Moultrie Products
AZ is restricting field cameras
Arizona
Contributors to this thread:
Sharpshot 30-Jan-21
azelkhntr 31-Jan-21
BOHNTR 31-Jan-21
Chuckster 01-Feb-21
Sharpshot 01-Feb-21
azelkhntr 01-Feb-21
pirogue 01-Feb-21
Sharpshot 02-Feb-21
azelkhntr 02-Feb-21
pirogue 02-Feb-21
BOHNTR 02-Feb-21
Chuckster 03-Feb-21
Sharpshot 07-Feb-21
AZBUGLER 09-Feb-21
Knothead 09-Feb-21
Sharpshot 15-Feb-21
BOHNTR 15-Feb-21
creed 15-Feb-21
Knothead 16-Feb-21
Wayjames 18-Feb-21
Sharpshot 24-Feb-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
StickFlicker 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
StickFlicker 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 03-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 03-Mar-21
BOHNTR 04-Mar-21
elktrax 18-Mar-21
StickFlicker 18-Mar-21
AZBUGLER 20-Mar-21
Mark S 22-Mar-21
AZBUGLER 22-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 25-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 25-Mar-21
bowhunter4lifeaz 25-Mar-21
AZBUGLER 26-Mar-21
Heat 26-Mar-21
azelkhntr 26-Mar-21
Knothead 27-Mar-21
AZBUGLER 28-Mar-21
azelkhntr 31-Mar-21
AZBUGLER 01-Apr-21
From: Sharpshot
30-Jan-21
Folks if you want to keep using field cameras in the state of Az you need to email your feelings to them ASAP.

GAME AND FISH NEWS Jan. 28, 2021 Arizona Game and Fish Department

Comment period on proposed rule amendment to regulate the use of trail cameras ends Feb. 1 PHOENIX — Constituents are reminded that the comment period for the Arizona Game and Fish Commission proposal to amend rules within Article 3, Taking and Handling of Wildlife, to regulate the use of trail cameras for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife, ends Monday, Feb. 1.

Public comments about the proposed rulemaking can be submitted through Feb. 1, 2021, via either: • Email: rulemaking@azgfd.gov • U.S. Mail: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn: Celeste Cook, Rules and Policy Manager, 5000 W. Carefree Hwy., Phoenix, AZ 85086.

More information about the proposed rule is HERE and also posted at https://www.azgfd.com/Agency/Commission/commissioncorner/.

The final rule will be presented to the five-member commission for consideration at the March 19, 2021 commission meeting.

To track the progress of this rule, view the regulatory agenda and all previous Five-Year Review Reports, and to learn about any other agency rulemaking matters, visit https://www.azgfd.com/agency/rulemaking/.

From: azelkhntr
31-Jan-21
Sent my comments in. I advised they make a rule that all cams be out of the woods by the weekend prior to the beginning of hunting season. Also that they be permitted and tagged with the owners info.

From: BOHNTR
31-Jan-21
As much as I hate to say it, they should probably be prohibited.

From: Chuckster
01-Feb-21
Thanks for the reminder Sharpshot. I sent some comments but instead of a complete year round ban, I suggested a ban from August 1st through December 31st and allow cameras from January 1st to July 31st. Any cameras found after August 1st is considered abandoned property and can be removed with penalty. I know this sounds harsh but it would about guarantee compliance.

From: Sharpshot
01-Feb-21
What I don't like about this is they say only ranchers and biologist can use them. I have never seen a rancher use a field camera in my 35 plus years of hunting in this state. So most guides know the ranchers and have made friends of the ranchers for information of the area. So that camera is going to be for the rancher to hand out wild game information to his favorite guide. A conflict of interest. Hunting information is again back to the highest bidder. I believe they should keep cameras to be fair or ban them completely.

From: azelkhntr
01-Feb-21
Sharpshoot. I don't know how you could tell a rancher he can't use a game cam on his own property? That would be like saying you can't use a cell phone on your property. If the cams are on grazing leases it could be justified as documenting possible rustling or something. Its not an issue of fairness per se but more of what's right for the wildlife and the hunters who support them. IMO their use undercuts the ideals of "fair chase".

From: pirogue
01-Feb-21
A rancher’s use on his own property is something He is entitled to. A rancher running cattle on public land, like National Forest, BLM, or AZ state Trust Land, should not be allowed any more than I should.

From: Sharpshot
02-Feb-21
The ranchers should not be able to use them on leased property. But of course their own property. This change is being sold as a fair chase issue. But the ones complaining for the last five years are guides mad about the public using cameras like they have for previous years. This became a hot issue. To many cameras on what some people believe is their favorite spot. So how do you fight the issue with AZGFD, try to make it about a more ethical issue. So if it goes down like the board posted it. Who gains ranchers and guides. Just like politics what the bill is sold as is not really the reason for it. The deer and elk didn't bring this issue up with AZGFD......

From: azelkhntr
02-Feb-21
The State possesses the authority to order ranchers and guides to not be using cams period on public property. If they fail to comply they can pull their permits and sue them.

From: pirogue
02-Feb-21
Where does G&F even use these anymore? I can recall visiting several catchments, where the camera was removed from the holder, or outright vandalized.

From: BOHNTR
02-Feb-21
I’ve seen several G&F cameras while hiking in the backcountry of the Blue. Probably more for wolf tracking than anything else.

From: Chuckster
03-Feb-21
Sharp, I don't think the guides are the driving force of where we are today with this. I think the legislature was working on passing a law dealing with the trail cameras when the dept stepped in and said let us take care of it. I remember seeing a pic somewhere of a tree with about 10-12 trail cameras on it. The optics were terrible and images like that probably contributed to regulations like this. I think we can all agree that at a minimum, trail cameras violate the spirit of fair chase. While I would like to see some sort of compromise on this issue, I'm afraid any compromise will be exploited and defeat the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish.

From: Sharpshot
07-Feb-21
I want to believe it is for the right reasons but the fact that they say they want to leave it open for ranchers. They are speaking about public land of course and a rancher should not be able to use them either. This will cause a conflict of interests and issues down the road with ones working with guides which most are already. This state is changing anyway with all the ATV traffic in the woods these days. The wild animals are getting their water at night just like hunting season which is going to be the natural thing for the for seen future. Even in non hunting season. So the issue of fair chase of cameras at water holes is a mute point anymore if it ever was an issue. The ATV traffic has changed it.. How they can fix that is real hard issue here. Most hunters know they can't hunt with an ATV they use them to get to hunt areas and walk in. But joy riders don't, they ride for an hour and see a water hole and park and have beer or water break.. I noticed a big change in wild life behavior this last hunting season and due to Covid and extra folks in forest looking for something to do.. This the new way of things for now and maybe forever. So the animals are doing what they do during hunting season but all year now due to this new traffic in the forest. So is the cameras really going to help anyone harvest a deer or an elk any easier.. Only the dedicated real hunter that goes in walking deep looking for deer and elk is going to harvest in the for seen future. The field camera doesn't make a difference for animal harvest since covid impact to the forest traffic. I don't see the camera impact to harvest in the past and especially our new future. I believe harvest numbers are going down due to the new traffic in forests. Either way I believe we all want to protect are hunting heritage and for our kids and grand kids but decisions like this one makes me feel like we are being mislead and more AZGFD board members.

From: AZBUGLER
09-Feb-21
My words sent into G&F:

I’d like to go on record as opposing the proposed AZ trailcam ban initiative.

Having a degree in Wildlife Management and being a life long resident of the state I can surely understand some of the concerns that have been addressed regarding the use of trail cameras. However, based on the information presented and my own observations from the field, I believe this initiative is too vague and far reaching. I believe it clearly inhibits activities enjoyed by the hunting public with no considerations of alternative solutions.

I’ve been using trail cameras since the 35mm film days and it has become a passion of mine and for my family as well. My wife and kids thoroughly enjoy the activity of placing cameras and coming back to see what we’ve captured. It is a valued family outdoor activity. In the rim country where we do most of our trailcam operations and hunting, there have been a few issues with theft and I’ve lost cameras over the years. It is extremely unfortunate and I know that these concerns have caused additional work for our WM’s. But if you look at the root of the problem, it stems from bad people committing criminal acts. The solution presented punishes the law abiding citizens and sportsman.

There are most definitely places in the state where some type of legislation needs to be in place where things are obviously getting out of hand (ie the Strip and unit 9). I, too, have a concern over having 10+ cameras at a tank and having people coming in and out daily to check their cameras. I can see where this is a disruptive practice and may prevent our wildlife from getting a much needed resource. However, the majority of the state does not have this issue. It is specific to certain areas. I can tell you that I’ve had cameras out for weeks and even months without a single person coming in.

I also take issue with the thought of cameras effecting livestock from getting water. We all know that cows will come to water regardless of the amount of activity. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been standing amongst them while checking cameras. I feel this is an extreme stretch!

Regarding fair chase, I find that argument highly debatable. In my 30 years of running cameras, I don’t believe I’ve ever taken an animal as a direct result of a trail cam picture. Most of my friends who run cameras would tell you the same. There are very few animals in very few areas that can be patterned to that extent. I’ve personally done extensive research on this by categorizing and analysis of camera data over the years. No way is hanging a camera on a tree justified as a fair chase violation! Again, if we’re talking about small areas with big interest, we may have those types of problems, but it is localized and not widespread enough to eliminate a major outdoor activity statewide.

Additionally, trail cam activity can be a valued resource for our Wildlife Managers in the field as well. Pictures and videos of people committing game violations have been utilized in prosecutions. Why. It retain that resource to keep honest people honest?

My last point is on enforceability and the inherent grey area in the verbiage of the initiative. There are lots of folks like me who run cameras regardless of being drawn for a hunt or not. I run cameras in the same areas each year. So if I have my cameras up and find out I got drawn does taking them all down within a week or two exclude me from being in violation? What if I have pictures of an animal from the spring and later take that animal in the fall? At that point it could be argued that I used a trail camera for the purposes of hunting. If that’s the case, because I don’t intend to stop hunting, I have to completely stop our family’s outdoor activity with this rule. Think of all of the time and effort and money that can be channeled back into the resource instead of saddling our WM’s with yet another law to enforce and realistically how much effort it would take to get a conviction in these cases.

I am asking that other alternatives be considered before taking such drastic alternatives.

Thank you,

Chris Heilman

From: Knothead
09-Feb-21
Nicely written Chris.

From: Sharpshot
15-Feb-21
I agree very nicely written. I hear that they are considering to change to ban them during hunting time period only. Which again makes no since. Because most people drive up to water hole and get out and walk completely around it looking at the size of tracks. But when a hunter sees a camera they don't tend to want to get their picture taken. They stay clear of water tank and the camera capture area. So less scent is put down which is less disturbance.

From: BOHNTR
15-Feb-21
They probably just need to get rid of them outright

From: creed
15-Feb-21
I agree with BOHUNTR. They are everywhere there's water. I would prefer to see them banned but if not put a season when they can be used like Feb thru Aug.

From: Knothead
16-Feb-21
Personally, I prefer a camera season but if they can't do that then I am more inclined to support an outright ban on them. Which is too bad because I really get a lot of enjoyment out of checking cameras during the off season.

From: Wayjames
18-Feb-21
I can take it or leave it. If I had to opt for a new reg, it would be a season.

From: Sharpshot
24-Feb-21
I just want it to be fair. If we go to a season that goes for everyone including ranchers which means guides. If we ban them completely same thing that goes for ranchers too. I just want it to be fair.

03-Mar-21
Anyone have a statement from P&Y on their stance on trail cameras and fair chase?

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
This isn’t a B&C and/or P&Y Fair Chase issue. The commission can and looks like they will impose their own fair chase stance on this issue.

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
https://pope-young.org/bowhunting/position_statement.asp

03-Mar-21
Thank you for the link! It is refreshing that P&Y took the stance! "The Pope and Young Club, historically, has not viewed the use of trail cameras as a violation of the Rules of Fair Chase." What is interesting is B&C is referred from the AZGFD website through the (Hunter ethics and fair chase website) as the standard... https://www.azgfd.com/hunting/fairchase/

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
They never spoke to B&C. Their stance on cellular cameras and cameras alone is exactly as P&Y’s now.

The commission has their own version, which I’m not in real disagreement with, as there are many guides that abuse the camera system, IMO. Having them gone may not be a bad thing

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
They never spoke to B&C. Their stance on cellular cameras and cameras alone is exactly as P&Y’s now.

The commission has their own version, which I’m not in real disagreement with, as there are many guides that abuse the camera system, IMO. Having them gone may not be a bad thing

03-Mar-21
Thank you sir- understand the perspective of the guides as stated- but when do we manage wildlife, ethics, fair chase based on personal opinions (based on a small group of guide abuse) without following the North American Model, science, documentations, research, facts, etc.? I do appreciate your insight as it is good to talk through all sides as an educational understanding for everyone. Believe me- this is a tough one for all of us!

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
I’m afraid we are to a point where technology has taken the word ‘hunt’ out of hunting. I hope I’m wrong, but I believe there are many DIY folks who are tired of dealing with ‘posse’ hunts and their ‘flat brimmed guides’ as a result of critters located on a camera. At times, I think we’re our own worst enemy.

From: StickFlicker
03-Mar-21
I agree that we are tired of dealing with the posse hunts, I just don't see that removing cameras from the equation will fix the issue at all. If anything, outfitters will likely hire more flat brimmers to sit at more water holes to "lock them up", and more of them to sit on ridges to glass and radio the "hunters" below. While I don't feel strongly on either side of the camera issue (other than I do enjoy seeing the pictures on them), I think that cameras can give the DIY person a chance to compete with the big guide services since they normally don't have the ability to scout the unit as thoroughly as the guides do. I just think we're trying to milk the wrong end of this cow by regulating a symptom and not the problem.

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
Generally, when finders fees are issued, its after they have one on camera. I believe the posse will go down when they’re not sure what’s there. They’re not doing it for free

From: StickFlicker
03-Mar-21
Again, guides causing the problems. Why isn't paying a finder's fee getting paid to guide? Seems like that should be a violation of the current laws to me.

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
You got that right! Unregulated guides (not all of them) have created this issue, IMO.

From: BOHNTR
03-Mar-21
You got that right! Unregulated guides (not all of them) have created this issue, IMO.

03-Mar-21
Sounds like we need to get rid of the commissioner tags and the big game raffle as that is the starting root of the finder fees, and mass group hunting- scouting to locate animals. People pay 2-3 hundred K for a tag and will pay an army of individuals to locate and stay with the biggest critters. This is not a camera issue but a personal issues with guides, the department and others for making huge $$$$ to kill the best Az has to offer in the name of ethics and fair chase...

From: BOHNTR
04-Mar-21
A camera is what originally located that bull......and the commission knows that. I like using the few I have to look at critters........but I'd have no issue if they were gone and we had to physically scout and hunt things again. Kind of puts everyone on a more level playing field. It will be interesting what is decided.......I'm okay either way. I just feel something has to be done.

From: elktrax
18-Mar-21

elktrax's embedded Photo
elktrax's embedded Photo
My new Field Camera.

From: StickFlicker
18-Mar-21
Imagine how small the pictures would be !! Ha!

From: AZBUGLER
20-Mar-21
Not sure if you all are aware but there was some legitimate shady things going on with this trailcam initiative. The original notice given to the governor from Ty Gray of AZ Game and Fish was that action had to be taken immediately due to a “significant threat to public, health, peace, and safety”. Later it was packaged up as a “fair chase” issue to Arizona sportsman. An attorney was secured to represent the public interest and has asked that the Governor rescind permission to conduct this rule making . Put simply, this whole thing stinks to high Heaven!

From: Mark S
22-Mar-21
Trail cams and tech like onx hunt can reduce years of work and observation to a period of days. Cameras w 24 he surveillance and maps of every water hole, wallow or any other characteristic you want instantly. Detracts from the hunt IMO

From: AZBUGLER
22-Mar-21
Whether you love or Hate trailcams, this should scare us all. What will be next?

25-Mar-21

bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
This is posted throughout Facebook- looks like there are major concerns as related to trail cameras!

25-Mar-21

bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
Wrong order- sorry

25-Mar-21

bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
bowhunter4lifeaz's embedded Photo
This is the letter referenced by Azbugler within other social medias

From: AZBUGLER
26-Mar-21
Yes, thanks Mike. I find this whole situation pretty disturbing.

From: Heat
26-Mar-21
AZBugler is absolutely right. The whole premise of this is quite a stretch. How can they prove your camera was involved in the take of the animal without all kinds of other nonsense going on? How are they going to keep the public from destroying the property of the people just taking pictures that don't even hunt, when every want to be citizen game warden comes across a camera in their area?

From: azelkhntr
26-Mar-21
I 100% support the regulation and restriction of game cameras to non-hunting season dates only. Since the technology has advanced to digital cellular their use violates the tenets of "fair chase" and will lead to direct confrontations in the field between hunters. Imagine having multiple cameras on nearly every water source and on every well used trail for miles around that alerts you the second an animal comes within range. That's a huge advantage to the "shooter" because you're not a hunter any longer. If you don't have the info you think you need by the time the season roles around well tough. I applaud AZG&F for getting ahead in this matter to ensure that all sportsmans opportunities and Rights are protected. Muy bueno!

From: Knothead
27-Mar-21
"I 100% support the regulation and restriction of game cameras to non-hunting season dates only."

+1

From: AZBUGLER
28-Mar-21
Tom, the cameras you are referring to have been illegal for use in AZ for years.

Some of you are really missing the point here. Whether you are for or against cameras isn’t really the issue. It’s the extremely unethical and unprofessional way that this thing came about. Please look at the documents above. If we allow the Director of the game and fish department to fabricate a story to sell to the governor and then turn around and give a completely different story to the public, then we have a major problem! Please don’t close your eyes to this issue. I’m a big supporter of and a volunteer for the AZGFD and have been for many years. This is a new and very concerning issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

From: azelkhntr
31-Mar-21
I read them and the threat is real. I've had more than a few run ins with antis over the years and I'll not tolerate any such again ever. G&F have the legal authority to make rules protecting wildlife and the public. Contact the Governor and express your concerns to him.

From: AZBUGLER
01-Apr-21
Already done.

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