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Wyoming Game and Fish Commission: Collection of Shed Antlers and Horns

Section 1: Authority

  • Regulatory Basis: Established under Wyoming Statutes §§ 23-1-103 and 23-1-302.

Section 2: Definitions

  • Antlers: Bony, deciduous appendages from deer family members like deer, elk, or moose.
  • Collect: Actions including searching, locating, stockpiling, or possessing shed antlers and horns on public land.
  • Horns: Hard, permanent appendages from bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or pronghorn antelope.
  • Public Land: Federal lands and lands owned or administered by the Commission.
  • Shed: Naturally separated from the skull.

Section 3: Collection of Shed Antlers or Horns

  • Restriction Period: Collection of shed antlers or horns on public land west of a specified line is prohibited from January 1 at 12:00 a.m. to May 1 at 6:00 a.m. each calendar year.
  • Geographical Boundaries: The line begins at the Wyoming-Colorado state line at U.S. Highway 287 and extends through various highways to the Wyoming-Idaho state line.

Section 4: Exceptions

  • Department Personnel and Elk Feeders: Can collect antlers on Department elk feedgrounds during the closed season as part of their official duties.
  • Ownership and Disposal: Antlers collected are the property of the Department and must be disposed of in accordance with Commission policy VIIK “DISPOSITION OF ELK ANTLERS” (dated December 7, 1999).
  • Policy Accessibility: This policy can be viewed at regional offices and the Headquarters Office of the Department.

Shed Collection Map

Wyoming Collection of Shed Antlers & Horns Regulations

Focused Overview of Antler and Horn Collecting Restrictions in Wyoming

Geographic Restrictions

  • General Area: The collection of shed antlers and horns is restricted in public lands located west of a specific line within Wyoming.
  • Specific Boundaries: The restricted area is defined as west of a line starting from the Wyoming-Colorado state line at U.S. Highway 287, extending north along U.S. Highway 30-287 to Interstate Highway 80, then west to the Pacific Branch of the Continental Divide, and continuing northwesterly along the divide to the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, extending to the Wyoming-Idaho state line.

Time Restrictions

  • Closed Period: The collection of shed antlers and horns is prohibited from January 1 at 12:00 a.m. through May 1 at 6:00 a.m. each calendar year in the defined area.

Purpose of Restrictions

  • Wildlife Protection: The primary purpose of these restrictions is to minimize the harassment and disturbance of big game animals on their winter and spring ranges, a time when they are most vulnerable to physiological stress and displacement to less productive habitats.

Enforcement and Compliance

  • Regulatory Authority: These restrictions are enforced under the authority of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, in alignment with state legislation and commission regulations.
  • State Trust Lands: The restrictions also apply to State Trust Lands in the defined area to ensure consistent enforcement and protection of wildlife across various land jurisdictions.
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