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Cody Field Office
Release Date: 09/30/13
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

BLM Cody Wishes You a Safe and Enjoyable Hunt This Season

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.

Land Status Maps and GPS Software
Surface management status maps very colorfully illustrate the fact that Wyoming is an often confusing checkerboard of land ownership. BLM 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.

“Good map reading skills are essential in order to decipher public land boundaries, as well as the knowledge of what roads are accessible to the public,” said Rau. “I recommend supplementing a large-scale map, like the 1:100,000 scale surface ownership map, with a 1:24,000 scale map that better illustrates the topography.”

Avoid hunting close to property lines as animals may cross onto private property before they can be recovered. Similarly, landowners should also be sure of these boundaries before contacting hunters. 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 Cody Field Office (CYFO).

In the last few years a number of companies have begun offering topographic software for handheld GPS units that show land status and hunt area boundaries. While this is useful new technology, hunters should be aware that both land status and hunt area boundaries can change. It’s best to use these GPS land status software products in conjunction with the latest versions of BLM topographic and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) hunt area maps.

Hunting in Grizzly Country
Consider yourself in grizzly country in most parts of the CYFO. Hunters, ranchers and staff from the BLM and WGFD have documented grizzly bears on public lands in all types of habitat, ranging from the high mountains near the Shoshone National Forest boundary to low elevation sagebrush near the highway. One radio-collared bear even wandered into the Fifteenmile badlands just west of Worland in 2012 before returning to the Absaroka Mountains. While hunting in grizzly country, mentally prepare for how you will react to an encounter, carry bear spray, and know when and how to use it.

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

Although the Bighorn Basin is starting to experience cooler temperatures and precipitation, and there are no fire restrictions currently in effect on public lands, fire potential still exists. With the continuing drought throughout the summer, fuel moisture levels remain low. Remember that wherever you camp this fall, there will be plenty of cured vegetation that can easily burn until significant snowfall arrives. All off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are required to have a Society of Automotive Engineers approved spark arrestor. Ensure your campfire is “dead” out before going hunting and turning in for the night. Each fall, firefighters respond to several escaped campfires throughout Wyoming. Don’t let yours be one of them!

Off-highway Vehicle Regulations
“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 should be the last resort in retrieving big game. This 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 the McCullough Peaks, is prohibited, even for “necessary tasks”. 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.

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

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. Report wildlife violations to WGFD at their "STOP POACHING" hotline: 1-877-WGFDTIP (1-877-943-3847).

The staff at the CYFO is always happy to assist you. Please call 307-578-5900, stop by the office at 1002 Blackburn Street, or peruse the website at Click on “Recreation” to find OHV maps and regulations.

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.

Cody Field Office   1002 Blackburn Street      Cody, WY 82414  

Last updated: 09-30-2013