Antler ethics: take this quiz if you want to pick up shed antlers this season

Jan 25, 2022, 12:27 PM | Updated: 2:11 pm
Shed antlers bounty. Photo: Utah DWR...
Shed antlers bounty. Photo: Utah DWR

SALT LAKE CITY — If you’ve been in Utah for a while, you have likely met someone who decorated their home with shed antlers. Each winter season, many in Utah head outside to seek and collect antlers that fall off the heads of deer, elk and moose. However, the Division of Wildlife Resources asks the public complete one extra step this year before bringing home the bones.

The DWR has set up an ethics course for gathering shed antlers.

Before you go “shed hunting”

The DWR’s 2022 course is 25 questions long and asks questions about Utah’s wildlife, survival and patterns. Passing it is required in order to go “shed hunting” between Feb. 1 and April 15. 

All questions have to be answered 100% correctly to pass and receive certification to gather antlers. After finishing the set of questions, test-takers have the ability to go back and correct answers. 

shed antlers

Gathering shed antlers is a fun thing to do in Utah in the spring. Before you gather shed antlers, make sure to complete the state’s free online shed antler gathering course. Photo: Utah DWR

You can find the free course on the DWR website. After you finish the course, you must print your certificate of completion and then carry it with you while you’re “shed hunting.”

The course establishes a greater understanding of big game animals that shed antlers. It explains the difficulty of the late winter and early springtime for deer, elk, and moose.

A hard time for big game animals

Utah DWR Law Enforcement Capt. Chad Bettridge said during this winter, “big game animals, especially deer, often have a difficult time finding food.”

If you spook an animal and cause it to run, the animal has to use up fat reserves and energy that it needs to make it through the winter.

During early spring, the habitats big game animals inhabit are usually wet, and more vulnerable to damage. Therefore, during this period of time, winter to early spring, any disturbance to the animals or to their habitat poses a larger threat than during other seasons.

Beware of signs of poaching

The questions also outline legal and illegal activity during the season. 

For example, finding a big game animal’s skull with the antlers or horns still attached indicates a possible poaching. The DWR instructs that you do not touch the skull or disturb the scene.

shed antlers

Legal antlers: These shed antlers are legal to keep. Notice how there’s no skull matter attached to them. Deer, elk, and moose shed their antlers in late winter or early spring as part of their annual life cycle. Photo by Brent Stettler, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Instead, the DWR asks you take photos of the skull and the scene, pin the location and report the finding. Once reported, a conservation officer will investigate. If it’s clear the animal died of natural causes, you might be allowed to keep your find.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Lisa Garner. Photo credit Draper City....
Mark Jones

Lisa Garner has support of Draper mayor to become next city judge

Draper Mayor Troy Walker is seeking the appointment of Lisa Garner as the city's next judge. The appointment must be approved by the city council on Oct. 4.
22 hours ago
Two Murray police cruisers are shown...
Mark Jones

Murray Police warning public to be on lookout for scam

Several reports of a scam have been reported in Murray. According to police, a caller pretends to be from the Murray Police Department and attempts to notify a person of a warrant and insists the person pay the bail amount.
22 hours ago
An electronic sign on the campus of the University of Utah was seen displaying pornography today....
Becky Bruce

Slight increase in crime on U of U campus from previous year, report says

There has been a slight increase in crime on campus over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the University of Utah.
22 hours ago
Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
22 hours ago
A three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon sent two people to the hospital. Photo credit: Marissa Cox....
Mark Jones

Three-vehicle crash in Stansbury Park sends two people to hospital

A three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon in Stansbury Park sent two people to the hospital.
22 hours ago
A downed power line near a road is pictured in Puerto Rico....
Aimee Cobabe

Puerto Rico still needs helps, the Red Cross says

The Red Cross said it’s difficult to get help to everyone in Puerto Rico right now because many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Antler ethics: take this quiz if you want to pick up shed antlers this season