As reported by the Elko Daily Free Press, Elko County, Nevada is currently evaluating a potential ban on the use of trail cameras. Although, local wildlife advisory board members do not support such a proposed ban.
"The proposed change to the Nevada Administrative Code would prohibit trail cameras within 300 feet of a point source of water at all times, transmitting cameras at all times, and any other camera from Aug. 1-Dec. 31..."
Due to a perceived excess of use within certain areas, some have questioned whether or not ethics and fair chase are being diminished. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has reported that one individual has placed at least 300 cameras within a single group of units. That's a tremendous amount of images to sort through. We're not too sure how that's even possible. The memorandum for the proposal expressed legitimate concerns for having such a concentration of cameras within a relatively small area.
Bert Gurr, chairman of the Elko County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife, expressed concerns with such a proposal, highlighting the difficulty of the enforcement of the ban. In regards to the hunting community's opinions, there doesn't appear to be overwhelming support for such, as those who participated in the Jan. 22nd public meeting do not perceive any issues with the usage of cameras. They were described as being accepting of the usage of trail cameras in the county and state.
Where do we draw the line and what are the implications of drawing one? How is that line determined and as Gurr anticipated, how difficult, costly and effective would the enforcement of such lines be? Also, if one item is banned what else would fall under the same scrutiny in the future? How effectively does the success of such policies in one state, such as Montana, function in other states like Nevada? The relationship between technology and hunting has been a hot debate for decades. However, it's necessary to have open dialogue to effectively evaluate the impact technology may have on the environment and wildlife, as these are the focal point of hunting and conservation in the first place.
Anyone who operates trail cameras knows that they do not guarantee anything in terms of harvesting game, let alone actually finding them – nor are they supposed to. The core benefit of a trail camera is, at the very most, knowing that something is out there, somewhere. Which happens to be a major morale booster and starting point for the real work ahead. In order to actually put on a real chase and create any significant opportunity to even find the game, boots on the ground or personal scouting efforts will be absolutely essential – the core aspect of hunting to begin with. Trail cameras are just a directional tool, not a complete aid.
What's your perspective?
Trail camera manufacturers are going to continue to make advancements in their specified field of technology. So, how do you foresee the growth and application of these advancements out in the field? What do you believe will be necessary to maintain the health and sustainability of the wildlife and their habitat? Does the use of trail cameras reduce the equity of public land use among hunters? Would the involvement of governmental regulatory powers have a positive impact in both the short-run and long-run? What are your thoughts?