Shed antler hunting season closing in western and southern Wyoming on January 1

CASPER, Wyo. — An annual closure of antler and horn hunting season in western and southern Wyoming will take effect at 12 a.m. Saturday, January 1, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“The annual closure for sections of public land, state land and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission wildlife habitat management areas in Wyoming begins at midnight Jan. 1,” Game and Fish said. “The shed collection closure is meant to protect wintering big game.”

“A Wyoming Game and Fish Commission regulation prohibits anyone from collecting shed antlers or horns on public land, such as U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, state lands and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission-owned or administered lands west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin and some land west of Laramie, from Jan. 1 through 6 a.m. May 1 of each year. A map of the closure area is available online and the boundaries are detailed within the regulation.”

Shed antler or horn “collection” includes searching for, stockpiling or possessing shed antlers and horns of big game animals. Attempts to collect shed antlers or horns during the closed season can result in fines, forfeiture of collected shed antlers and horns and/or loss of hunting and fishing privileges, according to Game and Fish.

“The annual shed antler and horn collection closure is to minimize the disturbance and stress to big game on winter and spring ranges by antler hunters,” Game and Fish Deputy Chief of Wildlife Scott Edberg said in Game and Fish’s announcment. “It’s very important for the survival of our big game animals that they do not experience undue stress during the winter months.”

“Shed antler enthusiasts can help wildlife tremendously by obeying the shed antler and horn hunting regulations and other winter range closures statewide. All wildlife enthusiasts statewide can help wildlife by giving them space over the winter and early spring.”

Game and Fish note that it is illegal to trespass on private property at any time of the year.

“For questions contact the Laramie, Green River, Pinedale and Jackson regional offices,” the department said. “To report shed antler or horn collection violations call the STOP Poaching Hotline at 1-877-943-3847 (1-877-WGFD-TIP) or text keyword WGFD and message to TIP411 (847-411). Violations may also be reported online at the Game and Fish website.”

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