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RBC I 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 and elk antlers, within Dinosaur 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 $5,000 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 who manages the property they are on and its rules and regulations. To report suspicious or illegal activity, contact 970-629-8683.
Disturbing elk and deer 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 provide 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 of Dinosaur National Monument, including its wildlife,” Superintendent Mark Foust said. “Leaving the monument as they found it for others to enjoy helps protect this place for everyone.”
In addition to antlers, archaeological remains, fossils and other items, such as rocks, feathers, nests and plant material are protected as well.
For more information on Dinosaur National Monument, call 781-781-7700, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/dino, or follow DinosaurNPS on social media.