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No More Game Cameras in AZ!


“On June 11, 2021, the Arizona Game and Fish Department Commission voted unanimously to ban trail cameras “for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife, or locating wildlife for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife,” according to the bill.”

“The new ban will “ensure that we protect the quality of the experience, that we protect the wildlife itself and that they are being pursued under Fair Chase Doctrine,” Davis said.” 

Fair Chase Doctrine… For some folks that means simply that the animals we hunt have the ability to escape and evade us hunters. For others a more stringent and restrictive code of conduct comes into play. It appears that the Arizona State Game and Fish Commission is leaning toward the latter ideology in framing its decision to ban game cameras for hunting. 

Hunter on hunter conflict, overuse and overreliance on technology (think more than 50 cameras on a water hole/tank) have all worked to create more problems than benefits in the eyes of many hunters in Arizona and the state Game and Fish Commission. Thus a ban on cameras for hunting. 

At this time the ban is slated to take effect January 1 of next year giving Arizona hunters one more season with cameras as legal tools for scouting big game animals. 

The only question that remains? Where do you stand, cameras or no? 




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  1. I have never used a camera to scout. Locate or kill any animal. I have killed 30 bucks and a dozen bulls in my life time.it is called taking the time and doing the leg work. Patterning animals and knowing exactly what time it will pass by doesn’t sound even remotely like fair chase. Just my two cents. Everybody has their choice of being ethical and using fair chase methods of hunting. Using game calls will be next. Especially since all it does is bring in wolves now.

  2. 50 cameras at a water hole? Like I have said before, shooting animals trying to get a drink of water is like shooting from a rolled down window of a pickup. I have cameras that I use to monitor my camp spot when I am scouting or hunting, also my truck. Just like everything that could be good, it gets over used and abused. They don’t even have to leave home to monitor their cameras. I agree with Arizona, just don’t ban them entirely…..

  3. The use of trail cameras has been a controversial topic for several years now? One that will continue to be challenged. My concern has been the enforcement of the ban? How will AZGFD enforce? (The ban wouldn’t affect cameras used for non-hunting purposes, such as wildlife viewing or protecting property.) Who’s to say I am using the trail camera for viewing wildlife or not? Hopefully this will help other hunters who have NOT used trail cameras to hunt using fair chase and being ethical. It is going to be interesting next year? Unfortunately, there will be cameras at water holes as those hunters will continue to use them regardless of the new ruling.

  4. Bryan W. Burnham

    I guess i’m old school i’ve never used cameras i like to interpret sign and fair chase 100%. I am very successful at hunting in Western Oregon. I have heard lots of stories based on help from camera’s and I think it taints the purity of the sport. i think there could be a place for cam’s Off season certain times there are incredible pics taken but overall i guess im not a proponent. The most recent story i heard that i didnt like was a high dollar guy drew a extended Mule Deer hunt for southern oregon he had multiple cams set up that provided up to the minute data on Deer movement. He killed a big big buck the camera did the work as he checked on his projects being a contractor in Klamath Falls. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  5. It seems that most of the cameras I have come across are abandoned, have dead batteries or have been vandalized. Some remained locked to a tree so that I can’t even remove the “litter”. I’ve never been bothered by the use of cameras until they came up with the technology to send pictures from one camera to the next, enabling the owners to be so lazy as to not have to go retrieve the images. Mostly I just see them as garbage left behind by lazy hunters looking to short-cut the traditional process of hunting. What bothers me more is guides sending photos to clients to shop/price the animals that they can choose from.

    • How do you know the trail cameras are abandon, or have dead batteries, or have been vandalized; as is in your case? Are you a game officer or game warden, trying to remove the camera because you consider it to be liter, which by the way everything you have listed is illegal here in AZ? It’s called vandalism or private property. Your one of those individuals who goes out and destroys, steals, takes the SD cards, and vandalizes trail cameras…! DON’T GET CAUGHT! Pathetic person…

  6. Cameras, spotting scopes, belted magnums, range finders, compensator scopes, compound bows, longer strings on a sling…..where do you stop? It is called progress.

    • Chuck Tarinelli

      I agree with you, in general, but don’t understand some of your post: “belted magnums” – do you know that there are many cartridges/calibers that are not belted that equal or exceed the capabilities (velocity/energy) of the belted magnums? And belted magnums are not 9ne but more accurate. But I do get your point that hunters should rely on their personal ability rather than the supposed advantage of their equipment.

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