Most wildlife management areas open May 15; block management areas not open for shed hunting without landowner permission
With warmer temperatures and snow quickly disappearing, shed-antler hunters are anxious to get into the field. Buck deer and bull elk and moose grow antlers each year, some to magnificent size, which drop off to regrow each spring. Hunting for and collecting these “shed” antlers in spring has become a popular activity.
Many of Montana’s wildlife management areas (WMAs) provide security to wildlife during the winter. However, 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 springtime. Many WMAs 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 including shed hunting.
Additionally, collecting antler sheds or other natural objects is also prohibited in Montana State Parks.
To learn more about Montana’s WMAs — and to confirm specific opening dates — the Wildlife Management Area page on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov.