GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- - This is the time of year where big game animals shed their antlers and a growing problem about those antlers has wildlife officials concerned. Shed antler hunting is common throughout Colorado, but Colorado Parks and Wildlife have gotten many calls about unethical ways of getting those antlers.
“Some of these people are using their OHV’s to chase wildlife in hopes of collecting a fresh shed or they are violating restricted places and not always being as ethical as they should be,” said Mike Porras, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
More and more people are in search of those shed anthers that animals leave behind, mostly for financial purposes. “People use them in artwork and some people sell them and they can actually be pretty lucrative,” said Porras.
Several ads on Craigslist for Western Colorado show people selling art pieces they made with antlers including one priced at over $6,000.00.
CPW has also received reports of people letting their dogs chase the animals in hopes the startled animal will drop its antlers but doing so is a concern for the wildlife trying to survive winter conditions.
“They’re surviving off their fat storage any unnecessary movement is going to cause them to burn that fat storage off even quicker and can lead to starvation,” said Porras.
So if you search for antlers, Porras says stay out of restricted areas, don’t do anything unethical, and be aware of your surroundings.
“Keep your distance, if that animal responds to your presence, you’re too close,” said Porras.
Without wildlife, finding antlers would be a thing of the past. “It's very important that they protect the resource that is providing those sheds to them," said Porras.