weather icon Clear

Nevada wildlife officials to mull regulating antler collecting

Updated October 29, 2017 - 5:51 pm

CARSON CITY — Hunters scour the Nevada wild, looking for fresh antlers that deer and elk have outgrown and shed.

The activity attracts everyone from hobbyists to commercial collectors hoping to discover a complete pair of elk antlers, which can sell for about $14 a pound.

“It’s like the world’s biggest Easter egg hunt,” said Tyler Turnipseed, Nevada’s chief game warden.

Collectors get creative in their hunting, said Cory Lytle, a member of the Lincoln County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife.

“People are using dogs to collect antlers,” Lytle said. “They’re using drones. They’re using any means necessary.”

But hunters may have to plan future trips around new restrictions.

State wildlife officials are considering banning shed antler hunting from Jan. 1 through April 14. The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will have an initial discussion about the proposal at its Friday meeting.

The move is aimed at helping the deer and elk population and habitat avoid disruption and strain during the lean winter months, Turnipseed said. It’s important that the animals’ foraging activity not be interrupted, Turnipseed said. In Nevada, there are groups that come in from out of state to hunt shed antlers, sometimes for weeks.

“It’s kind of exploded in popularity in the last 10 years,” Turnipseed said.

Exact figures for shed antler hunters for Nevada are difficult to gauge because no state permit or license is required to hunt shed antlers.

The wildlife board passed a similar regulation in 2014, but it did not get final approval from the state’s Legislative Commission.

In early February, Utah officials enacted a temporary closure on shed antler collecting, which spurred the industry in Nevada last winter.

“If we don’t have any stipulations on our side of the border, it’s just going to lead to more (Utah) residents coming over,” Lytle said.

Utah’s ban was put in place because of the season’s severe winter and precipitation, said Mark Hadley, a Utah Division of Wildlife spokesman.

“I think the consensus here with the agency is we won’t be doing closures like we did last year,” he said. “We’re probably not going to do that. It’s going to have to be an extreme winter to do a closure.”

The Utah Division of Wildlife has an online ethics course for hunters. In 2017, 19,878 shed antler hunters took the course. In 2009, the first year Utah had the course, 13,429 people completed it. The course is required to gather antlers between Feb. 1 and April 15. Hunters can complete the certificate and print it out and carry it with them while hunting.

“The purpose of this ethics course is to try to teach people how to gather shed antlers ethically without causing big game animals undue stress in the winter,” he said.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.