Shed Antler Collecting Season Still Closed
Wyoming Game And Fish Department Reminding People That Collecting Shed Anlters/Horns Prohibited In Much Of Western Wyoming Through April 30
GREEN RIVER, WY –-(AmmoLand.com)- After some Wyoming shed antler gatherers were recently arrested in Pinedale, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reminding people that the season to collect shed antlers or horns is closed.
Following a series of public meetings held in November 2009, the Wyoming 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 to big game animals on their winter and spring ranges when animals are most vulnerable to stress, and potentially displace them to less productive habitats. Colorado and Utah already have similar regulations.
Game warden Neil Hymas says that most shed antler gatherers have adhered to the new regulation, and he is pleased to say that the amount of wildlife harassment this winter has been much lower than in previous winters.
“We have investigated a few reports of people ignoring the new regulation and sneaking onto public lands to pick up shed antlers,” Hymas said.
“These violators are cheating legal sportsmen out of an opportunity to pick up shed antlers when the season does open on May 1. Violators that are apprehended will be subject to strict penalties. Most people realize how stressful winter and human disturbance is on our local game herds. We are looking forward to working with legal antler hunters to discourage violations of the new regulation.”
The regulation was developed after legislation (W.S. 23-1-302) passed in 2009 giving 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 /wildlife/enforcement/stoppoaching/submitTip.aspx (contact: Lucy Diggins (307) 875-3223)