Shutdown Has Minimal Effect on Hunter Access to Federal Lands, For Now
The federal government shutdown has had a minimal effect on access to federal lands throughout Wyoming, specifically regarding hunting. While there are areas that are closed, opportunity to access public lands still exists including all state of Wyoming owned lands, which remain open and available to the public.
Status of specific public lands:
State of Wyoming Lands – Open and accessible.
US Forest Service (USFS)- Hunting access remains open on USFS lands. Closures include developed sites (including campgrounds, offices and visitor centers).
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)- Hunting access remains open on BLM lands. Closures include developed sites (including campgrounds, offices and visitor centers).
Thunder Basin National Grassland- Hunting access remains open.
National Elk Refuge (NER) – Bison Hunt – Bison hunting on the NER is suspended during the shutdown. Hunting during all remaining Refuge bison hunt periods will only be available if the Federal Government is not in shutdown status.
Elk Hunt – Elk hunting is scheduled to begin on the NER on Oct. 12. Similar to the bison hunting, refuge elk hunting opportunities will only be available if the federal government is not in shutdown status.
Fishing – Fishing on the NER, scheduled to be open through Oct. 31, is suspended during the shutdown. This includes the Gros Ventre River along the north boundary of the Refuge, Upper Flat Creek from the McBride Bridge and northeast toward the Bridger–Teton National Forest, Lower Flat Creek between a posted boundary at the Old Crawford Bridge site upstream to the McBride Bridge on the Flat Creek Road, and Nowlin Creek from its confluence with Flat Creek to the Closed Area boundary sign ¼ mile upstream.
Other Access - Two roads in the NER will remain open as travel corridors and access roads to other federal lands. These include the Refuge Road and Flat Creek Road.
Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) – Elk hunts in GTNP are scheduled to begin Oct. 19. This hunting season will only be available if the government is not in shut down status.
All refuges within Wyoming are currently closed to hunting and/or fishing until the shutdown has ended.
Yellowtail Wildlife Habitat Management Area – All National Park Service owned land within Yellowtail is closed to hunting and no access is available.
Yellowstone National Park (YNP) – while no hunting is available in Yellowstone, fishing opportunities will be closed until further notice.