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Collecting shed antlers from deer, elk and moose each winter is a popular pastime in Utah. But the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is reminding people they must complete a free online course before heading out between now and April 15.

SALT LAKE CITY — Collecting shed antlers from deer, elk and moose each winter is a popular pastime in Utah.

But the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is reminding people they must complete a free online course before heading out between now and April 15. The free course can be taken at wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler.

After finishing the course, be sure to print a certificate of completion and take it keep it with you. Children need not take the course. Those who gather antlers after April 15 do not need to take the course.

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Antlers can be gathered across the state, but there are two exceptions: Many of the state's wildlife management areas are closed in the winter and spring to protect animals and their habitat. And gatherers must have written permission from the landowner before gathering antlers on private land.

The division advises gatherers who find a skull with the antlers or horns still attached that the animal may have been poached. Gatherers are asked not to pick up or move the skull, or disturb footprints or other evidence. Instead they’re asked to take photos of the skull from a couple of angles; pinpoint the location, preferably its GPS coordinates; and report the finding to a division office.