Hunters planning to use walk-in areas or hunter management areas (HMA) in the Big Horn Basin this fall are encouraged to note recent changes made for the 2020 hunting season. The Wyoming Game and …
Hunters planning to use walk-in areas or hunter management areas (HMA) in the Big Horn Basin this fall are encouraged to note recent changes made for the 2020 hunting season. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says hunters should review the ranch rules for each HMA and identify limitations on specific walk-in areas while planning fall hunts.
In the Big Horn Basin, 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.
HMAs and walk-in areas are part of the Access Yes program, a program that facilitates partnerships between private landowners and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to provide this access.
“Year to year, changes to rules and limitations can occur and it’s important for hunters to be aware as they are planning their fall hunts,” Access Coordinator Jordan Winter said. “New areas can be enrolled in the program, withdrawn entirely or modified annually.”
Changes may occur due to a change in land ownership or management or unfortunately, due to problems with hunters violating ranch rules and behaving irresponsibly, the Game and Fish says.
“Hunters are reminded that ethical and responsible behavior helps to maintain continued access to private land,” Winter said.
HMAs are typically private ranches where the Game and Fish manages hunting access. Hunters need to obtain a permission slip online to access these properties.
Hunters do not need to obtain permission slips to hunt walk-in areas, but it’s critical for hunters to know each property’s individual rules, boundaries and what species are available to hunt. Walk-in areas are named after the county the property is in, then a number.
“You can look up a specific area online to learn access dates, species availability and property boundaries,” Winter said. “Each walk-in area could be different from the next and can change year-to-year.”
Changes to HMAs and walk-in areas in the Big Horn Basin include:
• 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, the Game and Fish says.
Hunters are encouraged to know all rules and limitations for a specific HMA or walk-in hunting area.