Keep walk-in hunt areas clean this season

The walk-in hunting areas around the state are providing some pretty good hunting access that would be tough to get onto if we didn’t have the walk-in program.

The walk-in hunting area and hunter management area programs have given hunters some great access. Without these programs, it wouldn’t be as easy to hunt those lands.

Before the walk-in areas came into existence, you might have been allowed to hunt on those lands, but you’d have had to knock on doors and ask for permission. You don’t have to ask to hunt on any of the walk-in areas.

In fact, one of the reasons the program was started was to help keep the landowners from having to talk to twenty or thirty hunters every year. They’ve already given their permission. They get a little bit of money from hunters in the form of donations to AccessYes, but aside from that, all they ask in return for their generosity is that the hunters treat their land with respect.

That includes paying attention to the opening and closing dates of the walk-in areas. Some walk-ins, especially antelope areas, don’t open until after the season starts. If you plan to hunt a walk-in area, take a good look at the Walk-In Area Atlas and make sure you aren’t jumping the gun.

Also keep in mind that you can’t go out scouting your walk-in area until it opens. You can drive past it on the highway or county road, but don’t trespass on the landowner’s property. That’s a good way to get the owner to yank that land out of the walk-in program.

Even when the season and the walk-in area are open, don’t drive in the walk-in area. It’s called a walk-in area for a reason. Park your vehicle just off the road and go in on foot.

While you’re out hunting, pick up any trash you find, even if you didn’t put it there. Close gates if you found ‘em closed, and if you need to cross a fence, do it without stretching the wire. Also, if you cross a fence, be absolutely sure the walk-in area extends to both sides of the fence.

Take advantage of the walk-in areas this year. But respect the landowner and the land while you’re hunting.