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DIY Wyoming Antelope hunt on Public land?

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Old 07-10-2014, 08:46 AM
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Below is the link to the Wyoming BLM to get maps and if you go through the website you'll see the unit locations and what maps cover it. Depending on the unit it sometimes takes 3 or 4 maps, but they're only $4 each. Make sure if you go out there that you have a GPS with landownership chip in it and it's imperative to know what roads are public all the way through so you don't get a trespassing ticket. The GPS/Chip doesn't give you that information, but you should be able to get a county map that shows all the publically maintained roads by calling the appropriate county seat.



http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/resources/public_room.html
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Uncle View Post
Be advised that there are quite a few BLM renters that consider the leased BLM land to be theirs and are nasty to the public.
It's been quite awhile since I had that happen to me. Lately, I find it's the "outfitters" who are leasing the hunting rights on the landowner's deeded ground who are more likely to confront you on the public side of the fence and attempt to convince you that you're trespassing.

I'm not sure there's a "best" way to deal with that. I don't walk the fencelines separating public and private land, tending to stay at least a couple hundred yards or more inside the public boundary. I'm not even sure the guys I've run into can read a map, or know how to use a GPS for that matter. Goat country is pretty open, and there's really no reason that a landowner or outfitter would be able to approach you without you seeing them long before.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by homers brother View Post
It's been quite awhile since I had that happen to me. Lately, I find it's the "outfitters" who are leasing the hunting rights on the landowner's deeded ground who are more likely to confront you on the public side of the fence and attempt to convince you that you're trespassing.

I'm not sure there's a "best" way to deal with that. I don't walk the fencelines separating public and private land, tending to stay at least a couple hundred yards or more inside the public boundary. I'm not even sure the guys I've run into can read a map, or know how to use a GPS for that matter. Goat country is pretty open, and there's really no reason that a landowner or outfitter would be able to approach you without you seeing them long before.
Some of the "outfitters" are too aggressive or their guides are simply poorly informed as to where the privately held property ends. I have seen a couple of big outfitters guides act this way and have heard lots of stories from local guys about them. ROAD CLOSED signs, etc. When you made statement about them a couple of names popped into my head.

BLM land seems to be a local hot button issue. Some realize that it is public land, but some have leased the property for many years and consider it to belong to their family. Most folks are reasonable about it but not everyone. I have had pickup trucks follow us around on BLM land with two or three guys staring at us through binoculars and spotting scopes to intimidate.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:35 AM
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It's funny, I tell people the exact opposite about checkerboard land. I love it. A lot of guys avoid it, it's easy enough with a map that you understand how to read. You can get some large chunks of land all to yourself that way. An even easier way though is to buy a chip for a gps like this one http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com

I don't work for them or anything but it's my favorite piece of hunting gear and use them year round to find new places to hunt.

So after that, the hardest part on antelope hunting is not shooting the first one you see. My buddies who come out west antelope hunting have such a hard time holding off the trigger and always limit out the first day (with rifles) then will comment over the next few days about how they should have waited because there are bigger bucks around.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorgy View Post
It's funny, I tell people the exact opposite about checkerboard land. I love it. A lot of guys avoid it, it's easy enough with a map that you understand how to read. You can get some large chunks of land all to yourself that way. An even easier way though is to buy a chip for a gps like this one http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com

I don't work for them or anything but it's my favorite piece of hunting gear and use them year round to find new places to hunt.

So after that, the hardest part on antelope hunting is not shooting the first one you see. My buddies who come out west antelope hunting have such a hard time holding off the trigger and always limit out the first day (with rifles) then will comment over the next few days about how they should have waited because there are bigger bucks around.
Your use of the term "checkerboard land" is incorrect. Land like you're talking about doesn't come under that terminology. Checkerboard land is named that way because it looks exacly like a checkerboard game with one set of square mile sections that are dark being public and the other set of square mile sections (640 acres) that are white being private land. Unless the private property owner gives you legal access through their property or a public road hits or goes through the public section it is off limits and you're looking at an expensive trespassing ticket if you get caught. What you're talking about is bigger chunks of public land that might have a legal public road hitting part of it and in that case if you have the GPS and landowner chip you can find that piece to park and go into the public and hunt all of it as long as you don't have to cross any private land. Almost all of the checkerboard land is in the southern couple tiers of counties in Wyoming. The land like you're talking about is all over the state, but mostly east of the Rockies on over to the SD and NE borders.

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Old 07-11-2014, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Topgun 3006 View Post
Your use of the term "checkerboard land" is incorrect. Land like you're talking about doesn't come under that terminology. Checkerboard land is named that way because it looks exacly like a checkerboard game with one set of square mile sections that are dark being public and the other set of square mile sections (640 acres) that are white being private land. Unless the private property owner gives you legal access through their property or a public road hits or goes through the public section it is off limits and you're looking at an expensive trespassing ticket if you get caught. What you're talking about is bigger chunks of public land that might have a legal public road hitting part of it and in that case if you have the GPS and landowner chip you can find that piece to park and go into the public and hunt all of it as long as you don't have to cross any private land. Almost all of the checkerboard land is in the southern couple tiers of counties in Wyoming. The land like you're talking about is all over the state, but mostly east of the Rockies on over to the SD and NE borders.
Topgun, I know exactly what checkerboard land is, and yes, that is what I'm talking about. Checkerboard doesn't mean landlocked, but a lot of guys won't invest the time to know where access is. you cannot corner cross or leave the public, but you are talking about a square mile to hunt. It only takes a few of those to find lot of lopes.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Jorgy View Post
Topgun, I know exactly what checkerboard land is, and yes, that is what I'm talking about. Checkerboard doesn't mean landlocked, but a lot of guys won't invest the time to know where access is. you cannot corner cross or leave the public, but you are talking about a square mile to hunt. It only takes a few of those to find lot of lopes.
If you look at maps of the checkerboard areas we're talking about, the biggest percentage of the time that public land IS landlocked and it is because very few of those public land square mile sections have a legal public road touching or going through them just like I stated. The only other possibilities for legal access is if a ranch has a bunch of land under the HMA or WIHA programs that the WY G&F is paying for to allow hunters access to legally hunt them or to be dropped into and picked up in one by helicopter. Yes, I won't argue that there are some legal spots, but they are few and far between and that's why the G&F marks those type of units with an asterisk in their hunting booklet to show that there is difficult public access. Actually your statement about corner crossing is not quite correct in that the G&F lost a court case a few years ago for giving a guy a trespassing ticket for doing that. When the guy took it to court he won because there is no statute on the books specifically forbidding it and the top brass then gave orders that no more tickets would be issued for that by their GWs in Wyoming. Some County Sheriffs will issue a ticket for it if they know the County Prosecutor will back them if it goes to court. Some will not touch it, so the best thing to do is ask the people in those offices what their stance is in the county you intend to hunt and possibly corner cross before you decide to do it.

Last edited by Topgun 3006; 07-11-2014 at 01:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Uncle View Post
Some of the "outfitters" are too aggressive or their guides are simply poorly informed as to where the privately held property ends.
I think it's a little of both. The owners are all about making as much money in the short seasons they have to work with. It's difficult to find good guides if you're a shifty operator to begin with - word gets around ... or so I hear.

I have very little good to say about these guys. They're just not in the same league as the true outfitter with a good remuda of saddle horses, a pack string and a camp up the Thorofare who hires guides who can wrangle and find game rather than "guides" who can drive pickups and ATVs and point out the animals casually grazing in Farmer Fred's field.
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by homers brother View Post
I think it's a little of both. The owners are all about making as much money in the short seasons they have to work with. It's difficult to find good guides if you're a shifty operator to begin with - word gets around ... or so I hear.

I have very little good to say about these guys. They're just not in the same league as the true outfitter with a good remuda of saddle horses, a pack string and a camp up the Thorofare who hires guides who can wrangle and find game rather than "guides" who can drive pickups and ATVs and point out the animals casually grazing in Farmer Fred's field.
Amen to that Brother!!!
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:00 AM
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Order the free walk in area map book from DNR web site. Shows public walk ins on all the units. I only waterhole hunt as my knees are shot.
I hunted Thunder Basin 4 years ago, waterhole & killed a Doe. I missed a good Buck. I only had 3 days to hunt. I've also hunted unit#9 with friends. We got lots of rain & it killed my water hole hunting. I did miss a very good Buck b/4 the rain & my 2 friends took Bucks BUT they worked real hard to get shots. They did spot/stalk + blinds at water.
BOTH units sold out this year, no left overs (Bow) if I looked at it right. Thunder basin takes points now due to a couple bad winter kills. Me & buddy will have 4 points for next year. Buy the point.
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