New Member with questions about D16 Units


New Member
Dec 17, 2019
Hello there, just another D16 local and novice hunter.

I have a few questions that a dozen hours of reading and speaking to government employees could not answer.

I’ve been looking into a unit of BLM land in the northeastern corner of D16 bordering D19. I believe it’s designated as the Beauty Mountain Wilderness Study Area and it’s east of the San Felipe Wilderness Study Area Oak Grove unit.

It seems like a perfect area on OnX (plenty of creeks, springs, drainages, oaks and brush etc., gets pretty steep and dense in the corner), and the lack of road access for a large portion of the unit is a plus.

I can’t find any info on whether or not this unit is legal to hunt with a rifle, so I was wondering if any of you could shed any light.

On top of that, what the heck is the difference between a wildlife area (WA) and a wilderness study area (WSA) I ask because I noticed that both are BLM, but I can only find regulations for the WA and not for the WSA. In particular, the San Felipe WA and SF hills WSA border each other, but I was only able to find deer regs for the WA (archery only west of S-2, turkey and small game permitted with shotgun, rifles only east of S-2, no firearms permitted south of 78, closed from sometime in spring to early fall). This doesn’t specify whether or not I can use a rifle for non-game mammals/furbearers, specifically coyote. As for the Hills WSA, do the same rules apply? It seems pretty dry and featureless in the WSA, but I’m sure I could find a dog or two there. Basically, can I use a rifle to hunt coyote on any BLM land including WA’s and WSA’s? Can I use a rifle to hunt deer on the SF Hills WSA?

lastly, I was wondering if anyone could offer me advice on how to get started scouting the D16 portion of CNF. I’m going to buy the CNF atlas to start.

aside from that, I read somewhere that recreational shooting was prohibited on BLM due to risks of wildfire. Is this for a specific period of time, and are there BLM unit specific restrictions for firearms?

In areas that only permit the use of rifles/shotguns/archery (whatever it may be), does this mean I can’t carry a sidearm for personal protection?

I apologize for the questions, but I feel like I’m in a pinball machine being bounced from agency to agency and office to office trying to figure out these regs.
  • Like
Reactions: Horto619


Staff member
Aug 3, 2012

Welcome to SCH...Lots of questions that probably only the state or feds can answer.

To my knowledge, you can hunt WSU's with a rifle...They are considered part of BLM...The problem is access thru the Oak Grove Unit...This one you need to find out...Pretty grey area and this could be trouble.

You can NOT use a rifle for anything west of S-2.

You can use a rifle on most all BLM lands...And unless specified, target shoot there too.

Don't believe there's any restrictions other than you can not carry a sidearm while archery hunting deer.

Invest in OnX Maps and get paper maps...Also, I know it's frustrating, but you need to have a paper trail to some of these questions...Fines in this state are expensive.


Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2013
I believe a WSA is just a piece of land that is being considered for wilderness designation. Designated wilderness means no motorized activity of any kind other than driving on maintained roads.

About us

  • SCHoutdoors was created in January of 2011 by a few people who love the outdoors. The main goal is still the same – bring people together who enjoy the outdoors and share their knowledge and experience.
    Outdoors in the West, Hunting gear reviews, Big Game, Small Game, Upland Game, Waterfowl, Varmint, Bow Hunting, long Range Rifles, Reloading, Taxidermy, Salt WaterFishing, Freshwater Fishing, Buy-Sell-Trade on Classifieds and Cooking/Recipes
    All things outdoors…come join us, learn, contribute and become part of the SCHoutdoors community.

Quick Navigation

User Menu