'Dirtbag' Thief Caught On Video Stealing Shed Antlers From Wyoming Yard

Two hours before the opening of shed antler hunting season in much of Wyoming early Wednesday, a security cam captured footage of a thief stealing several antlers from a yard in Casper. One seasoned shed hunter says stealing antlers is a “dirtbag” move.

Mark Heinz

May 01, 20245 min read

The Ring doorbell camera of a Casper home caught an antler theif at about 4 a.m. Wednesday stealing all the shed antlers in the home's landscaping.
The Ring doorbell camera of a Casper home caught an antler theif at about 4 a.m. Wednesday stealing all the shed antlers in the home's landscaping. (Courtesy Kyle Pratt via Facebook)

In the pre-dawn darkness Wednesday, just two hours before shed antler hunting season officially kicked off in much of Wyoming, a thief helped himself to the decorative antlers in the landscaping of the front yard of a Casper home.

Ring doorbell camera video from the home of Jessica and Kyle Pratt shows a hoodie-clad figure crossing in front of their porch, picking up antlers as he goes. It was still dark, just before 4 a.m.

“Good luck to all the shed hunters this season! Except this guy, this guy sucks at shed hunting. Don’t be like this guy!!” Kyle stated in a Facebook comment posted with the video.

Casper is in the part of Wyoming where there’s no set season for hunting shed antlers — they can be collected at any time. But that doesn’t mean you can help yourself to shed antlers that clearly already belong to someone else.

In some of the state’s more prized areas — including the Mecca of shed hunting around the National Elk Refuge near Jackson — the official shed season opened at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

‘There’s Somebody Stealing The Antlers!’

Jessica told Cowboy State Daily that she was having trouble sleeping overnight Tuesday, and was reading in her living room when the alert went off for the front-door Ring camera at about 4 a.m.

She got up to look and spotted an unidentified man sauntering across their front lawn, snatching up antlers as we went.

“I yelled, ‘Oh my gosh, Kyle, there’s somebody stealing the antlers!” she said.

Kyle arrived just in time for the couple to watch the figure rounding a corner at the end of their street.

“By the time he got to the corner, he was just walking casually with his arms full of antlers,” Jessica said. “So, I wonder if he isn’t familiar with the neighborhood, or had scouted it out earlier for antlers.”

She said that Kyle and his friends had collected the antlers during a hunting trip last fall. The couple had placed them along their front porch “as landscaping.”

“There’s no bushes or anything like that out there to line the porch,” she said.

They haven’t reported the incident to police yet, Jessica added. But they have gotten word that other Casper residents have had antlers swiped from their property.

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No Flood Of Reports

There haven’t been any reports of antler theft rolling into the Casper Police Department or Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.

The theft at the Pratts’ home was apparently rare, police spokeswoman Amber Freestone told Cowboy State Daily. The department had no recent reports of similar larceny.

The same was true for the county sheriff’s office, public information officer Kiera Grogan told Cowboy State Daily.

Grogan said she had seen the Pratts’ video on social media, but at least in the past week or so there had been no antler thefts reported to the sheriff’s office.

What a person caught ripping off antlers might be charged with would depend upon the circumstances and estimated value of the antlers, Grogan said.

Trespassing charges could possibly be brought to bear, she said. As far as the theft, it would be a misdemeanor for anything valued under $1,000 and a felony if the total value of the antlers was $1,000 or more.

Misdemeanor theft is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a $750 fine, while a felony theft conviction is punishable by up 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, she said.

These antlers were stolen from the front yard of Jessica and Kyle Pratt’s home in Casper at about 4 a.m. May 1, 2024.
These antlers were stolen from the front yard of Jessica and Kyle Pratt’s home in Casper at about 4 a.m. May 1, 2024. (Courtesy Jessica and Kyle Pratt)


For many, shed antler hunting is a hobby and a way to get outside during the spring. Buck deer and bull elk shed their antlers during late winter or early spring, leaving treasures for shed hunters all over Wyoming.

But there’s also potentially big money in it, so the temptation is there to steal antlers from folks who have brought them home.

Elk antlers in good condition can go for as much as $20 a pound on the open market. Artists and décor makers are willing to pay a handsome price for antlers that they use for their creations.

And there’s also a brisk market for antlers that have been cut into pieces to make dog chews.

A “dead head,” or set of antlers with the skull still attached, can also be worth hundreds of dollars.

So, stealing antlers or big game skulls is nothing new.

Thieves swiped a trophy-sized elk skull and antlers from David DeAustin’s yard in Lander in the fall 2022.

And earlier that fall, Utah resident Jimmy Lynn, who frequently hunts in Wyoming, told Cowboy State Daily that “dirtbags” stole a trophy mule deer head and antlers from his hunting camp in the Hoback mountains.

Cheating during shed antler hunting season can bring stiff penalties.

Last year, Bozeman, Montana, resident Joshua Anders Rae, formerly of Jackson, was sentenced to a five-year ban from federal public land.

Rae was caught trying to rathole shed antlers before the legal May 1 opening day of the 2021 antler hunting season on the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, according to the U.S. Forest Service. He was already on federal probation for being caught doing the same thing in 2019.

Mark Heinz can be reached at mark@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter