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Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 693
Thanks for the welcome!!! 

Thanks for the welcome!!!  That bull green scored 369" and was taken right at daylight by my buddy on the first day of rifle season in the unit we hunt every year.  He is a resident out there and I live in MI, so it takes close to max PPs in that unit for a nonresident to draw a tag.  Therefore, because of that and the cost of the license, I just go along and help in the scouting, glassing, and meat packing on the elk and concentrate on filling my mulie tag.  We had a very slow time of it the last half of September during the bow season, but more than made up for it with that bull!

buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
That's right about the

That's right about the Government giving the railroads every other section of land, I believe it originally was a swath 20 miles wide on each side of the tracks.  The railroads could sell their sections to finance their new tracks.  Of the land retained by the government, some is managed by the BLM, some by the Forest Service.  It's a headache for land managers and sportsmen. 

Years ago a lot of the private landowners could care less about hunting, and would let hunters "free roam" the checkerboard lands.  Today hunting is a big dollar item, the private lands are being locked up, and many of the adjoining public lands are also being closed off.  Some land managers, like the Forest Service, are trying to consolidate some of these lands through trades, so the ownership may change. 

We have checkerboard lands here in Montana also.  It is my understanding that it is not legal to access checkerboard public lands by "hoping" the corners.

PLP's picture
Joined: 05/22/2011
Posts: 1
Its hard to find people

Its hard to find people willing to help,but I'd say these guys are some of the few left!It is my understanding you can not corner jump!You must access a block by public road or with landowner permission.Take into consideration you can access school property as well.In some states you may have to pay an additional $10 or so access fee to go on school lands.VERY CHEAP!>..These blocks will appear blue on your map.BLM will be yellow.Indian reservation land will be orange,military land will be pink,National forest land will be green...etc..You have to have a map,and a gps.You can use google earth to download land ownership overlays from the BLM website as well.You can go to mytopo and get maps,and you can get maps to install on your GPS.(color screen advanced GPS advised!)

Outfitters and landowners,and some locals know the land ownership,and they will try to trick out of state hunters!!YOU HAVE TO HAVE THAT MAP!!And you need to keep some law enforcement numbers stored in your cell phone!These guys will tell you that you are on their land..even with a BLM sign on a post right there in front of you!Some bad people in this world!Very greedy!Very selfish!Dont let the checkerboard discourage you!It discourages alot of hunters,and that generally means some better hunting opportunities with less pressure!

I'm not endorsing either site,but this is what I found..



Now the BLM land ownership google earth download can be tricky..took me a minute to figure it out..But it is a very useful tool.Once you do get it installed it will be in the temporary files in your "places" make sure you click on it and save it to "my places".That way it will be there everytime you pull google earth up.You can click the check box next to it to toggle it on and off..and you can also adjust the opacitiy..strong enough it blocks out the features that it overlays,or light enough you can see the terrain,roads,building,etc.. that it overlays.You can set your gps up to where you can save points on google earth,and store them on your gps..Never even have to set a foot out there..but when you show up you will have the points in your gps,and with that ownership file on your gps you will be rockin'!You can ride public roads,and if you see something and you look at your gps and it is blue,orange,or green you know it is on public land..and when those bullies come up to you...you show em your map,your gps,and if they still want to give you a hard time,get their tag #,and call law enforcement...dont get in an argument.Good luck!!



Joined: 04/24/2010
Posts: 19
Topgun is correct

I looked it up in the BLM Handbook for Public Access....There are no Federal or State laws regarding crossing from one corner to another in the checkerboard areas, but it is also not "considered" legal! Kind of like the rafting rules where the property on the river bottom is under private ownership but the water being floated upon is public!? So to be safe, don't "corner-hop" unless you want to make a Federal Case out of it.

white duck's picture
Joined: 08/17/2010
Posts: 18
corner Hopping

This is a dumb rule no corner hopping its as bad as the rule that they own the land under the water two great rules here in wyoming so please non residents don't do its a ticket

ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
the blm in wyoming does not

the blm in wyoming does not grant corner access to any parcel of land. it is checkerboarded to restrict access to LARGE chunks of ranchland. this caters ENTIRELY to the ranchers. and there is no debating that.

I have lived in wyoming, and now, am very familiar with the way things are done there. I cannot lie, the locals are less than friendly, ignorant and most of the time, very rude. I can only attribute this to their poor educational systems. They have their own counter culture and it's very private and exclusive. to be brutally honest, i've never met groups of such ignorant people in such large numbers before or since. It is sad. that being said, we still have friends there who have gone above and beyond to do good to others and these people are definately worth meeting, but largely in the NE of the state, any outsider is met with mistrust and sometimes, violence. If you wander around on private ranch land by accident, it's very likely you will be escorted off at gun point. this has never happened to me, but it seems to be quite common-place. and i will give the younger generation credit for improving this. But the older generation is hardened by decades of introverted behavior.

my advice is to stay clear of the checkerboarded land, even though the land doesn't technically belong to the ranchers, you'll be hard pressed convincing them of theat. (you're probably looking near gillete, wy) this pattern of land use means that it is intended to be used for rangeland graising, not a multi-use strategy.

it's a great state to hunt, and it's not difficult to find an easier place to hunt at, with easier access. if you already have your tag, call the game and fish to ask them about access to units with access problems like you described. often, they can give you EXACTLY the info you need on what road to use and who will let you cross into public ground.

when in wyoming, do as the wyomingites.

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