State Declares Trail Cams Illegal During Hunting Season

Finding the balance between fair chase and unfair advantage is a never ending battle. Each state has a different interpretation on what that means and what regulations should be put in place to strike that balance. This week Nevada in an attempt to keep the balance declared that the use of trail cams during hunting season is now illegal.

According to Gohunt.com, the regulations for using trail cams in Nevada are as follows:

  • The new trail camera regulation states that a person shall not place, maintain, or use a trail camera or similar device on public land, or private land without permission from the landowner, from August 1 to December 31 of each year.
  • OR if the camera is capable of transmitting the images or video, it shall not be used from July 1 to December 31.
  • OR prohibits the use of trail cameras at any time if the placement, maintenance or use of the trail camera or similar device prevents wildlife from accessing, or alters the manner in which wildlife accesses, a spring, water source or artificial basin that is used by wildlife and collects, or is designed and constructed to collect water.
  • The new regulation does provide some limited exemptions for livestock monitoring, research, and other miscellaneous uses.

Note: This new law does not apply to a person who places, maintains, or uses a trail camera or similar device on private property with the permission of the landowner.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife issued  the following statement regarding the law.

Nevada outdoor enthusiasts,

The Nevada Department of Wildlife wants to ensure that all outdoor enthusiasts are aware of the new seasonal restrictions on the use of trail cameras.

Since 2010, trail cameras have been a topic of discussion in Nevada. The regulation was discussed in dozens of open meetings, including County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commission, and the Legislative Commission. The use of trail cameras, the technology associated with them, and the issues surrounding the use of them have all continued to escalate.

Proponents of the regulation raised several significant issues of concern including the growing commercialization of animal location data. New internet businesses have begun buying and selling GPS location data of animals captured on trail cameras. Also, saturating all or most available water sources with trail cameras in a hunt unit not only disrupts the animals ability to obtain water as camera owners come and go from waters that have as many as 25 or more cameras, but also creates hunter congestion and hunter competition issues. The accessibility to our public lands combined with our wildlife’s dependence on our extremely limited water sources make for some real challenges for both wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. Proponents of the regulation were quick to point out that whether enhanced, protected, or human created water sources (guzzlers), the waters’ primary purpose is to assist in herd health and herd growth, not for placement of a technological device at an animal concentration site that potentially makes it easier to kill trophy animals.

The new trail camera regulation states that a person shall not place, maintain, or use a trail camera or similar device on public land, or private land without permission from the landowner, from August 1 to December 31 of each year, or if the camera is capable of transmitting the images or video, it shall not be used from July 1 to December 31. The regulation does provide some limited exemptions for livestock monitoring, research, and other miscellaneous uses. 

NDOW recognizes that there are wholesome and legitimate uses of trail cameras, and unfortunately the use of cameras have been exploited far beyond most sportsmen’s definition of reasonable. If you come across a trail camera on public land from August 1 to December 31, NDOW is asking that you leave the camera alone, and consider calling an NDOW office to report its location. 

You can view the complete adopted regulation here.

Sincerely,

Nevada Department of Wildlife

What is everyone’s thoughts on this? Whether you agree or not one thing is true Nevada hunters will have to go back to the days before trail cams and scout the old fashion way with putting boots on the ground.