I’m glad you asked because we get this question a lot, and it’s an important distinction for those of you planning your fall hunts. In general terms, these two Access Yes programs are very similar. Both Hunter Management Areas (HMA) and Walk-in Areas (WIA) allow free access for hunters on private land. Generally, both are areas where hunters must park and walk to pursue their quarry. The landowner decides which species can be hunted and what “ranch rules” must be followed--no other recreation is allowed. Here are some major differences sportsperson must know:

For WIAs:

  • No permission slip is needed, but before hunting a WIA, sportsmen must visit the online Walk-In Area Atlas to see what hunting opportunities and dates each WIA is open for, and if there are other special rules they need to follow.

For HMAs:
  • On an HMA, each hunter must obtain a permission slip from Game and Fish for that specific area prior to entering the HMA to hunt.  
  • Some HMAs have a limited number of permission slips, so sportsmen should plan ahead to apply in July.  Permission slips must be printed and carried in the field.

HMA and WIA maps, HMA permission slips, and species information can be located via the Public Access page on the Game and Fish website. Remember, WIAs and HMAs are private property, so be sure to respect the landowner and the land. Access Yes provides the primary funding for these areas; please donate every time you buy a license.

Dan Smith
Regional Access Coordinator / Senior Game Warden


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