Trail Cameras are illegal in Arizona

COUESNAM

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Just an FYI, I just found out that trailcameras are Illegal in AZ according to the US forest service. I would guess that since this is national, this would mean the whole US. I will be cited a $500 fine for having a trailcamera on US forest land. If any of you have questions or concerns, please direct them to Art Wirtz (District Ranger) 480-610-3300 or Bo Acosta (Law enforcement officer) 480-610-3300.
 

j3storch

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so if you want to have your cattle graze the grass down to dirt, that's OK, but if you want to have a camera take a picture of the little critters that live there 'fore their gone, that's a no-no?

ain't govt grand?
 

COUESNAM

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It had something to do w/ a permanant fixture or something like that . The officer read me the law but it didn't sound to me like a camera should be included.
 

JDC

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I honestly don't think the ranger you spoke with understood, or is understanding. People leave tree stands in the Forest for all hunting season. I have never heard of anyone being fined for leaving a tree stand, and that could be really misconstrued as a "permanent fixture".

 

COUESNAM

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treestands are becoming a problem here in AZ, and it is not legal to leave them in the tree. The camera instance will not hold in court.
 

shadow

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You might be surprised to find out that alot of state managed lands have the same policy. In Texas NO perminate fixtures allowed, if found they can be confiscated by parks and wildlife and if the owner is caught they can be ticketed. Same goes for Corp of Engineers and US Forestry lands. Perminate fixture is considered anything left over night.

With that said I have yet to hear of anyone during dear season being ticketed and most of the time if you hook up with the local biologist he will even grant you permission as long as he gets a copy of the pictures.
 

pocomoke

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Talk to ohiobowhunter.He had 3-4 cameras confiscated last year in a national park.....
 

Carll

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i could see something like this coming to Canada..if its not already being wrote up as i type this...However wouldn't stop me from putting them out!!! ......Alot of hunters here In New Bruswick quit hunting because of the gun laws and deer numbers very low....also the cost of licence etc....Friends of mine last year were out for a drive , ..well one of them shined a flash light out the window into a near by field...well just there luck a Forest Ranger seen them they pulled them over and fined them with Jacking!!!! Only thing they had in the truck was a hunting Knife...The Rangers then call for a Dog to see if they throw the gun out the window... and no gun was ever found......They went to count and after going back 4 four times.. they got 2000 dollar fine..7 days in Jail in no hunting for 5 years....TAlk about a pile of Bull!!!
 

Taz

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Hmmm,
Who in thier right mind would let a $200 -$400 trial cam out on national forest land as a "permanent fixture"? Kinda makes you wonder about our lawmakers.
 

spectr17

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We've had this discussion many times here before. Several members have had their cameras confiscated.

In Missouri and some other states if you leave anything in the woods on state or federal land after 24 hours it's considered abandoned and the state/feds can take it. Treestands, cameras whatever.

Ain't goobermint grand.
 

galiuro mountain man

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It is not illegal in AZ. It is a FS officer who interpereted the law in the wrong way. Tree stands are however if left over a certain period of time. You can get a ticket for a permanent fixture, and a littering ticket. The reason trail cams are not is because you check them frequently. The problem with treestands is that people leave them all year long, or longer. I know of a treestand that is actually groing into the tree because it has been left there so long. Anyways, who would leave a trail cam where it would be found anyways? To get to my cams you had better have eaten your wheaties, because it is a steep, nasty, 2 mile hike.

But in AZ it is illegal to have them in a state park, so keep that in mind.

GMM
 

OhioBowHunter

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This Thread opens yet another wound... You guys gotta stop pouring salt in the wounds as of late... Just kidding.
I know about this only to well also. Last year if bad luck could be had it had its way of finding me.

I had several cameras in the Cuyahoga National recreation area, this is directly across the street from my property and this area is 800 acres in size all woods. I was running cams in this area as a hobby and test area for my cams I was building to take to areas I would use them in for hunting purposes. There was snow down.

I got a knock on the door one day and there were 2 Rangers at my Door, He had in his hand one of my camera units and asked if it belonged to me. I told him yes. He asked if I had anymore in the area, I told them yes. Turns out they found all but 1 of them and confiscated them.

They tracked me via footprints in the snow back to my house, I was never trying to hide anything, so never paid any attention. But Im glad they did at least I knew who had them,
They Told me it was Illegal to place them in the park system and called it Unnattended property. Nothing can be left Unnatended, I was also told I cannot venture off designated trails. This entire area has no trails, Its just wilderness.

I had to go to a hearing and plead my case. I did get my cameras back. some were busted and they were beat up. It was nothing but turmoil. I did follow up and fight this and have made alot of progress with the rangers and there are permits at least here that can be applied for. No pictures can be sold for personal gain either since its parklands and belongs to the state. NOT THE PEOPLE. thats a whole seperate Issue. anyhow they were verry Interested in Coyote,Turkey and FOX pictures I had obtained in the area. and thru sharing the pictures with them for there research as well, my Cams were returned to me.

I was issued a permit to allow me access to a 150 acre area off this part of the park where I am allowed to run my Game Cameras,This appealed to me since it was easy access for me and appealed to them because I could share data with them. that was after this Incident and alot of ruckus I created within the community and city hall. that soon ceased...

The following season I re applied for the permit and it was not granted. they want Noone leaving Unnattended property within the park system, its simply a liability Fires, and detrament to wildlife is created and they want the wildlife to remain Unnaffected by this Intrusion within there protected enviroment.

The Deer here are a nuisance. and many starve in Winter. I had a Feeder I ran in my yard and was feedng them, It started out as a short term thing to allow me to capture some neat Pics, many arre on my webshots under feeder pics and closeup shots. I kept it up because A doe happened along with a Busted leg, we felt for the deer and tried to help it along by supplying feed to this Deer and countelss others. got to be 500# per week, but we kept it up. I went to the rangers and explained to them about the wounded doe, they said theres nothing they can do, they dont have the resources for that sort of thing and nature will take its course. Turned out it later got hit by a car in front of the house crossing the street. I felt kinda responsible, since it was here for feed and was crossing back over, But what can you do.

I am bitter about the experience , mainly because I was hurting nothing placing the cams there, some buerocrat lawyer decided this and these laws are passed, and people such as myself Innocent hobby minded Enthusiasts are effected. there concern is not for the wildlife its about CYA Cover yer A..

I suppose somewhere along the line some Idiot was in a park system doing something and a lawsuit was Insued and from that this mess created,
Just like Mcdonalds being sued because someone spilled Hot Coffea on ther lap Its getting to be about CYA.

our rights are being confiscated in this country at an alarming rate. Laws are dictated without votes ever being cast by the people for the people. where does it ever end!!!

Dan "Obh"
 

Fred Bear

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now that is a load of crap!!! as far as I know in Michigan it's ok but I could be wrong.
 

headnurse

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Oh great. I sure hope it's not illegal in Michigan.... most of the trails coming into my hunting area are coming off of state land. Suppose this means I should be sure the trees are on MY side of the property line, just in case... time to do some research.
 

SIMPLEARKANSAN

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I spoke with a Federal Refuge manager and this was his response to this topic:

It does not surprise me that some managers/agencies of public lands are inserting regulations to exclude deer cams. In my opinion, it is unnecessary unless extraneous circumstance exist Managers of public lands must follow the policy of the agency if this has become policy. If it has not become the agency policy, then it is left up to the manager of each station to interpret the law (as in this case) or make a judgement call as to whether the activity being conducted is negatively impacting the mission of the agency and/or objectives of the area being managed. I know of refuges that have outlawed this activity. On refuges, nothing is permitted unless it is stated that it is allowed. If you interpret this as I have stated, then technically it could be considered illegal to have deer cams on refuge lands. However, in 1997 legislation was passed that clearly stated what the objectives of the refuge system lands would be in an effort to help managers better control activities deemed inappropriate on the lands they manage. On all refuge lands, Wildlife comes first. Any activity deemed to negatively affect wildlife or to potentially negatively affect wildlife is not allowed. The bill passed described the activities that would be promoted on refuges once the wildlife first criteria was met. Those activities are: hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education and interpretation. My personal view is that deer cams fall under the category of wildlife photography, therefore a justifiable use. Some argue that the deer cam gives the hunter an unfair advantage. I disagree, I know guys who check their cameras on a regular basis and no doubt forewarn the deer of their presence in the area. I truly believe the deer have the advantage, not the hunter. Having said all this, there are instances where the exclusion of deer cams would be appropriate. I! have ex perienced squabbling among hunters due to "reservation of areas" caused by deer cams being placed and left in areas where hunters were wanting to hunt. Reserving areas by leaving hunting equipment is not allowed. Public land is open on a first come basis. That is why we do not allow duck decoys to be left overnight. Since the squabbling was only minimal, I chose not to address the issue as a whole but tried to deal with the few individuals associated with the problem. The potential for issues associated with area reservation by deer cams is no different than reservation of an area by leaving a deer stand. Some refuges do not allow hunters to leave deer stands overnight. As a hunter, I know how big a pain this can be and I do not make that a requirement without good justification (I also believe it to be a safety issue as well, the more times one goes up and down in the dark the odds increased that a fall could occur. This just the way I look at it). Although, I have not made leaving deer cams or deer stands on the refuge illegal, if it became an issue among hunters, thereby resulting in disputes etc., I would not hesitate to require folks to remove deer cams daily and/or deer stands.

So, I guess to answer your question. At this time in the FWS and on refuges, it is left up to the manager. If the area is big enough that undue disputes do not occur, then I feel it is justifiable use on National Wildlife Refuges.

I am going to email the manager of a refuge that I was going to set cams up on and get his personal stance and policy before I hang any cams.
 

OhioBowHunter

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SIMPLEARKANSAN,

Thats a good read. and seems its up to the coresponding agencies and managers for corresponding areas.
It does seem prudent to ask first to avoid any conflicts or surprises. At the time I first placed the cams I never once thought about it being a problem, but later found out it was. Its obvious here the Independent agency see's fit to limit Game cam use on there lands and deem it offensive to the wildlife.

I dont share this same Oppinion with them, but am at there mercy, I know for myself I will no longer support there agencies and friends and families also familiar with this sittutation also feel the same.

I can understand a dispute developing between a hunter thats surveyed an area with cams and scouting for months on end, then opening day finds some weekender sitting on his spot. But Its not his spot its Public and thats a risk involved when in these areas.

To say cams give a hunter an advantage, I also dissagree with that in the sense we as cammeras and hunters are broadcasting our presence in there enviroment, this is why I pull them all 4-5 weeks prior to the season. to allow for things to settle. as for advanatge, only advantage they have been to me is giving me an idea whats in the area at that time and allowing more perserverance and patience when I am sitting for several hundred hours plus come fall. otherwise from a patterning standpoint, they have been lil help at least in my sittuation's.

I feel cheated that I cannot enjoy the refuge system as I would like to, But we are a society of laws which we must abide by, whether I agree or not. Its just funny how things pass and people as a whole never get to vote on it.

I guess we should be thankful that say one person cannot cast judgement wheteher hunting is ethical or not, It seems to come to that. an agency such as the Cuyahoga national refuge and all related agencies have an underlying law, but it remains up to each agency to enforce it or not. It seems only a matter of time.

As game Cameras grow as they steadily are, Its gonna be a matter of time before there going to have to be tagged as to who the owner is and possible permits granted for use. It' another way for them to make money by permit issue.

Good luck to you, Hope they allow your cams... you have some great deer down that way!!!

Dan "Obh"
 

PaPaBob

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Typical of our goverment types. In Michigan the trailcams have not been legislated against yet. I say yet, because all of brilliant laywer types just haven't figured out that there's a buck to be made by filing a class action lawsuit to get them stopped. When they run out of other clients they will certainly bring up the issue. Also, don't let the anti's figure out that we hunters are using something to our advantage. My god they have saying for years just to take pictures of them critters and enjoy them. Well now that we are you can bet that they will use it against us to try and steal away of hunting priviledges.

I hunt with the former Michigan lower penn. DNR Wildlife director. He made his first cam last fall and just ordered up more parts for another. So, maybe we have him on side if it comes to a fight. He loves 'em.

Present attorney company(that hunts and takes cam pictures) excluded:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
What's 2000 attorney's at the bottom of Lake Michigan called?  Answer:  A good start!!![/b]
Just my
worth
 

buckmarkhnter

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In tn it is againts the law to leave anything unattended more than 24 hours on wildlife management areas, without the area managers permission.
 

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