A pair of bills that deal with shed antler hunting season in Wyoming are getting closer to becoming law. The first one will prevent non-residents from shed hunting until one week after the season opens, giving residents a week-long head start. For example, if the shed hunting season opens on May 1 at 6 a.m. on public lands, non-residents will have to wait until May 8th and 6 a.m. until they can shed hunt in the state of Wyoming. This includes Jackson Hole. The point is to give residents a fair chance to get out over the course of a full weekend without the non-resident pressure.
The second bill would require non-residents to purchase a conservation stamp to hunt antlers in the state of Wyoming as well. The license is valid for the entire year and would cost a non-resident $21.50. For reference, the average price of brown elk antler is $20 a pound. A medium sized 6-point bull elk antler weighs 5-6 lbs, so that antler is worth $100. In my mind a $21.50 conservation stamp is a small price to pay when you factor in the price of shed antlers.
Both these bills passed the Senate unanimously and they each have the support of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. There are still a few more votes that need to happen before these bills reach the Governor’s desk.
What’s your take on this?