Even though most elk and deer have shed their antlers this year, antler hunters are reminded that the season to collect antlers in much of western Wyoming is closed until April 30.
Following a series of public meetings held in 2009, the Game and Fish Commission enacted a regulation to establish a season for the collection of shed antlers and horns on public lands west of the Continental Divide.
Under the regulation, shed antler gathering is prohibited on most public lands west of the Continental Divide between Jan. 1 and Apr. 30. Public lands in the Great Divide Basin are excluded from the regulation. Public lands include federal lands and lands owned or administered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. The regulation will not affect most winter ranges in Teton County which are already off limits to antler gathering from December through April.
The purpose of the regulation is to minimize harassment or disturbance of big game animals on their winter and spring ranges when animals are most vulnerable to stress as well as potential displacement to less productive habitats. Colorado and Utah already have similar regulations.
The regulation was developed after legislation (W.S. 23-1-302) passed in the 2009 legislative session 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.
Anyone with information on illegal shed antler or horn collection, or any wildlife violation, can call and report the violation to the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP. Violations may also be reported on-line at:http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/enforcement/stoppoaching/submitTip.aspx