Nevada Wildlife Commission Adopts Shed Antler Regulation

Shed Antler
Nevada Wildlife Commission Adopts Shed Antler Regulation

Nevada – -( The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners has approved a new regulation that prohibits the taking or gathering of shed antlers from public land in Elko, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Nye or White Pine counties from January 1 – April 30 each year.

The regulation originated from petitions coming out of the eastern Nevada County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife (CABMW). These eastern Nevada CABMW have the most concentrated deer and elk winter ranges, most severe winters, and the heaviest shed hunting pressure. Shed hunting is still open year-round in the other 11 counties in Nevada.

The goal is to allow deer and elk herds in eastern and central Nevada to utilize their critical winter range habitats without being disturbed.

As shed hunting becomes more popular each year, mounting pressure from shed hunters has forced animals to move onto sub-par habitat and expend crucial energy reserves during critical winter months.

Shed hunting is also creating increased traffic around big game winter ranges and results in habitat impacts and road degradation on both private and public lands. It was the combination of animal disturbance and habitat degradation that was the basis for the regulation.

Last year Nevada saw a significant increase in shed hunting pressure when, due to extreme winter conditions and deep snows, Utah closed their shed antler hunting season in an effort to reduce stress on deer, elk and moose to help more animals make it through harsh winter.

The closure was extended through April in an attempt to lessen habitat degradation and disturbance on breeding sage grouse.

Nevada Department of Wildlife
Nevada Department of Wildlife

About Nevada Department of Wildlife

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, conserves, manages and restores wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at

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Cj brown

I agree with all the people that is not for this B.S. law! They closed all of eastern nevada now everyone from the east is going to pressure the western region of the state . So what difference does it make to the deer and elk in the east and the west now the pressure is just going to another part of are state . They should have closed a 100% of the state not just a portion of it. I live in ely witch this area has been closed to collecting sheds I’ve seen the impact that this has… Read more »


@TLS Lee Helms: Ah me, there’s always one in every crowd and it looks as though you’re gonna be it. No, I did’t say I’d been raising game for 50 years, that was among the things I’ve done over that period of time. While we’re on the topic of CWD, something you appear to know so little about, since it only effects deer, elk & moose, and I raised quail and pheasants to release back into the wild, why don’t you brush up on your knowledge base a little? I started working trying to build up the game bird populations… Read more »


@TLS Lee Helms: If both sides were simply offering opinions you would be correct. However, my statement is not a baseless opinion, without fact as the dissenters are. It’s been proven that human encroachment on a habitat, during time of stress, forcing animals to move causes exactly what has been reported. Therefore my statements were factual, not opinions. I still see no takers to my offer of letting those who want to run rampant anywhere, anytime because it’s public property and “it’s my right” have their way for ten years and then, when their method is proven to be a… Read more »


the Muleys around my house are not usually scared off this time of year, i walk by them all the time doing my chores, ,but it looks like to me the response to your suggestion is, people had their way for a hundred years, it was just passed into law to prohibit people


Many times the tree huggers and animal rights activists go overboard and want to punish humans but I think this time they have a point. This law is not about ATVs and vehicles but the people and their scents and sounds disturbing the wildlife when it really needs to be left at peace. There are licenses and rules for hunters to avoid these kind of disturbances and since there are none for scavengers they have no idea how to act and what and what not to do while out in these protected areas.

Rodney Krahn

Let people walk but NO WHEELS of any kind including park ranger vehicles. If the snow is that deep I doubt alot of people are out there. Also NO SNOWMOBILING, just plain old walking. We as America eating our cheeseburgers and such are getting fat and lazy and could certainly use the excercise. GOT BONE.


you have a good point Rodney, i bet theres nobody walking out in deep snow finding anything anyway, i bet this is the fish an game thats hording all the horns as they are very expensive at auctions

wayland selfe

ive pick up antler for over 50 years,, just to many people. thank you ndw,,,,,,,,,


You folks who are criticizing this are taking the narrow minded approach that it’s just ATV’s and if we only stopped them we’d be just fine. It’s the sheer number of people that are coming in during this period. Tell you what, how about we do it your way for ten years. Let all the people in you want. Then, if it proves that you all were catastrophically wrong we close down the entire area to ALL human visitors, year long, for 25 years to let it build back up again? Hey, you should have no problem with that at… Read more »


Vanns40. Where did you get your degree in wildlife management?

Wild Bill

@MB, One need not have a degree to be an expert. Courts recognize that people can become experts by education or experience. As to picking up shed antlers versus not stressing wild life at critical times of the year, why not give the animals a break?

Terry Lee Helms

They are as right as you think you are, correct?


somebody should keep an eye out in the areas specified to make sure the fish an game dont violate their own rules


And we pay these people to make up stupid rules! Maybe my dog has the right idea, bury it for later.


I live in the heart of elk and deer winter range in NE NV. Glad to see this, as the shed hunters do not seem to care much about the land. The ground is still wet, they ride their ATVs everywhere, leaving tracks that will not heal for years if not decades. Someone else comes along, sees the tracks, and then they drive on it. Generally speaking, they are rude, thoughtless, and disturbing. Glad to see them NOT trespassing and spinning brodies out in the meadows, and slowly driving by my cabin, and looking to see what they can steal.… Read more »

Last Paratrooper

Wouldn’t it be easier to simply ban the use of ATV’s on public land during those times of year! No one is for the destruction of the land due to ATV tires tearing up the land in any manner!

Terry Lee Helms

Steve how do you have a cabin on public land?


my property borders public land, i know what Steves talking about

Terry Lee Helms

Well Steve,
If it is all that bad, why haven’t all you and your concerned friends, taken hay out to those poor animals, also feed?
Studies have long shown that during distressing time, wild animals can be supplement from caring folk, with no know adverse effects? Really if you all actually care that much?

Silver fox

This has had good commentary on both sides of the issue. Those who are only thinking of their personal desires should consider the results of following their actions to the long term consequences. This includes short term liberal politicians and stand-your-ground patriots.

Joseph Constable

On my Nevada property I observe how difficult it is for the rabbits, chipmunks, and grouse to survive the winter. A quarter of the rabbits have died so far and half the chipmunks. Don’t ever see dead birds, just a smaller flock.. It is really harsh. You have no idea.

Wild Bill

, I think that you are correct, city people do not realize how hard it is and how their mere presence can add just enough stress to make an unwelcome difference.

Ernest Jandrok

Horns play a part in the ecosystem many creatures feed on them! If you ever have spent any time in the wilds it would be easy to see.

Jerry H

This sound like a load of shit to me


You sound like an uniformed **** to me!

Wild Bill

@Vanns and Ernest J, Although wrong, regarding wildlife survival rates, a certain jh, sounds like a bona fide expert on “loads of shit”.

Jerry S.

It all boils down to “human encroachment”, doesn’t it? I fully understand, but I guess I didn’t realize their was that much pressure exerted by shed hunters. I am onboard with this.


How does picking something off the ground affect wildlife? Are they banning rock collecting or firewood gathering also. What’s next, no breathing on public land, you would be using oxygen some squirrel needs? Sounds like more “Gobermint” over-reach to me. These people want to regulate every moment and action in citizens lives The key word here is “public land” = We the people own it.

Ozark Muleskinner

Amen and amen! Some non-elected bureaucrat had to stay awake late at night to figure out yet another way to work against “We the people” and justify their employment. Most of these paper pushers need to be let go and made to find a real job…off the goobermint dole!


Do you folks EVER, EVER, stop to do any research before running off at the mouth? When you get a heavy influx of people in an area where game is already having a difficult time (during winter) it puts further stress on them, forcing them to try and move away from those people. That means the survival rate will go down, those that do survive will weigh less and the birthing rate will decline. Now, does that explain it enough so that next time around you’ll stop your whining and start doing some research first?


@Vanns40 I must admit this has been educational for me. The opinion I have now is completely opposite of my first. People do put undo stress on wildlife. A bicycle trail on an old railroad bed in my area has tormented game for several years now. We have more deer killed on highways, more deer in poulated areas. Strangely, most users of the trail are anti hunters and want hunting outlawed for six miles on each side of (their)!!; Trail, it’s all private property except for the RR bed. And so it goes, but I do understand your point and… Read more »

Marc DV

your right and your wrong !
Yes we do own it.. that’s where your right .
But your wrong on the rest. Have you ever
looked at a trail after it rains and an ATV has
gone down it ? Their tore up, walking down it
will most likely twist an ankle or worse . But you
may not be a pig ! but a lot of humans are! and they
trash everything they touch.


Marc Dv > Well then the issue is improper use of ATV’s, not picking up shed antlers. A human walking in a forest or pasture or beside a stream does no more damage to the environment than the deer did, in fact picking up the refuse the deer left behind. Willful or negligent destruction is an issue that can be managed without needless and intrusive restrictions.

Wild Bill

@MB, the issue is not picking something off the ground. The issue is whether mere human presence, at critical times of the year, is sufficient to impact survival numbers of various wild life species.


MB: Where’s yours? I’ve been hunting and around wildlife for more than 55 years. I’ve tracked game, raised it to resupply diminishing supplies and watched it go virtually out of existence in some areas. I believe I have some knowledge of what impact people have on game, especially when they’re under duress.

Terry Lee Helms

Really, been raising wildlife? For 50 years you’ve been a hunter raising wildlife? Sounds like someone needs to be investigated by there local natural resource department! Been releasing raised wildlife, and hunting, for 50 years? Hum! I suppose you get on next telling us all how you do it so right, all legal and all.
If anyone knows this Vann40 person please have D.N.R. check him/her out. Got to make sure, vann40 hasn’t violated any laws, or released infected and sick animals back into the ecosystem. Maybe Vann40 is the reason for deer wasting disease states are now experiencing?