WYOMING SHED SEASON LAWS – Wyoming, where “Social Distancing” isn’t a new concept, instead something residents have been practicing since – forever.
For the outdoors-person, timing of the country’s temporary cease and desist order could not have come at a better time in much of the state as the shed hunting season is again upon us.
New Shed Hunting Regulation
Well, that is, if you live east of the Continental Divide, where resident tine seekers do not have to wait until noon on May 1st to partake in the sport. There are also select areas throughout the state (such as the upper Sunshine Foothills and Dick Creek of Meeteetse and Table Mountain – Twin Creeks, Green Creek- in Cody) deemed elk wintering ranges where shed hunting – actually, human intrusion at all – is banned until May 1st.
Enter 2020, the year that just keeps on giving – Wyoming is not immune. New set regulations by the Wyoming Game and Fish have restricted additional areas in the state.
Just for emphasis, shed hunting as defined by Wyoming Game and Fish Statute: To search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land or attempt to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season. A violation of this regulation carries the same penalties as many other Game and Fish violations.
Reason For New Regulations
Game and Fish cite the need for seasons regulating horn hunting in the state is primarily due to the time of year and the condition of wildlife in these areas.
“In the winter, big game animals such as mule deer and elk use most of their energy just to survive,” said Rick King, chief game warden. “Limiting disturbance during this critical time of the year may help them hold on to more of their valuable reserves.”
The actual verbiage of shed hunting seasons and opening dates reads as such: No person shall collect shed antlers or horns from big game animals on public land west of a line beginning at the Wyoming-Colorado state line at the intersection of U.S. Highway 287, northerly along said highway to U.S. Highway 30-287; northwesterly along said highway to Interstate Highway 80; westerly along said highway to the Pacific Branch of the Continental Divide; northwesterly along said divide to the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park; westerly along said boundary to the Wyoming-Idaho state line, from January 1 through 12:00 p.m. May 1 of each calendar year.
“Extending the closed areas in southeast Wyoming will benefit mule deer on critical winter ranges in the Sheep Mountain and Platte Valley herds,” King said. “The Game and Fish Department has established mule deer initiatives for the Platte Valley and Sheep Mountain mule deer herds to address concerns with these mule deer populations. A lot of people recreate on winter ranges in these areas, and this new regulation can make a difference in reducing disturbance during a crucial time for mule deer and other big game animals.”
What are your thoughts regarding the new shed hunting laws in Wyoming?