.

30 minutes into a very slow walk with wind in my face, I find myself knees deep in fresh dropping, fresh elk musk in the air, cows walking in front of me and a few bulls lightly calling back and forth. I hunted the entire area to the fence lines and back several times during the rest of the day trying to get a clear lane for a shot as eh elk fed. No opportunity ever came about so I returned the next day with my buddies dad.

20 minutes after sun up, all the way in the back corner I softly cow called and had a great reply. Before we knew it, we had a nice mature Colorado 6 pt. 40 yards in front of us. Since by buddy's 60 year old dad had yet to ever harvest a bull, I gave him first shot. He ended missing as he jerked with the release. I let out a few cow mews and had him right back in front of me. I released and thought I had a good hit. 10 minutes later I found a very light blood trail with really dark colored blood that we followed to the fence.

I contacted the DOW and got the contacts for the land owner behind both fences at the corner. Both properties were leased out to different outfitters. I was put in contact with them through the landowner and was given permission to trespass by each party to search for the bull. About two hours after the shot I started the search. One of the guides from the outfitters even stopped in to help on the search. Sadly we ended up to losing the trail. I searched the next two days looking for the bull but never found him and I never heard from the outfitters that they recovered the bull. Now here is where I’m asking for advice or direction. The area behind the fence was amazing and had ten times the sign that I saw on the BLM side. There were rubs, fresh scat, musk, trails and beds everywhere. .

At this point I was devastated and I tore my tag up and called it a season. Later while back at home I decided to do more research using GPS maps and satellite views along with CPW hunting atlas that shows property boundaries.. From this research I noticed both private property fence lines were vastly in the wrong location and close to 500 yards into the BLM. At first I thought this was awesome since I could hunt further into the great area since its legally BLM. I contacted the BLM office purchased the current land survey maps with boundaries. Then I called both BLM and CPW to ask their stance. I got the reply of, “ it’s your risk and burden to prove in the court of law if you are questioned”, and was told to ensure you don’t cross the actual boundary. BLM did acknowledge the fence was in the wrong location and that I was looking at all the correct maps but planned to do nothing about the fence location. It was suggested to me by CPW to not cross the fence even though it was still BLM to not stir the waters with the landowners and their Outfitter’s.

Last year I returned to the area on the public side of the fence and found the small area full of elk. Even though I set up 50 yards from the fence I decided not to cross it In the interest of not stirring the waters and keeping good relation with the landowners and field CPW officers. The biggest reason is if I do make another shot and it runs, I don’t want bad blood and not be granted permission to retrieve an animal if I expires on the real private property. What would you do or what have you done?
 

Tom

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
4,985
Location
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Sounds like you have a great place to hunt and that you know that you better keep good relations to recover game you may shoot. At least you don't have to worry if one is near the fence and you shoot it. I would have let the older guy shoot again and maybe backed him up on the second shot. Two hits and the bull might have laid right there with plenty of meat to split.
 

JBS

Active member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
218
Location
Helena
I think that I would hunt up to the fence knowing that if you find yourself in the all to common situation of having a bull come right up to the fence but not jump it that you have a good buffer of Public. I would get the ownership overlay on a gps. It would also be beneficial to walk the property line in the summer when there is not as much scrutiny to familiarize yourself with what lies beyond the fence. I had this situation in a spot with the fence being off by about 150 yrds. I stripped the branches off of some eye level limbs of the trees for a visual reference.
 

PatrickK

New member
Joined
Dec 19, 2014
Messages
74
I think you should hunt wherever its public, if you want.

The BLM saying its your responsibility to prove your innocence if questioned doesn't seem right. It seems like they should have to prove you guilty and you would be presumed innocent until then.

Patrick
 

utah400elk

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
660
Location
Sterling, VA
In Colorado it's the hunters responsibility to know where they are. The land does not have to be posted. Without any posting/fence/landmark it could be iffy. I might be wrong... but I think the BLM was simply telling him to be sure where he is at all times. If I were in his shoes, I would walk the area, set up a proximity alarm on my GPS and give myself about 50 yard buffer. Best of luck to you and it you want help trying to figure out your little honey hole, just give me the long and lat and I will check it out for you :)
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
1,673
Location
Wyoming
to me the fact both properties allowed you to go look for your elk i would respect that. i would probably hunt up to the fence to allow a buffer if i was to hit one, maybe even develop a relationship over the long term with your new honey hole. i have shot animals and been told NO to going to look for it once it ran onto a piece of private and that is the worst thing there is, so i wouldn't burn any bridges and just hunt. i will add i now go about getting "permission" a slightly different way, i would value good landowners/outfitters.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
4,503
Location
SW NM
xmaps and a buffer, knowing landowner and letting them know what your up to sometimes pays dividends.
Fencelines are often off property lines,IMHO.
 

Poke 'Em

Active member
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Messages
411
Location
Belgrade/Bozeman
You could just try talking to the property owner and let them know you intend to hunt across the fence but will use GPS to stay on the BLM land. See what they say, you might avoid any bad blood by being honest.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
94,635
Messages
1,412,391
Members
29,685
Latest member
rangespec3
Top