On Saturday the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners voted unanimously in favor of regulating shed hunting, or the collection of shed deer and elk antlers by hobbyists. Although the board voted against requiring Nevada shed hunters to purchase a hunting license, the commissioners did agree on prohibiting shed hunters from collecting antlers during the winter-spring period.

Shed hunting is popular with many hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Some see it as an excuse to venture into the woods during the off-season, while others simply want to add to their collection of antlers. Many shed hunters also say it is a good way to introduce children to the outdoors. Depending on region, deer and elk shed their antlers starting in mid-January and can leave behind a treasure trove for the hunters.

“The price is somewhere around $9 to $12 a pound for elk antlers,” Nevada Department of Wildlife’s head of law enforcement Rob Buonamici told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “If you find a matched set from a trophy bull elk, they could be worth from $500 to thousands of dollars.”

With more than 17,000 elk and over 110,000 deer roaming the state, it can mean a lucrative hobby. Shed hunting is rising in popularity and while wildlife officials support the growth of the activity, Buonamici said that overzealous collectors can harm wildlife. Methods used to cause premature shedding include following an animal on an ATV through dense forests. Officials say that these kind of practices can stress herds, especially during a rough winter.

In nearby Utah, prospective shed hunters are required to enroll in an online course and obtain a permit. These changes came in 2009 after a series of incidents that negatively impacted the state’s moose, elk, and deer populations. One of the most famous, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, occurred in 2005 when conservation officers discovered seven bull elk dead or injured in a canyon after collectors were believed to have chased the bulls from the adjacent plateau.

“Shed hunters and other visitors need to act responsibly,” said Utah conservation officer Randy Scheetz said. “Otherwise, they’re going to kill animals and damage the habitat of the deer and elk they claim to love.”

Collectors, however, have mixed opinions about regulating shed hunting. While some agree that regulations would benefit wildlife, others say the new rules will only punish those that follow them. Until now Nevada has not regulated shed hunting, which made the state a major draw for collectors. The recent board vote will prohibit antler collection from January 1 to April 15.

Image from Per on the flickr Creative Commons

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  • jason

    when will this law take effect?

    • anAmericanByChoice

      Maybe won’t… when is it that the politicos hunting season opens? Sure need to control the increasing population of libtards and idiots making these decisions. Too many of ’em! If you are all in for protection of the green outdoors, hunting, fishing, etc., we have to get rid of them yellow cowards and reds commies! The day will come when they will have to answer for their evil doings.

  • Chad

    Free country ! What a mess it is becoming …

  • jerry

    What is next? banning people from collecting sea shells. Might deprive hermit crabs from a new home?

    • John Phelps

      Sssshhhhh….don’t give them any more ideas.

  • LouieF

    another knee jerk reaction to an action by a few, to punish the many. JMO

  • Nevada Home Grown

    I agree this is a knee jurking desision which I do not agree with. And the reasoning behind this new law is rediculous! I’m with Jerry; what next? a law for sea shell hunting?? Come on law makers, put your time (tax payers fund..) and efforts to something that makes sense!

  • J taffer

    Sounds like a bunch of tree hugging greens? If i had to guess i would say your state ran by liberals?

    I’m in Colorado and we got over ran by the left coast idiots, this state is changed for ever.

  • Levi

    I’m still going she hunting whenever I want screw ndow regulate my ass

  • Daryl

    Just another incursion by the “Greenies” into our freedoms. By the end of April, most sheds are consumed by the small forest creatures for the mineral content, so you can kiss the outing with your kids in the Winter when the shed hunting is prime goodby.. I guess this is as good a reason to regulate a non-starter concept as any. Got to protect B’rer Rabbit and the little creatures from the Big Bad Outdoorsman. What a croc!

  • Billca

    Just wait until some wealthy tourist walking in a wildlife area stumbles on an antler and decides to let his child keep it as a memento of their trip, then gets arrested for it. This is like the law against possessing bald eagle feathers, where the gov’t once charged a man because he picked up the feathers from his back yard where they were shed. It’s nucking futz!

  • mojo

    You people are in for another dreamed up excuse for another tax. It’s for your own good don’t you know, they trust that you are not smart enough to figure out what they are doing.
    Did they publish how often or the percentage of the antlers are harvested illegally.

  • mojo

    Did I forget to ask if this is the state that hairy(harry) tax and abortion reed (reid) was just re-elected. All that voted for hairy deserves to be taxed more.

  • Marilyn Z

    If you kill an animal to get its antlers, that is not shed hunting…that is poaching and everyone knows that is illegal. But to pick up these odd things you might find in the woods or on the beach should not be governed. Just another way for the government to exert more control over the citizens.

    This country is so entwined in massive, bloated laws that we really don’t know if what innocent thing we are doing at any given moment is legal or not.

  • dick63532

    Anyone who votes for Democrats deserves this crap. I didn’t!

  • AmericanSquirrelHunter

    I have ever, ever, EVER heard of someone literally chasing an antlered animal on any vehicle. How many side by sides can zip around tight packed trees and over giant fallen logs everywhere? None without some jetpack mod to it. Seriously, how many people do YOU know go around following a deer for days until it’s rack falls off? Hmmm? Maybe those elk died and some lucky people found and took the antlers. Just because you see a dead thing in the woods, that doesn’t freaking mean it was killed by people. Come on guys, what’s next? Not being able to buy furniture because some other people want to buy it? Not being able to drink coffee because seagulls won’t get any? Or how
    about not being able to use binoculars because it makes a beaver several yards away feel bad about itself because he can’t see that far, but you can? What the heck?