SHED ANTLER COLLECTING IN GUNNISON BASIN CLOSED UNTIL MARCH 15
GUNNISON, Colo. In order to minimize disturbance to wildlife during the cold winter months, shed antler collecting is prohibited in the Gunnison Basin until March 15. After that date, collectors must be aware of regulations for this activity established by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“Special regulations have been in place for several years, so anyone planning to collect antlers should call our office and check to be certain they understand the rules,” said J Wenum, area wildlife manager in Gunnison.
Those who violate the regulations can be fined $70, be assessed five penalty points against their hunting and fishing privileges, and antlers collected will be confiscated. Harassing wildlife is also illegal under state statute and can result in additional fines.
Winter is a difficult time for wildlife; human activity can cause significant stress on animals, especially big game. Deer often lose up to 30 percent of their body weight during the winter. If they are forced to move they burn the extra calories they need to get them through the winter.
In the Gunnison Basin in big game management units 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67, here are the special regulations that are in place to prevent disturbance of animals on public lands: Collection of shed antlers is prohibited on public lands within those units from Jan. 1 through March 14. From March 15 through May 15, shed antler collection is prohibited from legal sunset to 10 a.m.
Collectors are advised to consult official sunset tables and to obtain accurate maps of the area. Anyone who has questions about the regulations can contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in Gunnison at 970-641-7060. Members of the public who see people violating the closure should call the Gunnison office.
Collectors and other recreationists also should be aware that to protect Gunnison sage-grouse leks, the BLM and Gunnison County close roads throughout the basin to motorized travel during the winter and early spring. To learn about road closures or to report closure violations, call the BLM, 970-642-4940, U.S. Forest Service, 970-641-0471; or Gunnison County, 970-641-8201.
Mia Anstine is an outdoor writer, licensed outfitter, hunting guide, life coach, keynote speaker, and range safety officer, firearms instructor, and archery instructor. She is the founder of MAC Outdoors and Host of the MAC Outdoors Podcast.
Mia Anstine strives to encourage others to get outside, hunt, fish, shoot, and survive life with others in a positive way.
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