The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is putting a halt to gathering antlers in 11 Utah counties until April.
Division of Wildlife Resources Director Greg Sheehan signed an emergency amendment Tuesday, closing the gathering of shed antlers from deer, elk and moose in Cache, Box Elder, Rich and eight other counties in Utah until April 1.
According to the DWR, extreme, prolonged cold and deep snow are the reasons for the closure. These conditions are expected to continue for the next several weeks, making it difficult for deer, elk and moose to find food. And the DWR does not want to add additional complications for the animals.
“These animals and other wildlife in the areas are stressed,” Sheehan said <a href=”https://wildlife.utah.gov/wildlife-news/1988-shed-antler-gathering-closed-in-11-counties.html” target=”_blank”>in a press release</a>. “They cannot sustain being repeatedly moved around by shed hunters looking for dropped antlers.
“We support shed antler gathering,” Sheehan continued, “but we’re asking, through this emergency order, that you wait until April 1 to move through these winter range areas.”
The order states that those caught gathering shed antlers before April 1, in any of the 11 counties, will be cited.
In late winter and early spring, the antlers of deer, elk and moose fall off the animals’ heads. Then, they start growing a new set of antlers. By mid-summer, the new set is in place.
The DWR wants people to stay clear of wildlife while in the backcountry. If they see something that may be concerning, they are encouraged to contact the Division of Wildlife Resources. The phone number for the Northern Region is (801) 476-2740.
The counties in Utah where antler gathering is now prohibited until April 1 include Cache, Box Elder, Rich, Weber, Morgan, Summit, Wasatch, Duchesne, Uintah, Carbon, and Emery.
Antler gathering is still allowed in the 18 other counties in Utah. Before gathering antlers on public land, though, people must complete the DWR’s free shed antler gathering course.