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One of the US’s largest states is also one of the least populated. It has at least 18.4 million acres under the Bureau of Land Management. It’s a hunter’s dream with a varied landscape including forests, ridges, mountains, grasslands, and prairies. But can you hunt BLM land in Wyoming?
Wyoming boasts over 3 million acres of public land. In these expansive swathes of wilderness, big game like deer, moose, black bear, and bighorn sheep proliferate. Much of it is under the Bureau of Land Management or BLM, which, unless expressly prohibited, are open for hunting.
Despite much of the land overseen by the BLM in Wyoming dedicated to mineral extraction and energy, there are still a lot of recreational opportunities. There are also plentiful upland birds and small or fur-bearing animals offering valuable hunting opportunities in the cowboy state.
The Bureau of Land Management and Its Mandate Over Hunting Land in Wyoming
The Bureau of Land Management was created as part of the interior department in 1946. Its job was to undertake the duties of the former General Land Office or GLO. That includes managing acquired or ceded lands not privately owned. Instead, these became federally owned acreages. These lands are multipurpose, slotted for energy development, cattle or livestock grazing, and recreational activities.
Lands under the BLM are also for conservation. Their jurisdiction includes many acres set aside as wilderness areas, national monuments, historic or scenic trails, and wildlife research. You’ll also find any activity happening, including hunting, horseback riding, fishing, and climbing. Activities prohibited on national parks or forestry land like base jumping and hang gliding occur in some areas.
The BLM provides opportunities not only to hunt but also to engage in shooting sports activities; provided for within a safe, publicly safe environment. They aim at promoting hunter education, marksmanship, lawful hunts, and competition. Over 99% of BLM lands plus waters, including vast areas of Wyoming, are open to recreational shooting and hunting.
In Wyoming, hunters on public or federally designated BLM land require a hunting license. That’s particularly if you plan to take high-profile big game animals, and especially if you’re a non-resident. You must have a licensed guide or local companion when hunting deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. That also applies to trophy animals like black bears, wolves, cougars, and mountain lions. Your resident buddy will have a noncommercial guide license, free from the state’s Game and Fish office.
Can You Hunt BLM Land in Wyoming as a Nonresident Hunter?
Approximately 18.4 million acres of public land is managed by Wyoming BLM. That includes 42.9 million acres of the federal mineral estate. These acreages are classified for multiple uses, including energy resources and bringing the outdoors to Americans with abundant recreation opportunities. Most of the most extended intact segments of the national historic trails system are on public lands within the state.
Unless you’re using an outfitter, take a land status map with you, available online or at any BLM office. Crossing or hunting on private land without permission can result in criminal trespass. It’s also in violation of Wyoming’s fish and game statutes.
In addition, there is no motorized transport allowed in areas of Wyoming BLM land. That’s especially for those acreages geared towards conservation. When planning a hunting expedition, retrieving a downed game using a vehicle may not be possible. For that, choose a pack frame, game cart, or horse, else you’ll need a few capable fiends to haul your harvest.
What Type of Game to Take When Hunting BLM Land in Wyoming?
Wyoming is a hunter-friendly state with attractive public land opportunities teeming with game. Despite the nonresident hunt restrictions that persist, outfitters with years of experience provide value to out-of-state hunters. The most sought-after game animals are elk, mule deer, pronghorn, white-tailed deer, and moose.
The state also offers trophy hunts for wolves, mountain goats, black bears, upland birds, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. The six most significant hunting habitats in Wyoming include; the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, also known as the Serengeti of North America. It also encompasses Green River, Killpecker Sand Dunes, national forests, wilderness country, and the Wyoming Mountains.
Wyoming allows you to apply for your hunting license online and to include multiple hunters in a single transaction. According to Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department, the most popular animals you’re allowed to hunt during the fall season include;
Elk is one of the most prolific animals in Wyoming. You can hunt this animal throughout much of the year. Places you can harvest elk include six of the state’s designated hunting areas.
You can take mule and whitetail deer in Wyoming, allowed in 14 WGFDs hunting areas. However, seasons can be short, and a special license may be required.