New antler season comes to a close
by Wyoming Game & Fish
April 30, 2010
PINEDALE - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reporting generally good compliance during the first shed antler gathering season. The season, initiated this winter, prohibited gathering 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 this winter after a series of public meetings held in the fall of 2009.
"The purpose of the new regulation was to minimize disturbance of big game animals on their winter and spring ranges," said Pinedale Game Warden Coordinator, Scott Werbelow. "It appeared to achieve that goal as we saw a lot less traffic on those traditional big game winter ranges this year."
In an effort to facilitate compliance, the Game and Fish Department brought in four game wardens from other parts of the state to increase enforcement presence in the Pinedale and Big Piney areas. "While most people complied with the new regulation, there were a total of 5 individuals who were cited for violating the shed antler season in the Pinedale Region and another individual was caught antler hunting on private property without permission," said Werbelow. "It should be noted that many of these cases were made possible through tips from concerned citizens and we really appreciate that."
Werbelow also noted that with the relatively mild winter in western Wyoming this year, deer and elk have been much more widely dispersed across the landscape and antler hunters are likely to have a tougher time finding antlers compared to deeper snow years when animals are more congregated. "Folks might have to hike a little farther or a little higher in elevation than usual to find antlers this year."