Press Release

Ask Fish and Game: Antler Hunting

Q. I want to collect shed antlers, what sort of license do I need and what sort of restrictions are there?

A. Antler hunters do not need a license, but they need to be aware of travel and access restrictions on the land and follow all wildlife possession laws. Antler hunters, like all outdoor recreationists, must secure permission to cross or look for antlers on private land, and they must abide by all travel restrictions on federal and state public lands. In addition, several areas are closed temporarily during the winter and early spring to all human activities. In eastern Idaho, these areas include some lands along the South Fork of the Snake River, and areas within the Tex Creek Wildlife Management Area, St. Anthony desert, and Swan and Teton valleys. Antler hunters can only lawfully possess antlers that are shed naturally, from big game that have died of natural causes, or from a road kill as long as the person completes the self-issued Salvage Permit. While antler hunting typically starts in the spring, antler hunters are asked to avoid disturbing animals during winter while they are conserving their resources trying to make it through to spring. Deer, elk and moose shed their antlers over the winter into early spring. The horns of bighorn sheep that have died of natural causes also may be recovered but may not be sold, bartered or transferred to another person without a permit from Fish and Game. Bighorn sheep horns must be permanently marked with a metal pin at an Idaho Fish and Game regional office within 30 days of recovery.