As a mercilessly long Montana winter finally winds down (we hope), we are all dying to get out and do those spring things we love.

For a growing number of outdoor folks, that includes shed hunting. The treasures to be found this time of year can be awesome!

The antlers that buck deer, bull elk and moose grow each year can reach magnificent size before they drop off to regrow each spring. That's what gets the horn hunters howling. And while they are not being persnickety and trying to spoil your fun, it is important to remember that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has some reminders regarding when and where you can or cannot go and other guidelines.


With warmer temperatures and snow disappearing, shed antler hunters are anxious to get into the field. Just make sure you know your field. Montana FWP reminds you that many of Montana’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) provide security to wildlife during the winter. Shed hunters need to be aware that Montana’s big game winter range WMAs are closed to public use after hunting season and do not reopen until later in the spring. Many WMAs will open at noon on May 15.

Most block management areas (BMAs) are closed this time of year. BMAs are strictly for commissioned-approved hunting seasons only. Access to BMAs for any other activity requires landowner permission. That does include shed hunting.

One other reminder regarding this popular pastime: Montana FWP says collecting antler sheds or other natural objects in Montana State Parks is strictly prohibited. If you would like to get more info about Montana's WMAs, visit this page of the FWP website.

And good luck, you safe, responsible, rule-following shed hunters.

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