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Worland Field Office
Release Date: 09/13/12
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Hunting on Public Lands This Season?
Make it a Safe and Enjoyable Experience.

Whether you are a seasoned hunter or preparing to embark upon your first hunting expedition, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants you to be well-prepared for a safe and enjoyable experience. The following information will assist you as you plan hunting excursions to your public lands.

Operation RESPECT
New to the Worland area this hunting season is Operation RESPECT (Responsible Educated Sportsmen Promoting Ethical Conduct Together), which aids hunters in outdoor and hunting ethics. BLM staff will be traveling the area, kicking the dirt with hunters who want information about public land status, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, hunting ethics and other local information. An Operation RESPECT station will also be located in a variety of areas throughout the season. This will be a great opportunity for hunters to ensure they have the information they need to have an enjoyable time, while safely and responsibly using public lands.

Fire restrictions on public lands are still in effect due to dry conditions and high fire danger throughout the state. Wherever you camp this fall, there will be plenty of cured vegetation that can easily burn. Fires are permitted only within agency-provided fire grates at developed recreation sites, fully enclosed stoves with a 1/4" spark arrester type screen, fully enclosed grills, or in stoves using pressurized liquid or gas. A ring of rocks on the ground does not qualify as a permitted fire location. Ensure your fire within an agency-provided fire grate is “dead” out before going hunting and turning in for the night. In addition, all OHVs are required to have a Society of Automotive Engineers approved spark arrestor. Nothing can ruin a hunt more easily than the burning of a favorite hunting area because of neglect. For more information about fire restrictions, visit

Don’t Leave Home Without It
Surface management status maps very colorfully illustrate the fact that Wyoming is an often confusing checkerboard of land ownership. Outdoor Recreation Planner Paul Rau advises that the best way to avoid conflicts with private landowners is to know the ownership status of the areas where you plan to hunt before you hunt. “Specifically,” he says, “know where public land ends and private land begins.” Similarly, landowners should also be sure of these boundaries before contacting hunters. Avoid hunting close to property lines as animals may cross onto private property before they can be recovered. If in doubt about the exact location of property boundaries, err on the side of caution. Topographic maps showing surface management status are available at the Worland Field Office.

Hunt Wisely in Grizzly Country
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), hunters in the fall in grizzly country have a higher chance than hikers and other visitors of encountering a grizzly bear. Their website tells us that “typical hunting behavior is what increases this risk: hunters move quietly, downwind from game and often travel during the same early morning and late evening hours bears are most active. In addition, hunters may move through dense timber, along trails and in other areas frequented by bears. Hunters produce carcasses and gut piles that are very attractive to hungry bears trying to build body fat before winter hibernation.”

The USFWS website offers several fact sheets on topics ranging from recognizing the signs of the grizzly to the statistics on bear spray versus bullets for self defense. For more information, visit

Be “bear aware” even when not hunting in grizzly country. Storing your food while you are away from camp and overnight is always a wise camping practice. Black bears, skunks and raccoons can be found almost everywhere in the state and will gladly help themselves to your food if given the opportunity. For more tips on camping and hunting in bear country, visit

Follow Off-highway Vehicle Regulations
Many hunters utilize OHVs to hunt. Please familiarize yourself with OHV regulations. In addition to protecting the natural resources of your public lands, OHV regulations were designed with your safety, and the safety of others, in mind.

“Check with us before heading into the field to be sure you are familiar with OHV road designations in the areas where you plan to hunt,” said Rau. Driving off roads and trails is only allowed for “necessary tasks” and when no resource damage will occur. Resource damage includes degrading soil, damaging sagebrush or archaeological sites or creating ruts when driving on wet soils.

Driving off roads and trails in a wilderness study area, like Cedar Mountain, is prohibited. It is not always possible to retrieve downed game with a vehicle so bring a game cart, pack frame, capable friend or horse to help.

Getting an early start or staying out late? Brake lights, tail lights and headlamps are required ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise. And finally, for the safety of all outdoor recreationists, open containers of alcohol in or on a moving motor vehicle, including an OHV, are prohibited.

Be Safe
More important than taking home a deer or elk is making sure you and your companions get home safely at the end of the day.

  • Tell a friend or family member where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Be prepared for Wyoming’s changing weather while out in the field.
  • Exercise the utmost caution with knives while processing your animals and supervise young hunters while they are processing their animals.
  • Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.

Protect Your Public Lands
If you suspect violations of land use regulations, please do not risk escalating the situation by personally contacting the violator. A safer way to resolve the situation is to write down the license plate information if possible and contact appropriate law enforcement. You may also call 1-888-358-2310. The BLM offers a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of any person damaging your public lands through OHV violations, vandalism or any other criminal activity in the state of Wyoming.

In addition to the BLM Operation RESPECT staff that will be out assisting hunters, the staff at your local BLM field office in Worland will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Please call 307-347-5100, stop by the office at 101 South 23rd Street, or peruse the Worland Field Office website at OHV maps and regulations can be found on the “Ride Legal” webpage at We also look forward to seeing you at Hunter Fest on October 13 in Ten Sleep.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Worland Field Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401  

Last updated: 09-13-2012