KEMMERER – Gathering shed antlers is a popular and lucrative activity, as antlers are used for a wide variety of items. Monument staff would like to remind antler hunters that all objects, including deer, elk, and moose antlers within Fossil Butte National Monument are protected by law and may not be removed.
Collecting antlers within the monument is a violation of 36 CFR 2.1(a)(1)(i), which includes possessing, removing, or disturbing wildlife parts such as antlers. Violating this regulation will result in a fine of up to $5000 and/or up to six months in prison.
The monument boundary is generally well-marked by fence and boundary signs, but shed collectors are responsible for knowing land ownership, management, and its rules and regulations. To report suspicious or illegal activity, contact 307-877-4455.
Disturbing deer, elk, and moose during early spring when food sources are scarce and animals’ fat reserves are low can cause stress, starvation, or the death of unborn calves. Shed antlers are also an important food source that provides nutrients, including calcium, to many small mammals.
These small mammals pass nutrients on to other larger mammals and birds, when they are caught and consumed.
“We want visitors to experience all the tremendous beauty and the excitement of discovery at Fossil Butte National Monument, including signs of wildlife,” stated Superintendent Angela Wetz. “Leaving the monument as you found it for others to enjoy helps protect this special place for everyone.”
In addition to antlers, archaeological remains, fossils, and other items, such as rocks, feathers, nests, and plant material are protected.