If You See Antlers On The Ground In Colorado– Don’t Pick Them Up
As tempting as it may be, especially since I just said to not do it, you seriously shouldn't because you could be facing a big fat fine.
According to our friends at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, it is illegal to gather up shed antlers on public lands west of I-25 from Jan. 1 through April 30.
The reasoning? To minimize disturbances of big-game animals and sage grouse species during this time of year when they are most vulnerable due to stress and displacement.
If it's just too tempting to just leave a perfectly good set of antlers on the ground keep this in mind: each violation is a $100 fine plus five hunting license suspension points. Violators who rack up 20 points could lose their hunting and fishing privileges.
Brandon Diamond, an area wildlife manager had this to say about the situation:
These regulations will be most effective and have the greatest positive impact to our wintering wildlife when we work together within our communities to monitor and enforce them. Don’t tolerate the behavior of those that would cheat. Let’s make sure we are all doing what’s best for wildlife and help give them a break during their toughest time of year.
These restrictions do not apply to private lands but if you're on somebody's private property, you may have other issues to face like - trespassing laws and someone who may protect their land with force and/or weapons. So there's that, too.
Anyone witnessing violations of the shed-antler hunting regulations may call their nearest Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or the Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648.