Course required to hunt shed antlers
Take the course at wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler
Late winter and early spring is a tough time for elk, moose and especially deer in Utah.
Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
In fact, it’s the worst time of the year for the animals.
In the winter, deep snow makes it hard for deer to move and find food. And cold temperatures sap the deers’ strength. By the time winter ends, deer are the weakest they’ll be all year.
Winter is also the time of year when the antlers of male deer, elk and moose drop off their heads. The animals will be without antlers until spring, when they’ll start to grow a new set.
Gathering shed antlers
Gathering antlers that drop off the heads of deer, elk and moose is an activity that’s grown in popularity across the country, including in Utah.
Captain Mitch Lane with the Division of Wildlife Resources says gathering shed antlers is a fun activity that your whole family can enjoy. Please remember, though, that late winter and early spring is a tough time of year for deer, elk and moose.
“In addition to the animals being stressed,” Lane says, “the habitat the animals rely on in the winter is wet. Because it’s wet, it’s easily damaged. Once it’s damaged, it can take years for it to recover.”
Fortunately, you can have a great time gathering shed antlers, and not stress the animals or damage their habitat, by doing a few simple things. “Those simple things are found in a free shed antler course on our website,” Lane says.
The Antler Gathering Ethics course is available at wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler.
Lane says you must complete the course if you want to gather shed antlers in Utah between Feb. 1 and April 15.
Print your certificate
After you finish the course, make sure to print your certificate of completion before you take off to gather antlers. “And make sure you carry your certificate with you,” Lane says. “You must have your certificate with you while you’re gathering shed antlers.”
If you have young children, and you’ve completed the course, your children don’t need to complete it — your certificate will cover your kids too.
You must complete the course if you want to gather shed antlers between Feb. 1 and April 15. If you wait until April 15 or later to gather antlers, you don’t need to complete the course.
Lane says once you complete the course, you can gather antlers across Utah. There are two exceptions, though:
Many of the state’s wildlife management areas are closed in the winter and spring, to protect animals and their habitat.
You must have written permission from the landowner before gathering antlers on private land.
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.
Deer herds focus of public meetings
Cedar City — The Division of Wildlife Resources will hold two open houses to discuss deer management strategies in south-central Utah. The meetings will specifically cover the following units: Plateau, Boulder; Plateau, Fish Lake; Plateau, Thousand Lakes; and Monroe.
Photo by Brent Stettler
The meetings will be held on:
- March 31, at the Sevier County Administration Building, 250 N. Main St. in Richfield
- April 1, at the Loa Civic Center, 90 W. Center St. in Loa
Both meetings will run from 6 to 8 pm. DWR biologists and other wildlife officials will be available answer questions about the deer unit management plans, habitat projects and range trends, mule deer predator control, and deer population status and data.
The open houses are an opportunity for the public to discuss these units with the biologists that manage them, provide comments and express any concerns they may have.
For more information, call the DWR’s Southern Region office at 435-865-6100.