Colorado DOW to Consider Shed Antler Issue
The Colorado Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make a final determination regarding shed antler collecting on public lands in the Gunnison Basin at its meeting on Jan. 10, 2008. The meeting will be at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Hunter Safety Building, 6060 Broadway, Denver. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 8:30 a.m.
Collecting of shed antlers for commercial use has grown significantly during the last five years. There are concerns that antler collectors disturb deer and elk on their winter range, and Gunnison Sage Grouse during their breeding period from mid-March to mid-May.
The issue to consider restrictions on shed antler collecting was brought to the wildlife commission through a citizen's petition by the Gunnison Basin Sage Grouse Strategic Committee.
DOW staff has been meeting with the committee and antler collectors during the last six months in an attempt to develop an agreement on this issue.
At the November 2007 wildlife commission meeting, DOW staff presented three alternatives for consideration:
- 1) All publicly owned lands in Game Management Units 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67 should be closed for collection of shed antlers from sunset to 9 a.m. from March 15 to May 15.
- 2) All publicly owned lands in GMUs 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67 should be closed for collection of shed antlers from March 15 to May 15.
- 3) All publicly owned lands in GMUs 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67 should be closed for collection of shed antlers from Feb. 1 to May 15.
The wildlife commission will discuss the issue; public comment also will be taken during the meeting.