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microchips in sheds


New member
Dec 19, 2003
St. Ignatius,MT
I was talking to a long time outfitter today and the subject of sheds came up. I was asking when should I really hit it and he pointed out that on the game ranges you cant pick any up until May 15. He also said that a game warden had told him that this last year they started putting microchips in sheds. Their plan is to put them in plain site from the roads, so as to intice people into illegally picking them up before May 15. But they said they will likely let the horn go a couple days in hope that it goes to somebody that is buying them illegally. They already put these chips in Grizzly bears and have had great success. A local this year poached a grizz that had a chip and within a couple hours the game warden had him in custody and recovered the bear! So if you see a monster shed laying right off the road, you might want to camp out until May 15!!
They've been "chipping" antlers in Jellystone and the elk refuge for about the last 10 years... They work and have pinched a few guys for picking up antlers illeagally.

I think its a great idea to finally start doing it on the game ranges... I used to spend a lot of time "horn hunting" and would wait untill the ranges opened, watching and pattering bulls... only to go up the opeing day and not find a sinle antler. I know for a fact that people had been in there earlier because I would find boot and horse tracks all over the place. I know of one indivdual that used to wait for a foggy storm to roll in and then he would go scour the ranges because he knew that know one could see him unless they were within a few hundred yards. I don't think he does it any more but I know some one is cleaning them up...

Also I know of some forest circus folks that would intentionaly have to go check out something on the game range before it was open to the public, and would stash antlers they found for opeing day...

Those two would always come out with about all they could pack the first day. I know they didn't spend any more time than I did glassing and what not.

As far as buying them Illeagally
How do you buy an antler "illeagally"? There are no laws in MT or any state for that matter regauding when you can purchase naturally shed antlers.

How is the buyer supposed to know where they come from? The seller could have had them sitting around in their garage for the last two years for all he know. Its kind of like a pawn shop owner being held responsible for uknowingly buying stolen merchendise...


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 01-16-2004 08:26: Message edited by: Bambistew ]</font>
Yeah I did'nt really understand how you buy horns illegally. I guess what they are saying is some people are sending these guys out there intentionally, knowing where the sheds come from. But either way I dont really see how the G&F could have a case?
But as far as stopping them from collecting early , I agree with you its a good idea. Now I just wish they would come down alot harder on all the fat assed atv riders that plow through everything serchin for sheds!