Utah Hunters Must Complete Course Before Gathering Shed Antlers

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Utah Hunters Must Complete Course Before Gathering Shed Antlers

USA -(Ammoland.com)- Collecting antlers that fall off the heads of deer, elk and moose each winter is a popular pastime in Utah.

Before you head out the door to collect shed antlers, though, you must complete the Division of Wildlife Resources’ Antler Gathering Ethics course. You can take the free course online.

After dropping their antlers, male deer, elk and moose will grow a new set starting this spring.

Gathering Shed Antlers

DWR Captain Justin Shirley says gathering shed antlers is a fun activity that your whole family can enjoy. Please remember, though, that late winter and early spring is a tough time of year for deer, elk and moose.

“During winter,” Shirley says, “big game animals, especially deer, often have a difficult time finding food. If you spook an animal and cause it to run, the animal has to use up fat reserves and energy it needs to make it through the winter.”

Also, from late winter through early spring, the habitat big game animals rely on in the winter is usually wet.

“Because the soil is wet,” Shirley says, “it’s more at risk to damage.”

Fortunately, you can gather shed antlers without stressing the animals or damaging their habitat.

“The free course will teach you how,” Shirley says.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR)Print Your Certificate

After you finish the course online, you must print your certificate of completion and then carry it with you while you’re gathering antlers.

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

You must complete the course if you want to gather shed antlers between Feb. 1 and April 15. If you wait until April 15 or later to gather antlers, you don’t need to complete the course.

After you’ve completed the course, you can gather antlers across Utah. There are two exceptions, though:

  • Many of the state’s wildlife management areas are closed in the winter and spring, to protect animals and their habitat.
  • You must have written permission from the landowner before gathering antlers on private land.

Antlers Attached to a Skull

If you find a skull with the antlers or horns still attached, it's possible the animal was poached. Do not pick up or move the skull, or disturb footprints or other evidence. Instead, please take the following steps:

  • Take photos of the skull from a couple of angles
  • Pinpoint the location of the skull (preferably its GPS coordinates)
  • Report your find to a DWR office
  • Provide key details in your report

The DWR will send a conservation officer to investigate. If it's clear the animal died of natural causes, you might be allowed to keep your find.

More Information

If you have questions about gathering shed antlers in Utah, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

  • 12 thoughts on “Utah Hunters Must Complete Course Before Gathering Shed Antlers

    1. Why not allow antler collection from the first day of spring until the first day of hunting season. This would eliminate the problem.

    2. I’m not 100% good with the practice they have.
      But they make good points . As a Kid my buds ,
      and I would go out in the woods without a clue !
      what we may be disrupting. Now as an Adult I think,
      more of what’s left behind when I leave. Got my,
      Kids to think the same. Proud to say ,their teaching
      Grandkids the same Values .

    3. Game & Fish/Wildlife officials continue to put more and more stipulations and controls where they are not needed and definitely not wanted. Get off your G&F butts and catch the poachers and instead of penalizing and making it harder for law abiding hunters and others to enjoy the public lands.

        1. 1. You are being REQUIRED to take the course which forces you to take the time. 2. The article doesn’t mention what the penalty is for not taking the course; fines? jail time? Other? 3. The requirement limits a legal activity which does NO ecological damage in and of itself to the environment. 4. If you can only collect during the restricted time, then you are forced to undertake a government educational program (propaganda) in order to do what was previously an unrestricted activity. 5. I have seen this before in other states where to solution to (in one case) poaching by the State is not to increase law enforcement presence or monitoring of the poaching due to lack of funds or motivation. Instead, just like this case, penalize the general public, make it more difficult to do previously legal activities by adding needless control which does nothing to stop the poaching or illegal, or damaging activities. What it does do is create another class of criminal, who formerly were law-abiding individuals who are now criminals if they don’t comply, and are far more easier for the G&F officials to apprehend as they for the most part have families, jobs and permanent homes and are far more likely to have to means to pay exorbitant fines. 6. How the hell can any intelligent, thinking individual with a working brain assume automatically that ANY government sponsored, mandatory educational program can be anything but indoctrination and good for anyone but the government?

          1. 1. It’s an online course. 2. Irreverent. 3. The program spelled out exactly what harm HAS been done by uneducated people. Please let us know what degrees you hold on the subject so we can give your response the proper credibility. 4. False, they’re simply saying if you wish to collect during ONE period of time you need to take the course. 5. Your comment is not germane to this discussion as poaching wasn’t even mentioned. 6. Your argument is irrational. A logical person, after weighing the facts, makes a reasoned decision. In this case the course costs nothing but a little time online and educates the public so they take care not to disturb wildlife or the area wildlife are in during one period of the year. It doesn’t prohibit you from going anywhere at anytime, it just educates you.

            My takeaway, your arguments are without merit.

            1. I wasn’t sure if you were a half-full for half-empty type person, but after your endless juvenile attacks, not just upon my comments, but others as well, I have finally figured you are a completely empty person devoid of merit, self-worth, self-respect and incapable of anything but attacking people in order to make your self feel important and intelligent at their expense. Sadly, your trite drivel, empty rhetoric, lacking in any logic, even convoluted, only serves to reveal your personal insecurity and lack of self-worth. You are at best a troll and not even a very good one at that (most likely using Van 40 and Clark Kent as both your pen names), and remind me of a bull my grandfather once had that had only one horn and one nut. He couldn’t f*ck and he couldn’t fight, all he could do was sh*t and beller.

          2. And there you have it. As his final answer….he has no answer, he just resorts to name calling and insults. Thanks for winning this “sort of” debate for me.

    4. Wow, Utah must have masses of people trudging through the lands in search of sheds. This smells of PC ❄. So now walking on our planet is bad. I suppose if you were to see wildlife, you are to run the other direction.
      Over zealous authoritarian if you ask me.

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