Utah Bans Trail Cameras for Hunters

By Brodie SwisherJanuary 5, 202251 Comments

It’s being called one of the most divisive issues Utah sportsmen have yet to face. The trail cam controversy has helped rally troops on both sides of the fence in recent years. However, this week the state finally made the move to put the brakes on the use of trail cams and other technology by hunters. 

The vote came after months of surveys, discussions, and debates over the issue. 

“We did slow down on this process,” says Kevin Albrecht, chairman of the Utah Wildlife Board, prior to the final vote. “We wanted additional surveys to make sure that we really had a pulse on the public.” 

It was Albrecht’s vote that broke the 3-3 tie between board members. 

Utah Bans Trail Cams For Hunters
Utah Wildlife Board member, Wade Heaton, left, speaks while Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Director, Justin Shirley, and Utah Wildlife Board Chairman, Kevin Albrecht, listen during a meeting to discuss the vote on trail cam use by hunters. (Photo: Utah Department of Natural Resources)

The new rule states that hunters will not be allowed to use handheld and non-handheld transmitting and non-transmitting devices between July 31 and Dec. 31. A trail camera is defined by the state as a “device that is not held or manually operated by a person and is used to capture images, video or location data of wildlife and uses heat or motion to trigger the device.”

The “sale or purchase of trail camera footage or data to take, attempt to take or aid in the take or attempted take of big game animals” is also prohibited under the new regulation.

As you might imagine, there have been some really strong statements regarding the issue. However, none seem to have stirred the pot more than a comment from House Majority Whip, Mike Schultz, R-Hooper.

“It’s not a fair hunt any longer,” says Schultz. “So we have a responsibility ourselves, as sportsmen that care about the wildlife, to make sure we’re being ethical in the things that we do.”

What do you think? Do trail cameras give hunters an unfair advantage? Should the terrain, or region of the country, dictate the laws by which we use these tools? Will other states follow the lead we’re seeing from some of the western states? 

We’d love to hear from you. Be sure to comment below, and let us know what you think. 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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