No antler gathering on public lands until May 1st
Ok to collect on private and non-G&F state lands
by Wyoming Game & Fish
January 31, 2011
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding antler hunters there is 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 other than Wyoming Game and Fish Commission lands, are excluded from the regulation.
In Teton County, many big game winter ranges are already closed to human presence from December 1 through April 30 by regulation of the Bridger Teton National Forest. However, the shed antler regulation would apply to all other federal or public lands not covered under the Forest Service regulation.
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 also have similar regulations. As with any regulation, the department realizes enforcement and public cooperation will be key to its effectiveness.
"Like last year, 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. We’re just continuing that enforcement presence 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.