From Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Late winter and early spring is a tough time for elk, moose and especially deer in Utah.
In fact, it's the worst time of the year for the animals. Deep snow makes it hard for deer to move and find food. Cold temperatures sap the strength, and by the time winter ends, deer are the weakest they'll be all year. It’s also the time of year when male deer, elk and moose shed their antlers.
Tony Wood, Law Enforcement Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says by the time winter ends, animals are stressed. The habitat they rely on in winter is wet, and because it's wet, it can be easily damaged, often taking years to recover.
Fortunately, it’s possible to have fun gathering sheds without stressing the animals or damaging habitat. There’s a free course available online for those who hunt sheds between Feb. 1 and April 15.
After finishing the online course, print the certificate of completion before hunting shed antlers. Wood said shed hunters must carry their certificate while gathering shed antlers. The online course is available by clicking here.
The certificate also covers children whose parents complete the course and take their children with them to hunt sheds. The certificate allows hunting sheds in all areas except wildlife management areas closed to protect animals.
Those who want to gather shed antlers after April 15 are not required to complete the course. For more information, contact the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801)538-4700.