SHERIDAN - Antler hunting is a popular activity in Wyoming and every year people from all over the state search big game wintering areas looking for antlers that were shed in late winter and early spring.
While most antler hunters are familiar with the rules associated with antler gathering there are several regulations that must be followed.
First, if antler hunting is going to take place on private land, permission to enter the land to look for antlers must be obtained from the landowner prior to entering the land. In addition if antler hunting is taking place on publicly accessible lands, antler hunters need to make sure those lands are open to antler or skull hunting activity. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs) across the state are normally closed during the winter to protect wintering wildlife. These WHMAs typically have opening dates that vary from early May to early June. Antler hunters going to WHMAs need to verify that the area has opened to human activity.
One of the most important regulations governing antler hunting is the Interstate Game Tag procedure and the requirements of that regulation. No interstate game tag is required to possess shed antlers or antlers that have been broken or sawed off above, or immediately below, the antler burr, but to legally possess antlers or horns attached to a skull plate or to possess trophy game skulls, an interstate game tag is required.
Antler hunters in the remote backcountry may pick up and transport skull plates with antlers/horns attached or trophy game skulls. However, a Wyoming Game and Fish Department enforcement officer must be contacted as soon as a public telephone or cell phone service is available to get approval to transport such items and make arrangements to obtain an interstate game tag.
When antler/horn hunting in less remote areas where there is cell phone service, contact a Game and Fish enforcement officer to get approval prior to moving or transporting the skull plate with antlers/horns attached or the trophy game skull. Failure to follow the interstate game tag procedure and regulation could result in a citation, seizure of the wildlife parts, or both.
Anyone wanting further information regarding the Interstate Game Tagging procedure can contact their local game warden or one of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regional Offices.
(Contact: Bud Stewart (307) 672-7418)