Contributors to this thread:
elk mountain access
I was just wondering why the WGF can not get access to elk mountain. that is some prime elk hunting.
That one's easy. It's called private land.
wyobullshooter, I understand it is private all the way around it. I think there is a way to get public access to the public land.
I can only think of two ways. Hire a helicopter or find a landowner that would grant you access across their land. I can only imagine what that would cost, and then you better make sure you don't enter someone else's land in the process.
I know acouole guys that have hunted around there and wbs is right... Don't get caught trespassing... Those are 9-10 generation ranches and you'd probably get shot!
Is there not any NF access roads to that area? Landowners cannot stop the forrest service or YOU if there's a NF access road gated or not.
The place to check is with the forrest service and find those roads.
Don't know how things work in Tennessee, but I will tell you how they work in Wyoming.
Whether there is a Forest Service road that leads to public land or not is irrelevent. Private means private. If the landowner has not granted access through his property, if you enter said property you are tresspassing.
Case in point. On the western side of the state, there is a Forest Service road that runs north/south just inside the boundary of the Bridger-Teton Nat'l Forest. There is a small tract of private land that this road crosses. Due to a dispute with the Forest Service, the landowner closed off the road about 3 years ago. The length of the road on the private is approx. 1/2 mi. If you want to go from where this road enters the private to the other side, you must turn around and make an almost 100 mile loop to get to the other side of that 1/2 mile section of road. If you don't think entering private land without permission isn't trespassing, just ask the 3 guys that got their truck stuck in the creek that crosses the private.
There are agreements between landowners, Forest Service, and Game & Fish that allows access and hunting on private land. They are called Walk-In Areas. The landowner can end this agreement at any time. Just this last week, there was an article in the paper about a landowner that shut off access to his land that was part of a hunting zone due to damage caused by vandals. According to agency officials, this "eliminates access to more than 17,000 acres to hunters this fall."
Elk Mountain (the actual mountain, not the town) is not Forest Service and there is no Forest Service anywhere around it. Just because there is a mountain with trees on it does not make it part of a National Forest.
If you are talking about the town of Elk Mountain, you will have to go around 10-15 miles south on a County Road before you can access the Medicine Bow Nat'l Forest.
I do belive that one of the ranches that surrounds Elk Mountain proper is enrolled in the walk-in WGFD access program and allows late season cow elk hunting on the deeded. You can take a look at the Public Access section on the WGFD web site to check it out.
WBS, that's too bad that a few pricks ruined access for everyone else. I'm curious which unit it was? A couple years ago the same thing happened on the Beer Mug unit NW of Medicine Bow due to poor behavior, trespass, and poaching vioulations.
SouthernWyo...Agreed. Unfortunately, it only takes one. A potential bigger problem is that it will make those that were considering allowing access to think twice. Don't know the exact area other than it is located south of Evanston.
I found this about Wyoming lands.(from the BLM)
Q What are the rights of the public to cross private lands to access public land? The public may cross private lands to access public lands when a public road or right-of-way (easement) for public access exists across the private lands. In all other circumstances, the public must first obtain permission from the landowner to cross private lands. The landowner is not obligated to grant such permission.
There may be easements to that area I have not looked for one myself as I have never considered hunting there. I doubt the land owners in the area would tell you that it's legal to cross there property even if you have the legal right to.
I found an area in CO that crosses posted private property numerous times, you have to open and shut 2 gates but it's still legal for me to pass because it's a forrest service access road. Of course I'm not telling anyone where it's at either.
Oh! forgot the supporting link.
Much of the elk mountain area is locked up by a private land owner who does not allow hunting.
The elk herd is now rumored to be between 700 -1000 in that area but it is largely a sanctuary until the snows push them off the mountain.
When the late cow elk season comes in there are some very limited areas open to the public but the bowhunting would be not be very easy.
I killed a cow with a handgun (.30 caliber T/C) after a two hour hike to the top of a ridge but I couldnt imagine trying to get close enough for a bow shot. When the snows push them onto those wind swept ridges where they can winter and feed there is no cover anywhere.
I guess I stuck my foot in my mouth, should have looked before posting about NF land access to Elk Mountain. The way it looks theres only a couple access points to the side of the mountain along Pass Creek RD and that is only to a BLM or State Lands sections though which the road goes. No continuous NF lands at all only a checkerboard of State and BLM and corner jumping is not an option since it's not legal.
Why is corner jumping illegal?
Bill read page 4 of the link I posted above.
Don't want to get into a pissin' contest, but I don't want someone to do something they will later regret because of some bad info they received.
Just got off the phone with BLM HQ's here in Cheyenne. I also called and talked with the Bridger-Teton Nat'l Forest Disitrict Office in Kemmerer.
The pamphlet Browtine posted as a link is an access guide. Key word being "guide". They said the public roads the guide refers to are state or county roads. When I told them that their pamphlet was misleading (refer to this thread!), they said it isn't necessarily 100% accurate and that situations such as this is how they make corrections to the pamphlet. The lady that is responsible for this guide is going to give me a call so they can make the wording specific on what constitutes a public road and whether a landowner can or cannot deny access through his property on said road. Again, these roads are specifically state or county roads.
The ranger in Kemmerer told me that they have tried to find some legal way to force the landowners to allow access across their land that I referred to in my second post. There is none. He verified that until an agreement is reached, the landowner has every legal right to close off that road.
As I said earlier, if you enter private land without permission, be prepared to face the consequences. Also, be careful that you don't accept a "guide" as 100% gospel.
Another point of clarification - the WGFD recently sent out an internal memo to all employees stating that the department (game wardens) will not respond to reports of trespassing on private property when corner crossings are involved. Within the department, ambiguity exists as to whether or not this is trespassing. However, this does not apply to the sheriff's office point of view, and if you truly want to test your right's, be prepared for a lengthy court battle.
Thanks guys for all the info. I guess this landowner has baught the land around elk mountain and he was complaining that the elk were eating all his crops and then the next year he wanted more elk. This was a couple years ago and I had talked to a game warden over by Kennedy peak.
Bowhunter88, there are about 5 different landowners that own the deeded sections around and on Elk Mountain. At least one allows access for late season cow hunts through the WGFD walk-in program, so at least a portion of the private landowners in the area are implementing population management on their place. MJS that's pretty cool to take a late season cow definately "the hard way!"
Bugle.elk, as I understand it, there is no WGFD regulations that directly address corner crossing, hence they won't get involved. Everyone should note however, that under state law (as enforced by the county sheriff's dept.) it can be considered "criminal" trespass, and the fines can be much larger.
SouthernWyo - thanks for clarifying my point, that the WGFD does not/will not address corner crossings, but prosecution can still occur under State law (i.e. sheriff's office).
Private property rights is one of the most important things we have in this country. Even though we are in the wide open west treat private land like you would your next door neighbors place in town, there is no difference.
Much agreed - and additionally, when access to private is provided, the property should be treated and respected as if it were your own. Otherwise access is lost as noted previously in this thread. On another note, individuals should be aware that some unscrupulous landowners will try their best to keep law abiding citizens off of public land by lying about ownership and access. Case in point is the Saratoga valley and south of Rawlins - some landowners/outfitters engage in this activity on a regular basis. Bottom line is have a map and know how to use it, and be prepared to call a bluff when necessary.
There are problems with access like this everywhere in Wyoming. I wish there was a solution but realize it probably won't change anytime soon. It's to bad the Game and Fish doesn't retire some of the unfavorable walk-in areas that they currently have enrolled and give landowners more for quality access like this or at least grant access to the publc lands that are locked out. I don't know if that would help open some ground up or not. I can see why some landowners won't grant access the way people treat their land. Heck it's disgusting to see what some people do to public land.
So is it actually public? Or not?
yes there is a lot of public land to hunt on elk mountain. I would have to get a map of that area
If you corner jump to access a section of public, the LO won't be calling the Game dept, he'll call the Sheriff and you'll be escorted to town. Corner Jumping was discussed at length a cpl years ago.
Wapitibob, you are correct and I never said that corner jumping is leagal. I just like to get maps and get long and lat and make sure there i do my home work. Some land owners like to put signs to stretch there property lines so no one gets in or close.
all is good 88, I was just throwing it out to the general audience.
Sounds like a good area for a helicopter business.
I was wishing I had helicopter and a license because it has crossed my mind about a helicopter or a bush plane
"Case in point is the Saratoga valley and south of Rawlins"
You have that correct.
As a property owner in the area I deal with trespassers on occasion. I get folks insisting they have a "right of way" through my property. It's trout fisherman doing this. I've yet to call the sheriff and just inform them they are trespassing. No trespassing signs don't seem to work. If folks would just ask for permission I would allow them to fish through the property.
I've yet to encounter any big game hunters. With the property bordering Nat. forest i'm sure there are many more I don't see trespassing.
I'm a little more tolerant than my wife. She doesn't have the patience I do concerning trespassers.
Now if someone is willing to take care of my beaver problem i'm willing to trade fishing and hunting access!! It's small but the fishing is great and what i'd give for a moose tag.
med bow, I understand completely. I went camping last couple of days over in lincoln park area and that country has taken a beating. Ran into a camp ground closed and this greenie just moved the sign and tape just made him self at home so I got a hold of the forrest service and ask them why this one guy had let three out of state people in when it was closed. I think they went and wrote some tickets (i hope).