January 10, 2020 Shadow of the Rockies

Wyoming boasts over 2.8 million acres of hunting access and 4,006 lake acres and 86 stream miles for fishing on private land

In Wyoming, finding a place to go hunting and fishing isn’t hard. In addition to plentiful public land, Wyoming boasts over 2.8 million acres of hunting access and 4,006 lake acres and 86 stream miles for fishing on private land, thanks to the Access Yes program.

Access Yes is a Wyoming Game and Fish Department program that works with landowners to provide no-fee hunting and fishing opportunities on private and inaccessible public lands through hunter management areas, walk-in hunting areas, and walk-in fishing areas.

The program is funded by donations from sportspeople and partner organizations. Each dollar donated to Access Yes equates to approximately 3.1 acres of public access. Funds pay for access easements, not Game and Fish operating expenses.

“Anyone can donate to Access Yes online or while applying for or buying a hunting or fishing license,” said Cody Region Access Coordinator Jordan Winter. “Each donation helps Game and Fish continue to provide access.”

Access Yes provides hunting opportunities for big game, small game, upland game and migratory game birds throughout the state. Hunters can use walk-in hunting areas without a permission slip. To access hunter management areas, hunters must apply for a permission slip prior to hunting. As part of the program, a landowner decides which species can be hunted and what “ranch rules” must be followed — no other public recreation is allowed on the properties.

Currently, Access Yes is celebrating 20 years of partnering with landowners to provide public access opportunities. Currently, there are 54 walk-in fishing areas, 379 walk-in hunting areas and 62 hunter management areas throughout Wyoming.

“Due to the generous donations from conservation groups, community organizations, hunters, anglers and the public, there is increased access for public hunting and fishing, license sales and wildlife management opportunities as well as reduced agricultural damage through hunter harvest. This is a win-win for hunters, anglers and landowners alike,” Winter said.

Hunters and anglers can donate to Access Yes when applying or purchasing a license or simply making a donation on the website. For maps and detailed information on Access Yes, visit the Access Yes webpage.