Fremont County landowners recognized among others for their commitment to hunting and fishing access

    Four Wyoming landowners are recipients of the 2018 Access Recognition Program award. The program honors Wyoming landowners who provide access to or through their lands to hunters and anglers. Set featured image 

    Each year, the Wyoming Board of Agriculture, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and 
    Wyoming Wildlife Foundation partner to recognize four landowners who contribute significantly to the hunting and fishing tradition of the Cowboy State. In addition to recognition at the winter Stock Growers Association luncheon, each landowner will receive a check for $2,000. The 2018 recipients were recently recognized and presented their awards at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association awards luncheon in Casper.

    Landowners receiving recognition this year are: 

    Steve and Brenda Hovendick — The Hovendicks own and lease property on the Popo Agie River between Lander and Hudson in Fremont County. They raise cattle and grow alfalfa hay — a popular crop for deer and antelope. The Hovendicks worked closely with Game and Fish to reduce damage to stored and growing crops and allowed hunters onto their ranch. Heavy hunting on the ranch proved to be a successful management strategy; deer and antelope numbers were reduced to a desirable level, and many hunters have meat in the freezer thanks to the Hovendicks.   

    Paul and Fran McAllister, McAllister Ranch — The McAllisters live and ranch near Dixon on land with roots back to the 1870s. The land produces 300 tons of hay a year and ground is leased for cattle ranching. The property sits in the migration corridor for deer traveling to and from the Medicine Bow National Forest and is also a seasonal home to elk, sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse. The McAllisters have welcomed hunters annually to pursue deer and antelope. With a generous willingness to help wildlife, they also allow researchers to enter and cross their property as well to collect data and dropped GPS collars.

    Dee and Laurie Zimmerschied — The Zimmerschied’s ranch sits northeast of Pine Haven. The ranch has allowed hunting for deer, antelope, sharp-tailed grouse, partridge, pheasant, mourning dove and turkey as well as fishing. The Zimmerschieds have shown their patriotism by working with Hunting with Heroes to give veterans and active military personnel a place to hunt. In further community service, they have donated game bird, turkey and deer hunts to multiple organizations, including the Cristal Ball organization, the Muley Foundation and the Second Wind Group. The Zimmerschieds also donate to local community events, one year donating several hundred hard boiled pheasant eggs for the local Easter egg hunt from their private game bird farm.

    Carson Benton, EJ Medicine Bow Ranch – The EJ Medicine Bow Ranch, located south of Laramie Peak, boasts excellent elk habitat. The ranch has allowed youth hunters, wounded veterans and aging hunters access for elk hunting since 2013. In 2015, the ranch formally joined the Access Yes program, creating the “Menter Knob” hunter management area (HMA), allowing at least 120 permitted hunters onto the property. The EJ Medicine Bow Ranch was the first HMA in the state to allow youth hunters to accompany any permitted hunter, regardless of having a permission slip of their own.

    Funding for the Access Recognition Program is provided by the sale of commissioner licenses and donations made specifically in support of the award.  

    Wyoming Game and Fish Project Coordinator Mark Nelson said the Access Recognition Program is a way to show appreciation for landowners who allow sportsmen and women on their property to hunt or fish. 

    “We extend a hearty thank you to these landowners. Thanks to them there are more places for individuals and families to get outside to enjoy wildlife and hunt and fish in Wyoming, in addition to helping Game and Fish manage the state’s wildlife resources,” Nelson said.


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