PLOTS Guide - Public Use Regulations
The goal of the Private Land Open To Sportsmen program is to provide walk-in public access for hunting on private land. PLOTS agreements do not allow activities such as horseback riding, camping, placing bait for any purpose, driving ATVs or snowmobiles, dog training and many others, without written permission from the landowner.
Game and Fish has specific regulations that apply to public use on PLOTS tracts. By establishing these regulations, the Department can better fulfill its responsibility to private landowners and help protect property enrolled in the program. In addition, the regulations provide clarity to hunters, and law enforcement officers are in a better position to enforce activities on PLOTS property.
All PLOTS property is open only for public walk-in access for the purpose of hunting within legal hunting seasons, or as signed. All other activities require written permission from the property owner.
Walk-in access is defined as an individual travelling by foot with any legal firearm or bow, plus other equipment, accessories and provisions for the purposes of hunting.
Hunters may not leave equipment, accessories, or provisions unattended on a PLOTS tract without written permission of the property owner.
Regulations are enforced year-round, but do not restrict the landowner from participating in these activities on their own property enrolled in PLOTS. These regulations also do not restrict the landowner, tenant, family, hired hand, or other authorized operators from conducting normal farming or ranching activities as authorized in the PLOTS contract on their own property enrolled in PLOTS.
Is dog training allowed on PLOTS?
No. PLOTS agreements are for walk-in hunting access only. All other activities require landowner permission.
Are tree stands or ground blinds allowed on PLOTS?
Yes, but they must be removed when a hunter leaves unless the landowner grants written permission to leave them overnight. The same rule applies to other hunting equipment, accessories or provisions.
Is hunting over bait allowed on PLOTS?
Hunting deer over bait is legal on PLOTS tracts (except in deer hunting units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3 north of U.S. Highway 2, 3B1, 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B and 4C), but any type of bait qualifies as a “provision” for PLOTS purposes, and therefore bait must be removed when the hunter leaves, unless written permission is granted by the landowner.
Is predator calling allowed on PLOTS?
Yes. PLOTS tracts are open to all legal hunting.
When are PLOTS lands open?
All PLOTS tracts are open to walk-in public hunting access during all legal hunting seasons, or as signed. NOTE: Hunters may occasionally encounter PLOTS signs that indicate the land is open only from September 1 – April 1. These are older signs that Game and Fish is gradually replacing with signs that read “Open To Hunting.”
Are nonresident hunters allowed to use PLOTS?
Yes, except for the first seven days of the pheasant season – October 10-16 in 2020. Nonresidents are also not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas the first seven days of the pheasant season. The nonresident restriction on PLOTS and WMAs applies to all types of hunting, not just pheasant hunting.
Is trapping allowed on PLOTS?
PLOTS agreements are for hunting access only, so trapping requires written permission from the landowner. State law also requires written permission to trap on any private land, not just PLOTS land.
Is nontoxic shot required on PLOTS?
Nontoxic shot regulations on PLOTS are the same as for other private land. Nontoxic shot is required while hunting ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, tundra swans, mergansers, snipe and coot statewide. Nontoxic shot is not required to hunt upland game, turkeys or big game on PLOTS.
Is it OK to park on oil pads when hunting a PLOTS tract?
No. Most oil pads are either owned or leased by an energy company and parking a vehicle on them is considered trespassing.
Can I drive on an oil field road on a PLOTS tract if it’s not located on a section line?
No. Most oil field roads are either owned or leased by an energy company and driving on them is considered trespassing.
Is it safe to hunt around oil wells?
It is legal to hunt around oil wells that are located on PLOTS tracts, but use extreme caution. Always attempt to stay upwind of any oil well due to the potential presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. Keep a safe distance and hunt away from the well, and don’t shoot in the direction of a well or any other infrastructure.