GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – State wildlife officials say they’re concerned about an increase in people aggressively hunting for shed antlers and bothering wildlife in the process.
In some cases, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say hunters have been chasing deer and elk or otherwise harassing the animals in the hopes that they’ll be startled and drop their antlers.
“This is about protecting these animals,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will. “People need to understand that when big game expends critical energy by running from human activity this time of year, it will lead to higher mortality.”
Officials have also received reports of hunters entering restricted areas in search of antlers and using ATVs too close to animals.
Whether you’re out hunting for antlers or just enjoying the outdoors, wildlife officials say it’s important to keep your distance from wildlife and avoid causing them stress.
Shed antler hunting is allowed in most of the state, but there some areas are off-limits and others restrict antler gathering to certain dates and hours. Check with your local CPW office for the latest restrictions in your area.
Anyone who sees illegal activity can report it to their local CPW office or make an anonymous report by calling 877-265-7060.