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Contact: Marcia Fagnant, 307-877-4455 ext. 24
Contact: Angela Wetz, 307-877-4455 ext. 22
Gathering shed antlers is a popular and lucrative activity for many people--with antlers used for items ranging from chandeliers, to knife handles, to dog chews. It is that time of year again for monument staff to remind antler hunters that all objects, including deer, elk, and moose antlers, within Fossil Butte National Monument are protected by law and may not be removed. Collecting antlers within the monument is a violation of 36 CFR 2.1(a)(1)(i), which covers possessing, removing, or disturbing wildlife parts such as antlers. Violating this regulation will result in a fine of up to $5000 and/or up to six months in prison.
The monument boundary is generally well-marked by fence and boundary signs, but shed collectors are responsible for knowing ownership and management of the property they are on and its rules and regulations. To report suspicious or illegal activity, contact 307-877-4455.
Disturbing deer, elk, and moose during early spring when food sources have yet to green up and an animal's fat reserves are at their lowest can cause stress leading to starvation or the death of unborn calves. Shed antlers are also an important food source that provides nutrients, such as calcium, to many small mammals. These small mammals pass those nutrients on to other larger mammals and birds, such as bobcats and hawks, when they are caught and consumed.
"We want visitors to experience all the tremendous beauty and the excitement of discovery at Fossil Butte National Monument, including its wildlife," stated Superintendent Angela Wetz. Wetz went on to say that, "Leaving the monument as you found it for others to enjoy helps protect this special place for everyone." In addition to antlers, archaeological remains, fossils, and other items, such as rocks, feathers, nests, and plant material are protected.
For more information on Fossil Butte National Monument, call us at 307-877-4455.