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Shed hunting season has arrived for some parts of the state

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Shed antler and horn hunting is a popular pastime for many Wyoming residents. The antlers and horns can be used in decorations and sold for profit. 

Male elk and deer shed their antlers late in the winter season or early in the spring. Shed hunting was once a very niche hobby but has become very popular. 

The Wyoming Game and Fish are reminding residents and nonresidents that before venturing out, be sure to know which lands are open. Many sections of public lands, state lands and wildlife habitat management areas in western and southern Wyoming remain closed to shed antler and horn hunting.

The Department has 44 wildlife habitat management areas that provide crucial habitat for big game winter ranges. The areas listed below remain closed until their listed opening date to minimize disturbance to wintering big game animals and other wildlife and protect the habitat from resource damage. Several WHMAs will open May 1, with many other areas opening on May 14. The closures are for any human presence unless otherwise noted. 

Locally, Bud Love is closed to any human presence until May 14, as is Ed O. Taylor. Ellis is closed to vehicles Sept. 1-May 14, and closed to human presence Jan. 1-May 14.

Amsden Creek is closed to vehicles but open to foot and horse traffic Nov. 1-15. Closed to all human presence Nov. 16-May 14. Kerns has the same schedule as Amsden Creek. 

Find the full schedule for all WHMAs as well as Public Access Areas, here.

Game and Fish remind the public it is illegal to enter any person’s private property to collect antlers or horns without the permission of the property owner or the person in charge of the property, regardless of the time of year. 

The head or skull with antlers and horns attached to a big game animal cannot be removed without prior approval from a Game and Fish law enforcement officer. If approval is granted, the purchase of a Wyoming Interstate Game Tag is required for any antlers or horns attached to a head or skull plate of a big game animal.

Collect means to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season. A violation of this regulation carries the same penalties as many other Game and Fish violations. 

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.
More details on antler collection regulations and maps are available on the Game and Fish website.

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