If you’re tempted to break Utah’s shed hunting ban, you’re going to want to read this first.

The Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers have put this ban at the top of their priority list. Since the statewide ban was issued, officers have reportedly spent more than 500 hours watching game areas where big game animals hang around during the winter.

According to a recent tweet, the Utah DWR has cited 16 people in violation of the closure. DWR Captain Mitch Lane says several of the individuals were cited for illegal take of protected wildlife – obviously in this case, antlers and horns were the subject under scrutiny.

“Our officers cited these individuals after watching them look for and then pick up antlers,” Lane said. “Or, we caught them with antlers in their possession.”

The bottom line: Officers are out there on the mountains watching for people to violate the rule. If you find yourself in one of these areas officials are watching, chances are you’ll be met by a conservation officer.

Unlawful take of protected wildlife is a class B misdemeanor. Violators will face fines as high as $1,000. The statewide ban is set to last until April 1.

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Image courtesy Utah DWR Twitter

  • Pistolero

    OK, I have been told that the practice of shed hunting increases human presence in feeding areas and drives game out of good areas, thereby endangering the animals. How is this any different from just hiking, cross country skiing or camping in those same areas?

    • Searchboss

      The reason has more to do with the deeper snow this year, and the deer not having nourishing food for a long time, they are weak and need not be stressed and fighting through the deep snow because of the shed hunters, and the shed’s will be there still in a month if everyone plays fair.

      • Pistolero

        But that doesn’t answer why it stresses the deer more to hunt for sheds than if you are just camping, snowmobiling, etc. Have they outlawed those things, too?

      • Ock

        It shows how their reactions are so knee jerk. A symptom of the beaurocracy.

      • Wyatt

        The volume of people is far increased when all the shed hunters hit the field. Plus, campers, snowmobilers etc don’t specifically target the areas the deer and elk are hanging out like the shed hunters do. Shed hunters push elk and deer out of their optimal winter range areas so they can scour the ground under their feet. Utah isn’t preventing people from picking them up, they are just restricting the timeframe for the people who are inconsiderate of the stress they are causing by trying to be the first one out there. I live for shed hunting, and I don’t disagree Utahs decision here. If people were smarter and more considerate in the first place, there wouldn’t be any need to set these dates.

      • Ock

        Now, I agree these deer there don’t need the added stress. The population isn’t that large either and needs protection efforts while enduring the present conditions. We see the herd need assistance here in MN from time to time too because of heavy snow and the forage gets hard to find. But the antlers will be mostly gone in a months time due to local rodentia and vermin. The rats, mice, rabbits, coyotes, wolves, etc. all eat them for the calcium boost. Not that it’s a good reason to bother these stressed animals…. Just sayin’….

  • watchdogman

    What is happening in Utah? Did liberals move in and take over? Must have!

  • Brandon Perschon

    How do they differentiate between sheds I picked up today or 6 months ago? What is the purpose of this ban? We fight to stop infringement on our right to bear arms but are OK with not being able to pick up a shed antler. I don’t get it.

  • Thinker-1

    Time for some change management… that is, change managers. Vote the bums out.