Monday, September 21, 2009

Motor Vehicle Use Maps hold key to where to ride during hunting season

If you're a big game rifle hunter, you're probably getting ready for the big hunt.

If you're planning on accessing your hunting area via an ATV or motorbike on a national forest trail, you should be aware that the Forest Service has come out with some new Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM), which replace and supercede the old travel plan maps.

Once a national forest completes its travel management planning, each ranger district in the forest is supposed to publish a MVUM to reflect the new rules and restrictions.

This information is of utmost importance to hunters because they need to know if the trails or roads they want to use are open during hunting season.

The MVUMs provide detailed information about when trails and roads are open, down to the milepost markers in some instances.

The Idaho OHV web site has a link to the MVUMs that have been published so far in the Boise National Forest and Sawtooth National Forest.

In addition, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest just published four MVUMs. Here are the links:

Be forewarned that the pdf maps are large-scale, so you will need to blow up the maps to zero in on your hunting area. Hard-copy maps are easier to read, but not as convenient to obtain.

So you may want to try reading the maps online, and if you can't figure out if your preferred trails are open or closed, call the ranger district office and see if someone can help you. Maybe they can send you a MVUM by mail. The maps are free of charge.

If you can't find any MVUMs for the areas you like to hunt in, you will need to call the national forest ranger district and ask about the status of your favorite hunting trails and roads.

For a handy reference to U.S. Forest Service offices in Idaho, check out the contacts section of

- SS

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