On February 3 rd Utah closed shed hunting on public and private land to reduce stress on animals during this hard winter. But that ban did not stop everyone from shed hunting. The Division of Wildlife has so far issued 16 citations for illegal gathering. All of the people cited admitted to knowing about the ban.
The typical mode of operation was people going out and stock piling antlers so they could retrieve them later after the ban expires.
“At first, the individual denied they were shed hunting, even though the officer watched him do it. It was easy to find the evidence, though: after the officer interviewed the person, and let him go, he followed the person’s foot prints in the snow, right to the spots where the antlers were stashed.”
A few others were caught with antlers in their position.
All of the perpetrators were cited with Unlawful take of protected wildlife a class B Misdemeanor. They now face fines as high as $1,000.
In addition to observing people gathering antlers, officers have made several cases after receiving tips on the UTiP hotline. The hotline number is 1-800- 662-DEER (3337).
Enforcing the shed antler closure will remain a top priority for DWR officers until the closure ends on April 1.