Wow...this has been exhausting to say the least. While I understand that it's not just shed hunters that are disturbing animals on their winter range, why is that used by some as justification to allow it unchecked when animals, in a harsh winter year, need all the respite they can get after the actual hunts conclude? It's like arguing with my kids. For example:
Me: Why are you home late for the 2nd time this week?
Daughter: Why are you only telling me this dad? My brother was late last night.
Me: We're not talking about your brother. We're talking about you.
Daughter: This is so unfair!
Me: Don't worry, I will speak to your brother too, but this is not about him...here, in this moment...it's about YOU!
I have no problem shutting down the shed season for two or three months to give the animals a break when they're at their most vulnerable. We don't have bird seasons during nesting season (for good reason). Makes sense that we shouldn't be collecting sheds and disturbing ungulates during their most vulnerable time of the winter. And, if you (the shed hunter) doesn't like it that snowmobilers, trail runners, cross-country skiers, etc. are out there recreating, when you can't, then that needs to be taken up with those interests groups and dealt with accordingly. The DWR can only regulate what is within their authority to do so - and a closure on shed hunting to protect the animals that we all want to see in the fall - is where that authority lies.
I will say to be consistent, I do wish they would close all DWR managed lands with important winter range to all use during the emergency closure. If it's that important to protect deer and elk, then it should be a blanket closure until it is lifted or modified.