Well, we’ve wondered which state would do it first. Colorado has responded to increased shed antler hunting pressure in recent years by instituting their first ever shed hunting license.
This license is mandatory for any person collecting shed antlers, shed horns, antlers or horns attached to skull plates of animal carcasses that are found in the field, etc. While shed hunting seasons have been established in many western states, including Colorado, to help alleviate unneeded stresses on wintering big game populations, wildlife managers from the Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) realized that more had to be done to curb the wildlife harassment during key survival periods coming on the heels of the long winter months.
The $40 antler and horn collection permit is valid from May 1 – December 31 and all other antler or horn hunting is illegal from January 1 – April 30. These new regulations are for all public lands west of I-25, and don’t pertain to private land in that zone nor land east of I-25.
According to the CPW, dramatic increases in people afield searching for antlers and horns have displaced big game animals unnecessarily during the key survival and early fawning months of late winter/spring going as far back as 2006.
The open season dates for this new antler and horn collection permit mirror dates by other states, including Wyoming to the north, for established shed antler and horn hunting seasons (May 1 – December 31).
For more information, follow this link to read the CPW language (in the red text) relating to this newly established permit.