SWEETWATER COUNTY — People planning on going afield to search for shed antlers, skulls of big game animals with antlers or horns attached, or the skulls of trophy game animals need to be aware of a few things before they head out to the area they plan to search.
First, if your search is going to take place on private land, make sure you obtain permission from the landowner prior to entering the land. Second, if you are going to be searching publicly accessible lands, make sure those lands are open to antler or skull hunting activity. Wyoming Game and Fish Department Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs) across the state are normally closed during the winter to protect wintering wildlife. These WHMAs typically have opening dates that vary from early May to early June. If one of the WHMAs is the area you had planned to do your antler hunting, double check to make sure the area has opened to human occupation before traveling to the area.
Third and probably the most important thing antler/horn hunters need to know is the Interstate Game Tag (IGT) procedure and the requirements of that regulation. No IGT is required to possess shed antlers or antlers that have been broken or sawed off above, or immediately below, the antler burr.
To legally possess antlers or horns attached to a skull plate or trophy game skulls an IGT is required. If you are in the remote backcountry, you may pick up and transport skull plates with antlers/horns attached or trophy game skulls. However, you must contact a Wyoming Game and Fish Department enforcement officer as soon as a public telephone or cell phone service is available to get approval to transport such items and make arrangements to obtain an IGT.
When antler/horn hunting in less remote areas and you have a cell phone with available service, you must contact a Department enforcement officer to get approval prior to moving or transporting the skull plate with antlers/horns attached or the trophy game skull. Failure to follow the IGT procedure and regulation could result in a citation, seizure of the wildlife parts, or both.
Questions are frequently asked regarding the necessity of contacting the Wyoming Game and Fish Department when a skull plate with antlers/horns attached or a trophy game skull is found. The animal may have been discovered in an area where the Department has received information about suspicious or illegal activity in the past and an investigation of the animal’s remains may contribute to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in that activity.
Anyone wanting further information regarding the Interstate Game Tagging procedure can contact their local game warden or one of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department Regional Offices.
-From a Wyoming Game and Fish Department Press Release