Colorado Driving through private land

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I'm doing some escouting and have a rather remote area I'm interested in scouting and hopefully hunting for elk. However, the only road into the area runs through several private ranches(according to gohunt) and then back onto public land for several hundred yards. It seems to be a public road. It's named and connects to other public roads. So, does that mean I can or cant plan to use the road or how can I find out?
 
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Have Plan A, B, and C.

In Wyoming last week and ran into same situation.

Sign says “not thoroughfare”. Private property. Even tho state road runs in and out of.

Not worth a headache of dealing with property owner.

Took me 20 mins driving around.

In Colorado I’ve ran into a few situations like yours and seen different outcomes (one chain - two posted and just says “stay on road and do not leave for any reason”).

Good luck


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Hnthrdr

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Depends, lots of spots that look like that are locked gates that are not thorough fairs, you could call the local forest service in the correct ranger district and game warden and ask and I think they could tell you
 
OP
J
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So, if a public road runs through a private property but the road isn't blocked off and there's no postings about keeping out, then I'm good to drive through?

I'm new to hunting in Colorado and I just want to make sure I have a safe and good hunt... id rather not get fined for trespassing or something stupid like that.
 

Bluefish

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A basic rule of thumb is if the road leave a public road and travels through private but accesses public again, you’re good.

I highly recommend the COTREX app
This. But you can’t stop an the private section and leave the road. Quite common in national forests in Colorado. Most of the roads have easements. Had a coworker where such a condition existed, but no easement and his land was patent land. He legally closed the road after a court fight with the county. They lost and he won due to patent land and no easement. If it had not been patent land or there had been an easement he would have lost.
 

Jaquomo

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This is common in CO. Lots of easements through private land to reach NF again, sometimes for several miles, including (GASP!) across corners.
 
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I've ran into places like this on the maps and then found a locked gate and lots of signs when I went to scout. One reason boots on the ground well ahead of my hunts in New areas is so vital.
 
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The safest course of action is to contact the federal agency with the road name and location and get it from the horses mouth. Or, if you are on the Forest, see if there is a published motor use map.
 

bz_711

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It's a great question and worth your time. I had a great elk tag several years ago...mid day on day 1 we learned that a large portion of my plans were not available, so many unmarked gates across roads marked public...a couple I'm sure were just a landowner/rancher that could care less what the actual rules were.
The other great find was an open gate that other hunters parked their truck across to prevent others getting through...cutting off miles of road/access to some of the best elk habitat. I did phone the CPO on that one and he was going to check it out...but that day was lost anyhow.

Persistence/planning paid off though and I got my best bull to date regardless.
 
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With some exceptions in CO most public roads cutting through private property are open to travel as long as you do not leave the road. Not familiar with the term "patent road" as previously stated by Bluefish.

A comment somewhat connected to public access and private property ownership: On rare occasions onX may not be 100% accurate and updated on ownership boundaries. Ran into a situation in Wyo a few years ago while antelope hunting. Set up camp for the night on what onX identified as BLM land. Hour or so later some lady shows up telling me that I'm camping on private property and to kindly leave. I responded by showing her my location on the app. She proceeded to explain that some Utah based organization/owner had purchased or did a land swap with BLM earlier that year and that the piece I was camping then was now private. Initially, I stuck to my guns saying that it was BLM land but quickly changed my tune and relocated camp when she (irritated now) threatened to call the local state trooper. Turns out she was right. Moral of the story is: if the identifying road or parcel of land info seems vague or has conflicting identifiers it's best check it out before setting foot on it. Hunting time is too valuable to be wasting.
 
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Jaquomo

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With some exceptions in CO most public roads cutting through private property are open to travel as long as you do not leave the road. Not familiar with the term "patent road" as previously stated by Bluefish.

A comment somewhat connected to public access and private property ownership: On rare occasions onX may not be 100% accurate and updated on ownership boundaries. Ran into a situation in Wyo a few years ago while antelope hunting. Set up camp for the night on what onX identified as BLM land. Hour or so later some lady shows up telling me that I'm camping on private property and to kindly leave. I responded by showing her my location on the app. She proceeded to explain that some Utah based organization/owner had purchased or did a land swap with BLM earlier that year and that the piece I was camping then was now private. Initially, I stuck to my guns saying that it was BLM land but quickly changed my tune and relocated camp when she (irritated now) threatened to call the local state trooper. Turns out she was right. Morale of the story is: if the identifying road or parcel of land info seems vague or has conflicting identifiers it's best check it out before setting foot on it. Hunting time is too valuable to be wasting.
And in my case, OnX showed a big strip along a county road as private, blocking NF access. My NF map showed it as private as well. I spotted a teeny NF sign mostly hidden by pine boughs, so I stopped and talked with the owner of the adjacent ranch and he confirmed that it was, indeed, USFS land, and he had no idea why it is shown as private on the maps, but he didn't mind since he was also a hunter and hunted that side of rhe road.
 

Fisherhahn

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Can also look on a county road map. Many of those roads are county roads and their maps will show them as such, cr 123, not just a street name. If so then you are good.
 

LFC911

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Last year a buddy and i went on a scouting trip in July for 1st rifle tag we drew in CO. We were mainly looking for access (or lack thereof). One of the roads we encountered was fenced off through private. Since the sign clearly stated Forest Boundary ahead and it was a county road on the map we contacted the local game warden and sent him the pic. He said that he knew where/what we were talking about and that the landowner's property we were driving through had some livestock that were getting across the cattle guard, so he put up the fence to keep them in. He said we could we could drive through there but just needed to put the gate back up. If we hadn't of asked, we would have written it off and not tempted it.
IMG_0541.jpg
 

TxLite

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Last year a buddy and i went on a scouting trip in July for 1st rifle tag we drew in CO. We were mainly looking for access (or lack thereof). One of the roads we encountered was fenced off through private. Since the sign clearly stated Forest Boundary ahead and it was a county road on the map we contacted the local game warden and sent him the pic. He said that he knew where/what we were talking about and that the landowner's property we were driving through had some livestock that were getting across the cattle guard, so he put up the fence to keep them in. He said we could we could drive through there but just needed to put the gate back up. If we hadn't of asked, we would have written it off and not tempted it.
View attachment 565664
You were lucky to get ahold of a warden. We ran into a similar situation during second rifle and never could get a call back due to understaffing. The landowner in our situation had a gate with signs posted that the road was private and trespassers would be prosecuted, despite the road being a county road.

We ended up just going elsewhere so I guess it worked for him.
 

Wags

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You were lucky to get ahold of a warden. We ran into a similar situation during second rifle and never could get a call back due to understaffing. The landowner in our situation had a gate with signs posted that the road was private and trespassers would be prosecuted, despite the road being a county road.

We ended up just going elsewhere so I guess it worked for him.

I have a neighbor a few miles from me who did the same. Douche move IMO.
 

TxLite

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I have a neighbor a few miles from me who did the same. Douche move IMO.
Between that and watching large private ranches chasing elk herds back into their property it was definitely frustrating but just part of hunting public land I guess.
 

Wags

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Between that and watching large private ranches chasing elk herds back into their property it was definitely frustrating but just part of hunting public land I guess.

That would NEVER happen... harassing game is a crime isn't it?....

There are a lot of shady things that go down during hunting season. Money and elk bring out the worst in people at times.
 

LFC911

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You were lucky to get ahold of a warden. We ran into a similar situation during second rifle and never could get a call back due to understaffing. The landowner in our situation had a gate with signs posted that the road was private and trespassers would be prosecuted, despite the road being a county road.

We ended up just going elsewhere so I guess it worked for him.
Until this occurrence I have never gotten ahold of a game warden in the field when I’ve tried calling them. I chalk it up to two things; it being July and this particular unit has pretty good cell service.
 
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