I recently read a post in the "General" forum about shed closures and seemed appropriate subject for this forum. Why should there be any season, license, or bag limit?
I'll start with my opinion: I do not believe in shed hunting closures, seasons, or bag limits (which haven't been mentioned yet... but there are bag limits for everything else the DOW regulates). In all the years I've been shed hunting I have never trespassed, stolen, harassed, chased, stressed or pushed deer or elk in order to get an antler, NEVER!
I'm aware that it happens. During all the times over all the years I've been shed hunting, and that's a lot, I 've only seen another person in the same area 3 times. I find more dead animals on my first few outings than I find in subsequent outings; meaning they died from the stress of people hiking for antlers.
I understand that survival during winter months is tough on wild game. I must say in all the seasons I've shed hunted the game I come across is not running away in a frantic dash for their life like they do in an instant during hunting season. Maybe that's because they don't have the energy to waste, and I steer way-clear of'em as soon as I notice them around.
As far as a license goes, it always seems to me that when there is enough public interest in something (take marijuana in CO for example) someone or some agency wants to regulate it. Apologize for the verbose opinion, but I don't believe taking a walk through public forests, no matter what time of year, needs to be regulated. When I go cut firewood in late winter or early spring to keep the fireplace crackling, if I see a shed antler, I'm going to pick it up and thank my good fortune.
2f350s: Hunt hard, hunt ethically.