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Natural Resources & Energy

Roads Opening Earlier In Effort To Make Antler Rush Safer

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The Bridger-Teton National Forest is changing some of its rules for this year’s antler rush to make it safer by giving people a head start.

The antler rush takes place each year on May 1st, and is the first time people can collect antlers dropped by elk and deer in the National Forest. In years past, seasonally-closed roads leading into the forest were opened at 8 a.m. This year those roads will be open starting at midnight. Additionally, an area of the Gros Ventre River near the jumping rocks will be more heavily patrolled by forest rangers to prevent people from crossing. Last year, a boat capsized and a horse was killed crossing the river at night.

Dale Deiter is the Jackson District Ranger for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. He says the antler shed is a popular event.

"The reason that folks get excited about this is part for fun. It’s the first chance to get out in the spring. But also there’s some serious economics in the value of the antlers. Last year the average price was around $16  a pound," says Deiter.

Collecting antlers is not permitted in the National Parks or on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson.

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