What it takes to catch antler thieves
Wardens across the American West struggle to enforce regulations on hunting for antlers that elk, deer, and moose shed every year.
HORSETHIEF CANYON, WYOMINGA couple of hours after the mid-March sun has slipped behind the Snake River Range in western Wyoming, warden Kyle Lash of the state’s game and fish department is breathing deeply as he tromps up a steep pitch on one of the first slopes freeing of snow after the long winter. In his grip is an unconventional trap: a modest-size elk antler, which has five tines and a metal chip embedded in a base that’s sealed with epoxy. It’s the second decoy shed (sheds are antlers that fall off elk, deer, and moose once a year) he’s placing here this evening, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Lash hopes they’ll help him nab antler poachers.
“As a game