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Nature & Wildlife
2016 February/March
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
ing period, shed hunters fan out across the
state in search of fresh antlers that artisans use
to make furniture, knife handles and art proj-
ects, or are sold to make dog treats.
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 grow-
ing number of collectors use dogs trained to find
shed antlers. When allowed to run off-leash,
many of these dogs chase deer and elk, oc-
casionally causing severe injuries and extreme
Running from noise and dogs adds to the dif-
ficult conditions the animals already endure
Know The New Limits
Only between the
hours of 10 a.m. and
sunset, March 15
through May 15
¡°We ask people to fol-
low these restrictions
to protect their wild-
life,¡± said Perry Will,
area wildlife manager
in Glenwood Springs.
¡°If anyone is caught
violating the law, they
will be fined and as-
sessed points against
their hunting and fish-
ing privileges.¡±
For a map of Colora-
do¡¯s GMUs, go to:
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.
Each year, male ungu-
lates grow antlers used
for display and battles
with competitors dur-
ing the fall mating
season. By mid to late
winter, the antlers be-
gin falling off naturally
and the process begins
During late winter into
early spring, consid-
ered the prime collect-
on foot or horseback can create stressful con-
ditions for wildlife.
¡°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 looking for sheds.¡±
Colorado Parks and Wildlife urges anyone that
observes illegal activity to contact their local
wildlife officer, or to remain anonymous, con-
tact Operation 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
For more information about living with wildlife,
go to:
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily
on license sales, state parks fees and registra-
tion fees to support its operations, including:
42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife
areas covering approximately 900,000 acres,
management of fishing and hunting, wildlife
watching, camping, motorized and non-mo-
torized trails, boating and outdoor education.
CPW¡¯s work contributes approximately $6 bil-
lion in total economic impact annually through-
out Colorado.
CPW aquatic section receives
prestigious fisheries award
DENVER, CO: The American Fisheries Society
has presented the Aquatics Research Section
of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with the pres-
tigious Sport Fish Restoration Outstanding
Project award for 2015 for the agency¡¯s work
in restoring rainbow trout populations in the
The award was given specifically for a research
project completed in 2014 by CPW scientists
that determined how to breed and maintain
stocks of whirling disease resistant rainbow
trout in hatcheries and in wild populations.
The research was conducted at CPW¡¯s research
hatchery in Fort Collins and in rivers across
the state. The work was led by Eric Fether-
man, aquatic research scientist, and George
Schisler, aquatic wildlife research chief. Also
contributing significantly to the work was Brad
Neuschwanger, research hatchery manger, and
Tracy Davis and Chris Praamsma, research
hatchery technicians.
The American Fisheries Society is a profession-
al organization with more than 8,000 members
¡°This award provides national recognition for
the work the research staff has done on whirl-
ing disease issues,¡± said Doug Krieger, acting
aquatics section manager. ¡°We lead the na-
tion in whirling disease research, and states
throughout the West are interested in what
we¡¯re doing.¡±
The research was funded, in part, by grants
from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which
Research Work Recognized
during winter months.
¡°That¡¯s just about the
worst thing that can
happen to them at
this time of year,¡± said
Will. ¡°Many people do
not realize how much
impact stress has on
wildlife. It¡¯s one of the
contributing factors to
higher mortality.¡±
Will ads that any un-
necessary movement
during the cold weath-
er months causes big
game to use up their
fat stores very quickly
with little chance of
replenishing it, lead-
ing to the animal¡¯s
death or the deaths
of their unborn calves
and fawns due to poor
body condition.
Wildlife managers
remind shed hunt-
ers that keeping their
distance from winter-
ing big game is the
most effective way to
prevent animal stress
and mortality. Even
searching for antlers
CPW reminds shed antler hunters of re-
strictions, responsibilities
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO: Colorado Parks and
Wildlife is reminding shed antler hunters that
new restrictions on collecting sheds on public
lands in portions of Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield and
Routt counties will be strictly enforced.
The restrictions in these counties was approved
by the CPW Commission last year to reduce
the significant disturbance of big game animals
struggling to survive after a long winter.
These limits are in effect on public lands in
game management units 25, 26, 35, 36, 43, 44,
47, 444,and 471:
No antler shed hunting allowed from Jan.1
through March 14