Be Aware of Walk-In and HMA Changes Before Hunting Season
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 11, 2020
Make sure you know where you’re hunting.
As the Fall 2020 hunting season approaches, Wyoming Game and Fish encourages everyone to review the rules and – most importantly – the boundaries of the Bighorn Basin’s walk-in and hunter management areas. There are 83 hunting walk-in areas and 11 HMAs providing hunters free public hunting access on over 362,500 acres of private land and inaccessible public land in the Bighorn Basin alone. These are all part of the Access Yes program, which was setup by Wyoming Game and Fish to create partnerships with private land owners to get better land access for hunting.
That being said, nothing is immune to change. Changes to rules and limitations can occur throughout the year. New areas can be added, others withdrawn or their access modified. Hunters do not need to obtain permission slips to hunt in walk-in areas, but they are held responsible for knowing each area’s individual rules, boundaries and what species are available to hunt. Meanwhile a permission slip is needed for access to hunter management areas. Its not only a matter of etiquette – which is of utmost importance for every hunter on any of these properties – but hunter safety as well.
There have been several changes to hunter management areas and walk-in areas throughout the Bighorn Basin:
- Walk-in area closures include Big Horn 14 in Frannie, Big Horn 29 in the Burlington/Otto area, Park 8 south of Cody, part of Park 14 in Ralston and Washakie 18 south of Worland.
- New walk-in areas include Big Horn 24 (open for antelope and deer) and Washakie 2 (open for deer and elk).
Additional acreage was added to the existing Hot Springs 19 Walk-in Area which is open for antelope, deer, elk and partridge.
- The Gooseberry HMA south of Meeteetse is now Walk-in Area Hot Springs 13 and is open to antelope, deer, elk, partridge, grouse, rabbits and pheasants.
- A portion of the Carter Mountain HMA was removed and designated as the Bear Creek HMA and as Park 6 Walk-In Area.
- The new Bear Creek HMA is only open for antlerless elk hunting; Park 6 Walk-in Area is open for antelope and white-tailed deer. Please review the maps and ranch rules for each area.