Shed Hunting is Illegal in One State!

Awesome shed! Pick it up in West Virginia, however, and you are breaking the law! (photo courtesy of Joe Shead)
Awesome shed! Pick it up in West Virginia, however, and you are breaking the law! (Photo: Joe Shead)

If you’re doing a little post-season scouting, you may come upon an antler shed or two. Heck, you’ll probably be tempted to pick it up and keep it, particularly if it’s a large piece of bone that’ll elicit plenty of “oooos” and “ahhhhs” from your hunting buddies.

All shed hunters know that with finding an impressive shed (or a matching set) comes status. It not only means you’re good at locating sheds, but that the brute that carried the impressive headgear is still alive and kicking, and you’ve got the jump on its whereabouts.

But before you pick up and keep that shed, you need to know that, in the West Virginia, possessing antler sheds from a deer (or elk) you didn’t legally harvest is illegal.

Yup – that’s right – ILLEGAL!

“Those [antler sheds] are considered parts of wildlife,” said Emily Fleming, director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR). “You cannot keep, maintain, or possess parts of wildlife unless you legally kill it.”

Before you scoff at the notion of getting busted for having sheds in the back of your truck, the prohibition isn’t an antiquated law that conservation officers just ignore.

“West Virginia does enforce this law,” said Gary Foster, assistant chief of game management for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR). “Violators have…

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