Jan. 1 closure helps big game survive winter.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Many sections of public lands in western and southern Wyoming are now closed for shed antler and horn hunting.
The annual closure for sections of public land, state land and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission wildlife habitat management areas in Wyoming became effective at midnight Dec. 31. 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.
“The annual shed antler and horn collection closure is to minimize the disturbance and stress to big game on winter ranges,” said Rick King, Game and Fish deputy chief of wildlife. “It’s critical that our big game animals do not experience undue stress during the winter months.”
Collect means to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land or attempt to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public or state land during the closed season. A violation of this regulation carries the same potential penalties — including fines, forfeiture of seized shed antler and horns, and loss of hunting and fishing privileges — as many other Game and Fish violations.
“Shed antler enthusiasts can help wildlife by obeying the shed antler and horn hunting regulations and other winter range closures statewide,” King said. “And all wildlife enthusiasts can help big game by giving them space over the winter and early spring.”
It is illegal to enter the private property of any person to collect antlers or horns without the permission of the owner of the property or the person in charge of the property, regardless of the time of year.
For questions, contact the Laramie, Green River, Pinedale and Jackson regional offices. To report shed antler or horn collection violations, call the STOP Poaching Hotline at 1-877-943-3847 (1-877-WGFD-TIP) or text the keyword WGFD to TIP411 (847-411). Violations may also be reported online at the Game and Fish website.