This article is for information only and is not a legal advice.
Please check with your state DNR before going shed hunting for regulations on:
- antler traps
- shed dogs ( unleashed dogs )
- antlered skulls ( most likely these require an approval and permit from a DNR officer )
Summary Of State Shed Antler Laws
- West-Virginia is currently the only state where shed hunting is illegal
- Utah is the only state that requires completion of online education course before issuing antler gathering certificate
- States close certain areas temporarily or permanently for shed hunting
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- If not contrary to federal law or regulation, an individual may pick up and possess naturally shed antlers or horns or other wildlife parts that are not fresh.
- Shed antlers may not be collected or possessedwhile on NPS lands.
- Seasonal closure on shed antler and horn collection on all public lands west of I-25 from January 1 through April 30 annually. Decision will take effect on these public lands beginning March 2, 2018.
- Additionally, in order to maintain protection for the Gunnison sage-grouse, the new regulations include a closure to collection of shed antlers on public lands May 1 to May 15 from sunset to 10 a.m. in the Gunnison basin (Game Management Units 54, 55, 66, 67, 551)
- Antler hunters do not need a license, but they need to be aware of travel and access restrictions on the land and follow all wildlife possession laws.
- In addition, several areas are closed temporarily during the winter and early spring to all human activities
- It is the policy of the DNR Law Enforcement Executive staff that citizens may collect shed antlers that have been naturally discarded without the need for a permit.
- The presence of a skull with the antlers identifies that a deer has died. Our interest is in what has caused the mortality of the deer and the circumstances surrounding it, therefore a permit is required to allow for investigation, if needed.
- It is permissible for people to hunt for shed antlers. Shed antlers are antlers that have naturally fallen from a whitetail deer. Shed antlers can be collected on public land including state parks. Permission must be granted from the landowner on private land. (See trespass law on p. 13.)
- Antlers that are still attached to the skull or any other parts of a deer can only be possessed with approval and tag from an Iowa DNR conservation officer.
- No authorization is needed to possess, buy, or sell shed antlers not attached to the skull plate.
- Individuals may possess, transport, sell, or purchase naturally shed antlers, or the antlers with a skull or portion of a skull attached from a game animal that has died from natural causes and that has not been illegally killed
- It shall be lawful to pick up, possess, buy, sell, or barter antlers or horns which have been dropped or shed by antelope, deer, or elk.
- It shall be unlawful to pick up, possess, buy, sell, or barter mountain sheep or any part of a mountain sheep except (a) as permitted by law or rule or regulation of the commission and (b) for possession of mountain sheep or any part of a mountain sheep lawfully obtained in this state or another state or country.
- Possession of naturally shed deer antlers is legal. Parts of deer possessed, other than shed antlers, must be from lawfully harvested deer. Proof of lawful harvest (Confirmation Number or seal) should be retained for verification. Road killed deer with a permit are intended only for consumption; antler possession from these deer is not legal.
- Possession of shed antlers is legal, possession of antlers attached to a skull found in the field is not.
- Shed antlers do not require a certificate of ownership or receipt by a wildlife officer
- Shed antlers do not require a certificate of ownership or receipt by a wildlife officer.
- Shed antler hunting is now allowed on GFP owned lands, including state parks, recreation areas and Game Production Areas. However, permission from the landowner is required for shed hunting on Walk-In Areas, CREP, CHAP, or other privately-owned lands leased by GFP for public hunting. Regulations differ for lands owned by other state or federal agencies. Contact the respective agency for more information.
- From Feb. 1 to April 15, you need an antler-gathering certificate on your person while collecting shed antlers or horns. You can obtain this certificate free of charge by visiting wildlife.utah.gov and completing an online education course. You do not need an antler-gathering certificate at any other time of the year
- Antler traps are illegal because they are designed to entangle or trap the antler while it is still attached to a living animal. Collecting, possessing, buying, and selling shed deer antlers is legal.
- It is legal to possess naturally shed antlers of deer, elk and moose.
- Antler sheds are considered parts of wildlife. You cannot keep, maintain, or possess parts of wildlife unless you legally kill it.
- No person shall collect shed antlers or horns from big game animals on public land west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin, from January 1 through April 30 of each calendar year.
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