The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) has a message for hunters who take an animal wearing a collar: “It’s legal but please return the collar undamaged to any area office.”
A collar can range in cost up to several thousands of dollars. AZGFD asks hunters to refrain from cutting, damaging or otherwise destroying any portion of a collar. It is easy to remove from a harvested animal’s neck by loosening two nuts on the black “drop-off” box on one side of the collar. A crescent wrench, socket wrench or multi-use tool can be used to loosen only those two nuts.
The department relies on valuable data that collars provide in making science-based decisions that determine the most effective wildlife management practices. The stored data can include an animal’s behaviors, movement patterns and frequency, individual and group dynamics, home-range size and more.
For those living in other states, check your regulations or contact your state game agency to determine the rules about taking collared animals.