UPDATED: July 15th, 2018
It's a well-known fact by now that the Nevada Department of Wildlife has adopted new regulations on the use of trail cameras on public land. There were potentially negative effects perceived by the department in regards to the volume of cameras reportedly being used within minimally sized areas, which is the central focus of their consideration for such regulations. The response to the increasing popularity of trail cameras is intended to help reduce the observed impact that excessive camera usage has had on animal habitats, along with questionable tactics in regards to fair chase and ethical taking of game. This isn't without precedence, as other states have implemented similar regulations, while Arizona has decided to take no action on their proposed regulations. Which differed greatly in regards to the restrictions Nevada has pursued in combating such issues.
Accordingly, the following items have been amended to Chapter 503 of NAC:
"This regulation prohibits, with certain exceptions, a person from placing, maintaining or using a trail camera or similar device:
(1) at any time during the period beginning August 1 and ending
December 31 of each year;
(2) at any time during the period beginning July 1 and ending December 31 of each year if the trail camera or similar device transmits, or is capable of transmitting, images, video or location data of wildlife; or
(3) 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."
In other words, the use of trail cameras is prohibited throughout the hunting seasons. The intentions of the this regulation are based on healthy game management strategies, with the expectation that both the animals and environment will be positively impacted with the reduction of the perceived pressure on the animals, along with the increasing number of cameras placed throughout the field. This applies to both individual hunters as well as outfitters and guides.
What's your take?
Do you find this to be an overall positive action for the hunting community and the usage of public land in Nevada?
Do you find that the use of trail cameras in the off-season will provide sufficient information prior to your hunts?
Does this type of regulation level the playing field between the DIY hunter and the outfitters? Or do you find there to be an indifferent effect in that regard?
Scout To Hunt's Plans
Although there's an indisputable use for the informative data that can be gathered during the hunting season, post- and pre-season data should not be discounted. There's significant and extremely valuable information made available during this time that a dedicated hunter should not let go to waste. With the proper rotation of Scout To Hunt's undisclosed camera locations, which are placed according to winter activity and behavior, post-season activity highlights the quality of game that lived through the season. This data alone proves to be extremely beneficial and valuable in anticipation for application season and knowing where to put-in.
The continued gathering of data during this time also provides a helpful perspective in preparation for the shed hunting season. More importantly, the value of observing antler growth and regional activity leading up to the hunting seasons. Overall, there's a tremendous amount of information that can be gathered to more fully understand the behavior of the game and more effectively prepare for your hunt, rather than going in blind on opening day – regardless of a trail camera ban. Accordingly, Scout To Hunt will continue to manage the private system of cameras within the designated period (January 1st - July 31st) to provide such a resource of valuable information, in conjunction with the necessary unit statistics and ground verified research which is to be released shortly.