(Green River,  Wyo.) – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds the public that shed horn and antler gathering is prohibited on most public lands west of the Continental Divide between Jan. 1 and April 30. The regulation has been in effect since 2009. However, beginning January 1, 2013, state lands will also be off-limits to shed antler or horn gathering.

Under the regulation, shed antler gathering is prohibited on most public lands west of the Continental Divide between Jan. 1 and April 30. Public lands in the Great Divide Basin are excluded from the regulation. Public lands are defined as federal lands and lands owned or administered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. At its Oct. 4, 2012 meeting the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners approved an annual restriction prohibiting the collection of antlers between Jan 1 and April 30 on all parcels of land under jurisdiction of the Board of Land Commissioners west of the Continental Divide. These are often referred to as “state lands” and are usually blue on land-status maps. In addition, there are winter closures to the presence of vehicles and/or humans on some designated federal lands in Teton, Sublette, and Lincoln counties. Inquire with the appropriate land management agency about such winter closures, in addition to the antler gathering regulation, before heading into the field.

The purpose of the regulation is to minimize harassment or disturbance of big game animals on their winter and spring ranges when animals are most vulnerable to stress as well as potential displacement to less productive habitats. Colorado and Utah have similar regulations.

Legislation (W.S. 23-1-302) passed by the 2009 Wyoming Legislature that gave the 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. To read Chapter 61 “Collection of Shed Antlers and Horns,” go to wgfd.wyo.gov, select “Hunting” then “Rules & Regulations.”

–Wyoming Game and Fish Department