Big game area No. 7 has some road changes |

Big game area No. 7 has some road changes

Don Quilici

According to a press release by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), hunters with elk and deer tags in Big Game Management Area No. 7 in the farthest northeast portion of the state, need to be aware of potential access changes in the North Pequop Range.

Specifically, hunters with elk tags in Unit Group 076, 077, 081 or deer tags in Unit Group 071-079 need to know that a new landowner purchased more than 25 square miles of land in that range. That area is a “checkerboard” of public and private lands.

The new owner is hoping to improve habitat for wildlife and livestock by increasing water distribution and reducing impacts to habitats from excessive human activity.

Specifically, the new owner is concerned with numerous four-wheel drive roads and ATV trails that leave almost no area further than one mile from vehicle access. This leaves little escape cover for wildlife where they can take sanctuary and not be disturbed by vehicles.

It is hoped the new landowner’s proposal to remove most of the roads in the area will improve deer habitat for migrating and wintering deer.

This will be even more important now since a significant portion of the winter range trail burned in 2000 just north of Wells and east of Highway 93 in an area known as the “Cricket Fire”.

This fire destroyed several miles of deer migration trail where the deer used to move through excellent deer winter range habitat that consisted of and sagebrush that provided both cover and food. Now the deer have to travel several miles through this burn without the benefit of nutritious winter range shrubs on which to feed.

The new landowner has applied for elk incentive tags. This program provides access for sportsmen. Department personnel met recently with representatives of the new ranch along with the owner to work out details of public access. An agreement was reached for the 2006 season to continue to allow access through the main road that bisects the property in question and will allow public access into the area. This road goes from just south of Ralph Spring to Pequop Spring and will be marked with yellow private-lands access signs.

NDOW is asking hunters to respect private property in the area and stay on the open access road. Other roads in the area will be marked with “No Trespassing” signs.

Since every other square mile in that area is “public”, there will still be considerable area left for hunters to access from the main road through the area or on foot from the main road.

In addition, the traditional access road to the communications towers on the crest of the range is still open and roads traditionally used on the east and northeast portions of the range are also still open to the public.

A map is available at showing the remaining access through the property.

In order to show the entire area, the map may be too large for most printers.