I am planning my hunt in a hunt area that includes large tracts of private land. What do I need to do to hunt on private land?
Great question -- it is critical to know if a hunt area is predominantly private land or has limited access to public lands before applying for a license. Approximately half of Wyoming is private land, and some public lands can only be reached by crossing private land. To cross private lands, permission must be obtained from landowners. Landowners have the right to control access to their lands and charge an access fee.
Wyoming law requires that written permission or other proof of permission for access has been granted before one can hunt on private land. The following tips should help minimize access problems:
1. Be familiar with the land ownership before applying for a license.
2. Make hunting arrangements with the landowner in advance of applying for a license.
3. Avoid the season opening day. Many landowners are full on opening day, but have vacancies later in the season.
4. Carry a good map and/or a GPS with landownership information. Maps showing public and private lands are available. It is a good idea to check with local land management agencies to see if land sales have changed the status of lands in your hunt area. The Hunt Planner, on the Game and Fish website, is a tool that hunters can use to look at private/public land status.
5. Know where you are. Wyoming law does not require landowners to post their property. It is the hunter’s responsibility to know if the land is public or private.
6. Some county assessor’s offices have landownership information on their county websites and chambers of commerce may be able to advise you of landowner names in surrounding hunt areas.Some private land is open for public access through either Walk-In Area or Hunter Management Area programs.