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Nature & Wildlife
2015 March
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
Know The New Rules
New shed antler hunting restrictions in
western CO protects wintering wildlife
Glenwood Springs: In an effort to reduce stress
and the disturbance of wintering big game ani-
mals, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commis-
sion adopted a new regulation in January, 2015
that limits shed antler collecting in portions of
Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield, and Routt counties, ef-
fective March 1, 2015.
The new rule prohibits the collection of shed
antlers in game management units 25, 26, 35,
36, 43, 44, 47, 444,and 471, with the following
criteria:
- Effective March 1, 2015 the regulation goes
into effect - shed antler hunting will not be al-
lowed at any time in these GMUs after March 1,
2015 through March 14, 2015
- Beginning March 15 through May 15, 2015 -
Collecting will be allowed only between 10 a.m.
through sunset. Collecting is not allowed after
sunset through 10 a.m. the next morning
- Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the regulation will be
in effect. No antler shed hunting allowed prior
to March 15 and then only between 10 a.m.
and sunset
For a map of Colorado¡¯s GMUs, go to: www.
cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Maps/RulesRegs/
BigGameGMUmap.pdf
¡°Available winter range in this area is being
reduced due to increases in the human popu-
lation, development, and outdoor recreation,¡±
said CPW¡¯s Northwest Regional Manager Ron
Velarde. ¡°If they are pressured during the cold
weather months, big game animals here have
no place else to go to find food, so it is critical
that people cooperate and respect the regula-
tion to prevent animal mortality due to starva-
tion.¡±
Similar restriction are already in place in game
management units 54, 55, 66, 67 and 551 in
Gunnison County, instituted several years ago
to protect Gunnison sage-grouse and big game
animals.
¡°Violators may be fined and assessed points
against their hunting and fishing privileges,¡±
said Velarde.
Each year, male ungulates grow antlers used for
display and battles with competitors during the fall
mating season. By mid to late winter, the antlers
begin falling off naturally and the process begins
anew.
During late winter into early spring, considered
the prime collecting period, shed hunters fan out
across the state in search of fresh antlers that
artisans use to make furniture, knife handles and
other art projects, or are sold to make dog treats
and other creations.
Often involving large groups or entire families,
the practice is becoming more popular across the
country and Colorado.
Wildlife officials believe most collectors are con-
scientious and careful, but concerns arise when
some search for sheds on noisy, fast-moving
ATVs and off-road vehicles. In addition, a growing
number of collectors use dogs trained to find shed
antlers. When allowed to run off-leash, many of
these dogs chase deer and elk, occasionally caus-
ing severe injuries and extreme stress.
Running from noise and dogs adds to the diffi-
cult conditions the animals already endure during
winter months.
¡°That¡¯s just about the worst thing that can happen
to them,¡± said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of
Glenwood Springs. ¡°Any unnecessary movement
during the cold weather months causes big game
to use up their fat stores very quickly and there¡¯s
little chance of replenishing it. This situation
leads to their death, or the deaths of their unborn
calves and fawns due to poor body condition.¡±
Wildlife managers remind shed hunters that keep-
ing their distance from wintering big game is the
most effective way to prevent animal stress and
mortality. Even searching for antlers on foot or
horseback can create stressful conditions for wild-
life, they say.
¡°We understand that people enjoy hunting sheds,
but we ask everyone to be legal and ethical,¡±
said Will. ¡°The best option is to follow the laws
and keep your distance, and maybe wait until big
game has moved to summer range to begin look-
ing for sheds.¡±
Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges anyone that
observes illegal activity to contact their local
wildlife officer, or to remain anonymous, contact Op-
eration Game Thief at 877-265-6648. Rewards are
available for information that leads to a citation.
For more information about the new shed collection
restrictions, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife¡¯s
Glenwood Springs office at 970.947.2920.
For more info about living with wildlife go to: www.
cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlife.aspx
Wanting To Hear From You
BLM seeks comments on 15 commercial
recreation permit applications
The Bureau of Land Management Kremmling Field
Office is seeking public comment regarding ten new
commercial special recreation permit applications
and five SRP modifications for the Upper Colorado
River Corridor and surrounding areas within Grand,
Eagle and Summit counties.
The BLM accepted permit applications for specific
niches from June 1 to December 31, 2014. The
BLM ranks permit applications using specific crite-
ria, including type and quality of customer service,
experience, business plan and overall quality of the
application.
New permit applications under consideration:
Trout Trickers(float fishing) Fly Fishing
Outfitters(float fishing) Fish on Colorado(float fish-
ing) Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides(float
fishing and rafting) Mo Henry¡¯s(float fishing)
Soft Side Up(stand-up paddle) East Grand School
District(rafting) SportAid, dba Lifelines(rafting)
Renaissance(rafting) Above and Beyond(rafting)
Permit modifications under consideration:
Arkansas Valley Adventures(shuttle of rental
equipment) Gore Range Expeditions, dba Stand
Up Paddle(shuttle of rental equipment) Adven-
tures in Whitewater(shuttle service and stand-up
paddle/kayak) Blue Quill(float fishing) Devil¡¯s
Thumb(float fishing and rafting)
The BLM issues commercial SRPs to provide recre-
ation businesses the opportunity to operate on BLM
lands, to implement recreation management deci-
sions and to ensure a fair return to the public for
commercial use of public lands.
To provide comment on the applications, contact
Hannah Schechter at 970.724.3008. Please provide
comments by March 14, 2015.