Utah Antler Shed Hunters Need Certificate

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If you enjoy gathering antlers that deer, elk and moose shed in the winter, one of your favorite times of the year is almost here.

But before you head outdoors to gather antlers, you need to head to this Web page first: wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler.

At the page, you'll find a free shed antler-gathering course. You must complete the course—and print a course completion certificate—before you gather shed antlers in Utah.

"Make sure you carry your certificate with you," says Mike Fowlks, Law Enforcement Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

"By law, you must have your certificate with you while you're gathering shed antlers."

If you have young children, and you've completed the course, your children don't need to complete it. As long as you've completed the course, your certificate will cover your kids too.

You can gather antlers across Utah

Fowlks says if you complete the course, you can gather antlers across Utah. "Please remember, though, that many of the state's wildlife management areas are closed in the spring and the winter to protect wildlife," he says.

You must complete the course if you want to gather shed antlers before April 15. If you wait until April 15 or later to gather antlers, you don't need to complete the course.

Helping deer, elk and moose

The antlers of deer, elk and moose drop off their heads each winter. During the summer, the animals grow a new set of antlers.

"Gathering shed antlers is an activity that's grown in popularity across the country, including here in Utah," Fowlks says.

The challenge with shed-antler gathering is that it happens during the worst time of the year for the animals and the places the animals live in the winter.

"Two things are happening at the end of the winter," Fowlks says. "The animals are stressed, and the habitat they rely on in the winter is wet.

"Fortunately, you can have fun gathering shed antlers without stressing the animals and damaging their habitat. This online course will show you how."

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.