Thanking the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act
November 22, 2023 •iSportsman Staff
Deer and elk season 2021-22 are history, which means in many places throughout their range, shed hunting season is now underway. Shed hunting continues to be popular among the outdoor community due to the natural beauty and splendor of a found antler—not to mention it can be extremely fun as well. Put on a great pair of hiking boots, hit the ground and really take in your surroundings to look for that little glimpse of a shed among the foliage. It should be noted that some regions require a permit for shed hunting, and it’s always best to check your state laws before heading out to the fields and forests.
Utah, for instance, not only requires a permit for shed hunts but ethics training as well. And for good reason, as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources shared via press release that late winter and early spring is a tough time of year in that part of the country for deer, elk and moose.
“During winter, big game animals, especially deer, often have a difficult time finding food,” DWR Law Enforcement Capt. Chad Bettridge said. “If you spook an animal and cause it to run, the animal has to use up fat reserves and energy that it needs to make it through winter.”
This is much less of a concern in whitetail country throughout much of the Midwest, South and even parts of the Northeast. But a review of your laws is still advised.
The main takeaway from the implementation of Utah’s ethics course is that you can take the whole family out for a shed hunt without stressing the native wildlife or damaging the local flora. The free antler gathering ethics course teaches you how, and you don’t need to register as a Utah resident to take it. Aside from the basics, it also covers more precise information such as how to report a skull with antlers or horns still attached (not a shed, but a carcass for the unindoctrinated).
Reporting finds such as these are critical for potential poacher identification. It is the responsibility of every hunter to ensure that the rules of the wild are being followed accordingly in order to continue to preserve the great outdoors.