Utah Wildlife Board votes to restrict trail cameras at rule appeal hearing
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Wildlife Board voted Thursday to keep its trail camera restrictions in place following an administrative rule appeal hearing.
In January, the Utah Wildlife Board voted to restrict the use of all trail cameras in the harvest or attempted harvest of big game animal for several months during the year.
The rule prohibits the use of any trail camera in the harvest or attempted harvest of a big game animal between July 31 and Dec. 31 on public or private land. The rule also forbids the sale or purchase of trail camera footage or data that could be used in the harvesting of a big game animal.
According to a Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) news release, a trail camera is considered to be a device that is not held or manually operated by a person. It is used to record images, video or location data of wildlife and uses heat or motion to trigger the device.
During the 2021 legislative session, the Utah Legislature passed a bill requiring the Utah Wildlife Board to make some changes regarding the use of trail cameras. The bill went into effect on May 5, 2021.
As a result, the DWR reached out to more than 16,000 hunters requesting feedback on potential changes. The survey results showed the majority of hunters were opposed to the use of trail cameras during hunting seasons.
The board also voted against the use of night-vision devices that could be used in locating big game animals. The ban on night-vision devices runs from 48 hours prior to the start of a big game hunt to 48 hours after the hunt.
According to the DWR, a night-vision device is defined as anything that enhances visible and non-visible light. That includes such items as thermal-imaging devices and infrared-imaged devices.
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