Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) wants to remind shed hunters and everyone who enjoys the outdoors that collection and possession of shed antlers or horns on all public lands west of I-25 is prohibited between January 1 and April 30 of each year.
The annual closure has been in place since 2018 and is intended to protect animals that are on their winter range from unnecessary human disturbances. It's at this time of year that ungulates (hoofed mammals, deer, elk, etc.) are in their worst condition.
“The closure has been very successful in protecting wildlife during the late winter, however, there are still some who have ignored the closures,” said wildlife officer Garrett Smith. “The driving force for shed collection is money, and when you put a price tag on something, you will have people who will go to great lengths to exploit that.”
The restriction is for public land only. Antler and horn collection is still permitted on private lands. Permission to be on private lands is of course required, regardless of the time of year.
According to CPW, a recently approved increase in wildlife-related fines means the possession of a single antler or horn will cost you $137 and five license suspension points. If you accumulate 20 or more points, your hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 48 other states could be suspended.
CPW encourages anyone with information about illegal shed collection to call their local office or the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-877-265-6648.