Don't pick up antlers found on the trail in Colorado – it could end up costing you big!
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding outdoor recreationists that it is illegal to gather shed-antlers and horns on all public lands west of I-25 in Colorado at this time. The ban is in effect from January 1st through April 30th.
The purpose of the seasonal closure is 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.
For each illegal shed collected, violators can expect a $100 fine plus five hunting license-suspension points. Violators who rack up 20 points could lose their hunting and fishing privileges.
“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,” stated Brandon Diamond, area wildlife manager in the Gunnison area. “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.”
In addition, regulations are also in place for the Gunnison Basin including Game Management Units 54, 55, 66, 67, and 551. Officials say it's illegal to search for or possess antlers and horns on public lands between legal sunset and 10 a.m. from May 1 through May 15.
While the restrictions do not apply to private lands, trespassing laws remain in effect.
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.