LARAMIE - With rifle deer and elk seasons opening throughout most of Wyoming in October, hunters using off-road recreational vehicles are advised that an Off-road Recreational Vehicle (ORV) permit is required while operating on public lands and other designated trails. ORV permits are not required only if operating on private property.
The ORV permit is $15 and may be obtained from many ATV dealers or by credit card by calling 307-777-6323.
For the most part, ORVs must stay on existing roads or trails. Illegal off-road travel by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and full-size vehicles damages vegetation and causes soil rutting. In addition to these impacts, ruts channel eroded materials into lakes, streams and wetlands, which can severely affect water quality and fish habitat.
Wyoming regulation that applies to shooting firearms from vehicles also applies to ORVs and is outlined in Wyominghunting regulations. It is illegal to shoot any wildlife except predatory animals from any motorized vehicle, including off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. To fire a weapon in compliance with the law, a person must be out of the vehicle. Hunters holding a handicapped hunter permit are exempt from this requirement.
It is also illegal to shoot or attempt to kill any wildlife from any public road or highway. This means that no person shall fire any firearm from, along, or across any public road or highway. A public road is defined as any road that is open to the public for vehicular traffic. The road surface, the area between fences on a fenced public road or highway, and thearea 30 feet perpendicular to the road surface on unfenced public roads is considered the public road. Two-track trails on public land are not public roads.
Hunters are alerted there are some road closures on national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. Road closures apply to all vehicles including ORVs and dirt bikes. Hunters can check with local U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management offices for road closures and other rules pertaining to ORV use.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)