The Wyoming Fish and Game Commission has chosen to keep areas of southeast Wyoming closed for shed hunting. At least until May 1st at 6:00 a.m.
Winter is a crucial time for many big game animals and the closure is aimed at reducing human-caused stresses. The closure consists of all public land in the areas known as Laramie Plains, Snowy Range, Sierra Madres, and the Platte Valley.
“The closure will reduce disturbance during a crucial time for mule deer and other big game animals.” – WGFD Press Release.
Wyoming recently passed new legislation that grants the WFGC the authority over the collection of shed antlers. As a result, last year shed gathering closures were also in place.
According to the WFGC, there are very clear definitions about collecting shed antlers.
“‘Collection’ means ‘to search for, locate, stockpile, or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season.’” – WGFD Press Release.
If you have any inkling to get a jump start on looking for sheds, you should be aware that if caught you could face the same penalties as if you had poached big game.
Similar to Utah’s law, Wyoming requires that any antler found with the skull plate attached needs to be tagged. Permission must be granted by a game warden to move the head from where you found it. Unlike Utah however, an $8 fee is required for the tag.
Utah saw its own closure in 2017 when the DWR initiated the closure in order to protect big game from human disturbance. Shed seasons across the west are put in place to prevent stressing the animals too much.
Have you ever dreamed of shed hunting in Wyoming? What is the biggest shed you have ever found? Let us know in the comments!