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  1. Default Access Quality of Eastern Wyoming?

    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?

  2. #2

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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...oad-Map?bidId=
    Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 12-05-2018 at 11:48 AM. Reason: add on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    West Coast, Michigan
    Posts
    397

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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!
    Don't you ever wonder why
    In spite of all that's wrong here
    There's still so much that goes so right
    And beauty abounds?

    The thunder rolls and the baby sighs
    And the rain comes down
    Don't you wanta thank someone for this?
    -Andrew Peterson

  4. #4

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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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Wenatchee
    Posts
    1,339

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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.
    Elitist Hunter

    "Never let schooling [work] get in the way of your education" - Mark Twain

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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.

  8. #8

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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.

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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.

  10. #10

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    Check your PMs np307

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    PrairieHunter- thanks for the link. In all the research I’ve done I hadn’t yet come across that!!

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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.

  13. #13

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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.
    Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 12-05-2018 at 10:17 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinsonovagun View Post
    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.

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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
    Last edited by Guy; 12-05-2018 at 10:50 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Posts
    2,381

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by np307 View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
    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.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dooger View Post
    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.

  21. #21

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    The WGFD hunt planner now also shows county/public roads

    https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Hunting/Hunt-Pl...g/Antelope-Map

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    You're best bet it to contact the Road and Bridge Superintendent for each county. If you read the online maps carefully they say not all roads are public that are depicted. Some are ranch roads shown for emergency access purposes.
    Some counties do have better maps now though, Campbell Co being one of them.

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    I hunted NE Wyoming this fall. Although I am no stranger to hunting out west here in Canada, it was my first hunting trip states side and first time hunting Antelopes. I have to admit, I was prepared for the worst in terms of hunting pressure and having an overall hard hunt. I knew access was limited and I had warnings of private land owners posting public land.

    I wasn't really prepared for the "poor" access to public land. I ended up tagging my Antelope on day 4 of a 5 day trip. Day 1 was mostly scouting and getting the layout of the land, the unit I hunted was small enough to pretty much drive the whole thing in one day. Day 2,3 and 4 were mostly hunting days, at that point, I had 5 pieces of BLM land that had easy access and those are the ones I hunted. Due to the weather and extremely low visibility, I had a couple days where I couldn't sit and glass, so it was mostly driving and still hunting. On the last day and a half, the weather cleared and I was able to sit back, glass and make moves on antelopes and was successful in doing so.

    Like I mentioned above, I was prepared for a lot, one thing I actually wasn't prepared for, was the frustrations associated with being close enough to public land that you can see it but couldn't physically get to it because it was landlocked by private land or roads. It wasn't an impossible hunt and I will most likely hit the same unit next year if I can.

    One last thing, some of you have posted very good links above, I just realized that a county road that was posted private is actually public, so next year if I draw a tag, I intend on hitting those two BLM land. As a Canadian non-resident, I was really reluctant to "push my luck", if I saw posted land, I moved on, but now I'm actually starting to wonder how many times I turned around because some gutsy land owner posted a road or parcel of public land...

    My advice to you, even when you think you have done all your homework, do more research. I thought I knew all the information I needed to know before making the trip, I was wrong.

  24. #24

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    Don't let the "hard access" units deter you, they can be fun if you put in the work. All the info mention already is good stuff and the only other info I can provide is get off the dang road and walk. I drew a hard access eastern unit as my second choice this year and had a good hunt, lots of people running the roads and exactly zero back in the WIA's, State and BLM chunks on foot. OnX maps is a must.
    "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take a chance?" -Ronald Reagan

  25. #25

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    This year I did exactly what emf said, got my first DIY antelope, and had fun. If I had an opportunity to access 40K acres of private land for a reasonable cost I would probably take it. Being able to do your own thing with only 2 other hunters on the land would be a better hunt, but I had fun doing what I did and plan to do it again next year. I applied for an "any antelope" tag in one of the difficult access units of eastern Wy. First choice draw odds for a non-res were 80% and I got my tag. I had taken a decent buck on a guided hunt in 2015 so my intent was just to take a buck, any buck. After seeing the number of hunters and how the antelope were behaving, I quickly changed my focus to any antelope and took a doe early on day 2 in one of the Walk-in Areas. If I had been travelling alone I could have held out several days longer and probably gotten a buck, but the wife was along and we wanted time to do some other things out west before heading home to Va.

    I did spend a lot of time studying maps and I got OnxHunt and did a day of scouting before the season opened. It all paid off.

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