New Antler Season in place
Prohibits gathering antler sheds from Jan 1 – April 30 on public lands west of the Continental Divide
by Wyoming Game & Fish
February 18, 2010
PINEDALE - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding antler hunters there is now a season in place which prohibits the gathering of shed antlers from January 1 through April 30 on public lands west of the Continental Divide. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission enacted the regulation following a series of public meetings held in the fall of 2009.
The regulation applies to all federal lands and lands owned or administered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. All private and state lands are excluded from the regulation. The regulation will not affect most big game winter ranges in Teton County, which are already off limits to human presence from December 1 through April 30 by regulation of the Bridger Teton National Forest.
The purpose of the shed antler regulation is to minimize harassment or disturbance of big game animals on their winter and spring ranges when animals are most vulnerable to stress and potential displacement to less productive habitats. Colorado and Utah already have similar regulations.
As with any regulation, the department realizes enforcement and public cooperation will be key to its effectiveness. "We plan to detail additional game wardens from across the state to increase our presence on key winter ranges," said Scott Werbelow, Pinedale Game Warden Coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. "Actually, we have been doing this for years to deter the poaching of trophy mule deer on winter ranges during the months of December and January. Now, we will just continue that enforcement effort after the antlers have dropped."
The regulation was made possible by legislation (W.S. 23-1-302) in the 2009 legislative session that gave the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission authority to regulate and control the collection of shed antlers and horns of big game animals west of the Continental Divide.
Editor’s Note: As of this time, state lands are not considered public property, so this regulation does not apply to Wyoming state land west of the Continental Divide. It is advised to double check with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department for any special restrictions that might apply to any specific parcel of state land regarding public access purposes for any outdoor recreation activities.