Hunters can expect to find it more difficult than usual to finalize hunting access arrangements this year, due to the dry conditions in some parts of the state. While specific land closures are mainly in areas of active fire or fire cleanup, some private landowners may be reluctant to make access commitments on their own lands if they are in an area that is particularly dry or where fire was on or near their land.
Alan Charles, FWP's coordinator for Landowner/Sportsman relations, recommends that hunters take the time to learn about the condition of the landowners land, how it has been impacted by the drought and any fire activity nearby. Calling at times convenient for the landowner, and accommodating the landowner's concerns help too. Hunters who can demonstrate their awareness and concern are more likely to be well received by landowners who may have had their livelihoods threatened or who have been impacted in other ways by the severe drought conditions and possibly by nearby fires.
"Landowners in Fish, Wildlife & Parks' block management program have the option of keeping their lands closed if they feel a fire danger still exists. It is at their discretion because it is private land and they may close it without prior notice," says Ken Farthing, block management program coordinator for FWP's Region 4.
To find out which block management areas are open in FWP's Regions, call the regional offices a day or two before heading out to hunt.