Antler Collectors Asked to Be Cautious Around Wildlife
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are urging antler collectors to avoid startling the animals still trying to survive the cold.
Wildlife officials occasionally receive reports of antler hunters that chase and harass elk or deer herds with motorized vehicles in order to literally scare the antlers off the animals.
Officials are very concerned about the impacts these actions have on wildlife.
"Harassing wildlife in this manner is not only unethical, it is illegal and you can be hit with some substantial fines," said Mike Porras of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "It also increases mortality. That's also very important for people to understand, is that when you harrass wildlife like this when they're already very stressed from lack of nutrition, that it can lead to higher mortalities. So there's a lot of consequences that can come from harassing wildlife."
In some instances, the animals will seek shelter on private property, or run across highways, leading to injuries or death from collision accidents.
"Hunting for shed antlers is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors," said Lyle Sidener, Wildlife Manager in Hot Sulphur Springs. "But remember to keep your distance from wildlife and respect closed areas."
Deer and elk mostly rely entirely on fat storage near the end of winter, and can ill afford to burn energy.
Antler shed is typically at its peak around this time of year.