No antler collecting until the stress of winter is over

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Prompted by concern for wintering wildlife, the Utah Wildlife Board passed a rule last fall closing all antler collecting in northern Utah on public and private lands, from February to April.

The practice of collecting antlers dropped by deer, elk and moose has grown in recent years, which caused officials to voice a concern about stressing animals already in a fragile state.

Just the presence of collectors on wintering grounds is enough to cause wildlife to flee an area, using important stored energy to escape.

Irresponsible use of off-highway vehicles during this season can also damage important winter habitat critical to big game animals.

A committee of sportsmen proposed that antler collecting in northern Utah should be shut down. The proposal was made to the Utah Wildlife Board, state and federal wildlife officials and representatives of the agricultural community.

Starting May 1, collection of antlers will be allowed in northern Utah, as recognized by the Division of Wildlife Resources. Off-highway vehicle laws must be obeyed when collecting shed antlers.

It is illegal to pick up antlers or horns of any wildlife still attached to the skull plate anywhere in the state. People who discover antlers or horns still attached to a skull plate should report the finding to the Division of Wildlife Resources (800-662-DEER) as a possible poaching scene.