Ban on Public Land Shed Hunting Fuels Mixed Responses

SHEDS Leland Hinkle with a fine Oklahoma shed

Social media gets crazy like a bunch of coyotes running through the woods at night but is interesting to get a gauge on public sentiment about topics, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing.

Both are recreational activities that we, the hunters and anglers, take in varying degrees of seriousness. Some of us get super-bummed when a hunt goes bad or we don’t tag out; others of us shrug it off, enjoy the pursuit and think about next season.

Part of waiting for next season includes shed hunting, which is popular in many states. Some have no laws or regulations (or stridently enforce any they do have). Other states may have requirements such as permits for collecting on public land. And still others prohibit shed hunting on some public lands, such as South Dakota.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Facebook page went bonkers recently after the wildlife agency announced this South Dakota statute as a reminder about shed hunting:

41:03:01:05.  Destruction or removal of natural or cultural features prohibited — Exception. A person may not destroy, damage, or remove a living or dead tree, shrub, or vegetation; disturb any earth, rocks, minerals, natural formations, or cultural resources; or destroy, damage, or remove any antlers, skulls, or other parts of animal carcass located on lands owned or leased by the department without written permission from the secretary or a designated agent. However, a person participating in religious activities in Bear Butte State Park or on department land owned or leased adjacent to the Missouri River may use grasses and forbs taken from these lands for ceremonial purposes. For purposes of this rule, a cultural resource includes historic properties, archaeological resources, and Native American cultural items (including human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony, as defined in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990, 25 U.S.C. § 3001, as amended through February 2, 2009).
Source: SL 1975, ch 16, § 1; 6 SDR 96, effective April 1, 1980; 10 SDR 76, 10 SDR 102, effective July 1, 1984; 23 SDR 142, effective March 17, 1997; 28 SDR 129, effective March 18, 2002; 35 SDR 253, effective May 13, 2009.
General Authority: SDCL 41-2-18(4), 41-17-1.1(1)(3).
Law Implemented: SDCL 41-2-18(4), 41-17-1.1(1)(3).

Whoa! Social media alert! Pretty much everyone who posted was aghast and disappointed, to say the least. What follows below are just a few of the comments.

Whitetail Freak Antler Shed

Some hunters find some outstanding shed antlers each year!

SEE ALSO: Learn the Best Tips to Finding More Shed Antlers This Year!

Mike Mattly This is one of the dumbest laws I have ever seen.

James Meyer Thanks for the reply and I can certainly see this is a common sense law with the exception of the shed antlers. Still doesn’t explain the “why”. Makes no matter to me as long as Pheasants aren’t included as a “natural feature.”

Russ Meyer That’s just wrong I pay to be on that property, with my hard earned money, I like going out and walking.

Jason Wilke Look at the law as it’s written. Get permission in writing from the secretary or designated authority. Hmmm… Flood there office with that and maybe they’ll change it. Got to change that law.

Buddy Touchinsky Is this an April Fool’s joke?

Owen Miller This is rediculious, you should be encouraging people to get outdoors,and enjoy what nature has left behind,these public lands are not yours,their the peoples. Why would you have such a rediculious law?!

Keith Scarbrough They’re not making money off them, so they fine the hell out of you! Guess you can’t go out mushrooming there either.

Keith Burnett If they can’t tax it, we can’t have it. Simple.

Eric Johannsen I encourage GFP to rethink their position on this. Let’s make shed hunting on public land available to the licensed public. Have a legal start and end date to ensure there in no disturbance during the nesting seasons. Something to consider.

Bradd Finch The license holders of SD should have the right to collect sheds. That is a bs law. Why let the squirrels get them when the hunters who pay for the land through their licenses could use the sport of shed hunting to recruit new hunters such as kids.

Steve Callies If GFP didnt manage the public ground with laws, it would get over run with a bunch of idiots and there wouldnt be any wildlife on public ground for anyone to hunt or enjoy.

Madison Zen Holland Proud of the state we live in but this is by far the dumbest law..needs to be changed, promote the outdoors, not prohibit.

Buck Kiep I’m not endorsing what SDGFP is doing however there is a difference between folks just out enjoying nature and hoping to find a few sheds and others who scour the countryside buying and selling every antler they can find turning it into a commercial enterprise and predictably turning it into something that gets regulated.

Woody Williams No problem finding and keeping sheds in Indiana but if you find a dead head you need to get a permit from the CountyConservation Officer or other LEO.

Charles Blaylock I say allow it, but not without a valid hunting license or some other form of permit. We already give the tourists way too much for free.

Dian Williams Victimless crime, just like people picking up a owl or hawk feather. Ridiculous laws that protect nothing.

Joe Henderson Do not like the shed rule. I understand a dead deer carcass but deer sheds? Come on. Lets rethink this…my kids love looking for deer sheds.


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