JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 New Year, new rules. Seasonal winter closure for shed antler and horn hunting begins on January 1 for many sections of public land, state land and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission wildlife habitat management areas throughout Wyoming. The closures help protect wintering big game by limiting stress so they can better survive the coldest and snowiest months.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe current shed antler regulation was authorized by the Wyoming Legislature and adopted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in 2009 to minimize the increasing disturbance to big game on winter and spring ranges by antler hunters,\u201d said Scott Edberg, Game and Fish Department deputy chief of wildlife. \u201cIt\u2019s very important for the survival of our big game animals that they do not experience undue stress during the winter months.\u201d\r\n\r\nTo protect wintering big game, the regulation prohibits anyone from collecting shed antlers or horns on public land, including Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Wyoming Game and Fish Commission-owned or administered lands west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin, from Jan. 1 through April 30 of each year.\r\n\r\nCollect means to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land or attempt to search for, locate, stockpile or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season. A violation of this regulation carries the same potential penalties as many other Game\u00a0and Fish violations.\r\n\r\n\u201cShed antler enthusiasts can help wildlife tremendously by obeying the shed antler and horn hunting regulations and other winter range closures statewide,\u201d Edberg said. \u201cAll wildlife enthusiasts statewide can help wildlife by giving them space over the winter and early spring.\u201d\r\n\r\nAdditionally, it is illegal to enter the private property of any person to collect antlers or horns without the permission of the owner of the property or person in charge of the property, regardless of the time of the year.\r\n\r\nGame and Fish has closure information specific to the Green River, Pinedale and Jackson regions online or by contacting those offices. To report shed antler or horn collection violations call the STOP Poaching Hotline at 1-877-943-3847 (1-877-WGFD-TIP) or text keyword WGFD and message to TIP411 (847-411). Violations may also be\u00a0reported online at the Game and Fish website.