Wyoming extends shed hunting closure until May 15

 Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Shed hunting is closed until 6 a.m. on May 15 on designated lands in Wyoming. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) announced the emergency extension in order to protect big game animals on winter ranges, according to a press release.

“Big game animals have experienced a tough winter and are highly vulnerable to human-caused disturbances, such as being moved around by people on the landscape gathering antlers,” said Rick King, WGFD chief of wildlife. “The unnecessary use of energy and undue stress can increase mortality. Postponing the shed antler collection in some areas of the state will help minimize stress, protect big game and increase their chance of survival.”

Map of shed hunting closures

 Those who violate the emergency order will be cited. These are the areas affected by the extended closure:

  • Black Butte, near Pinedale
  • Grey’s River, near Alpine
  • Fall Creek, near Pinedale 
  • Half Moon, near Pinedale
  • Luke Lynch, near Pinedale
  • Soda Lake, near Pinedale
  • Forbes/Sheep Mountain, near Laramie
  • Jelm, near Laramie (Closed to antler collection only.)
  • Red Rim-Daley, near Rawlins (Closed to antler collection only.)
  • Red Rim Grizzly, near Baggs (Closed to antler collection only.)
  • Pennock Mountain, near Saratoga (Closed to motor vehicle access and antler collection.)

“Shed antler collecting is not the only winter activity with the potential to disturb wintering wildlife. We encourage everyone to be aware of wildlife during this vulnerable period and do their best to not disturb them,” said King.

The emergency closure does not extend to Teton County mainly due to the few animals – antelope and mule deer – that use the area as a winter range. Shed hunting is permitted in this county as part of a coordinated interagency effort to manage U.S. Forest Service lands that are adjacent to the National Elk Refuge. Shed hunting in Teton County will open at 6 a.m. on May 1 per usual.

“We know shed hunting is a popular activity for many families in Wyoming, and we appreciate everyone's understanding, patience and cooperation,” said Brian Nesvik, WGFD director. “These efforts will help reduce stress on Wyoming’s big game animals and increase their chances of surviving.”


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