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AZ bans trail cams

Should trail cams be banned in Iowa?

  • Yes, on public land

  • Yes, on private land

  • Yes, on all land public and private land

  • Yes but only cams that can provide live feeds because of the fair chase issues

  • No this is the dumbest idea I've ever heard

  • Not banned in Iowa but let other states ban them if they so choose


Results are only viewable after voting.

Thinkin Rut

PMA Member
Trail cams are a huge deterrent to trespassers that I would not want to give up here in Iowa. Bump the charges and fines for trespassing and I'd get on board with banning cell cams during the season.
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
Instead of trying to ban cell cams, why not go to the cell cam companies and say they can only allow pictures sent once a day at midnight? Nobody who is legally hunting would be able to do much with the information at that time. It tells them what happened yesterday but not what's happening at the moment.
This is how I leave mine set. I made the decision to do this when I got my first cell cam in 2017 and I've left them all that way. I get to wake up every morning and look at deer pictures but the information is always old enough that it's only a guess where they might be by now.
To be clear, I don't think they should do this, I'm just offering an alternative to outright banning them. Muddy's post does give sympathy to Arizona's decision but I still struggle with banning cameras on private land. I could certainly see the argument for getting them off public land, even in Iowa.
 

hans1

Active Member
I spend about 2 weeks a year helping different friends on elk hunts in AZ. The craziness needs to be seen to believe It. I have never shot a bull over water but some of the guys in our group have. On a normal evening hunt it’s normal to have 3-5 different people approach to check cameras, most will leave with a wave but some wander around and change there cards. The other side of this is a lot of land open to public hunting is private ranches with agreements with AZ Fish and game. The 2 largest Ranch owners in the State had banned camera use on there land before this due to the disruption to cattle at the water sources. During drought times like these it is a serious stress on the wildlife As well as livestock.
 

newfarmer

New Member
We got cell cams for our properties that are 2+ hours away last year. Maybe the ONLY thing that changed for us, is I dont have to drive over and check them and worry that they are dead or ripped off a tree. Partly its for trespassing. There would be no way if I got a picture of a buck that I would be able to drive over and take advantage of that. Maybe by hunting the next day? Now that being said, my home farm is still regular cams and I would never switch back.
As a lot of very good points have been made on here, public land pressure is getting more and more and with cameras and cell cams, more and more disturbances in the woods. I could see the ban taking place on all public lands in the future. As far as private land, I think that should be the landowners call on what they want to be able to use. Do you think Drurys or Lakoskys could go without trail cameras?? (mainly for what they do/target)
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
I can see why they are banned in AZ now for sure. Personally, I have not ran my cameras for several years. Mainly because I don't care to drive out there and back to check cards. Its about an hour drive for me each way to where I mainly hunt, I just don't care to spend that much on gas/miles on my vehicle. I also really enjoy not knowing what I might see when I hunt. When I did use cams it was just to see what was in the area, I never tried to use them to pattern a buck to hunt.

This thread really got me thinking about cell cams and now that I think about it deeper they definitely provide and unfair advantage in my mind. If someone is up in their stand and get a pic of a shooter 100 yards off like an earlier poster said, the hunter could possibly rattle or grunt that buck in, whereas without the cell cam you would have been none the wiser and that buck slips by without the hunter every knowing he was even close. Or, if its late muzzy season and you get a pic on a standing food source or a shooter buck if you are a reasonable distance drive from home even you could possibly drive out there and get within range with a muzzy to make that shot.
 

AZHunter

Fire Eater
I've been off this site for a long time, but this is a good one to weigh in on. Its a hot topic for sure. As an AZ resident who loves using trail cams to check/inventory areas, but not taking things that seriously about it, I'm on the bubble. The ban will go into effect in 2022 and is specifically calling out using cams for the take of game. They can still be used for wildlife viewing, just not for use in filling a tag. Alternatives were considered, including banning cams within 1/4-mile of water sources and having seasons, but the outright ban was passed recently. Its clear that it will be fought. However, I know several hunters out here that support the ban because of what is happening with cams.

Muddy is right. Water holes down here, especially in "trophy units" can have anywhere from 5-15 (or more) cams on them and guys are checking cams when they know other guys are hunting the area and disturbing their hunt. These guys are also keeping wildlife away from the water holes by checking cams and hanging out during the critical watering period. AZ has been in a severe drought for over a decade and its only getting worse. Wildlife need every opportunity for water they can get out here.

Almost all respect for wildlife and other hunters has been lost in the name of big money. The main driver was outfitters/guides, especially those running 500+ cams/outfit in the trophy units on the AZ Strip. That's the area where hunters are passing 200" muleys to hold out for the 230"-260" muleys. Fist fights are breaking out in the middle of hunts, in the middle of roads, and at water holes over supposed "ownership" of the water holes and "who's buck it is to hunt"...on public land. Its sad. People (outfitters and non-outfitters) are ripping others' cams off water holes. Same for trophy elk units.

And cell cams have been banned for over a year now for the very reasons stated above. That was a no-brainer when it went through. Arizona is 70% public land and that doesn't include State Trust Land. AZ State Trust Land is considered private land with how it is managed and set up. I'm guessing that's a huge driver in the inclusion of private lands in the ban. All that described above on public land happens equally on AZ State Trust Land.
 
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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Buddy who hunts AZ, NM, etc explained this to me…. Said on PUBLIC he & others hunted by these “water tanks” (something man made, maybe like how water cows?), water holes, etc. Said he had one spot with over 15 different cell cams on it. Multiple folks. All pointed at water. Which is very small & kinda about size of a bait pile. On public.
Said “guys wait for pic & multiple guys flood it. The elk that don’t get shot - don’t drink in light and freaked out to drink or leave”. “It’s happening all over public. It’s bad!!!”
Anecdotal story from one guy…. But- with that - at least I understand it now. It didn’t sit well with me— gut reaction.
do we ban trail cams- no & not saying that. But on public & in states with bait piles allowed on public - eah- I can understand the reasoning here.
great feedback & discussion for sure!!!
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
In preparation for an archery elk hunt north of Grants, NM, I bought topos. I was happy to find a spring marked on the map, high up on the south slope of Mt. Taylor. I figured I'd be able to sit over animal trails headed to water. I was more than disappointed when I checked it out. First, there was a woven wire fence someone had put around it to keep critters out. The woven was all smashed down by the cattle that were running the national forest. They had wallowed in the spring, mucking it up, lots of cow pies in it. Secondly, the cattle lease owner had stuck a section of poly tubing into the spring, ran the tubing down the mountain to a series of livestock water tanks to gravity feed them. I didn't see much signs of elk using the water tanks, probably would have been futile to sit over them (nocturnal use?). At that point in time (about 10 years ago) I didn't notice any trailcams pointed at the spring or water tanks. I was more upset that the Fed Govt was leasing out national forest for pennies per acre to a cattle rancher who was altering it to suit his needs. I felt it should have, as national forest, been left "natural". Maybe water rights came with the lease as well. The amount of water coming from the spring would have probably evaporated or seeped back into the ground if it had not been protected by the tubing, so maybe the tank system benefited wildlife as well as the cattle. The national forest I hunted in Wyoming had streams, so no need for water tanks for the hundreds of sheep on the mountain. :rolleyes:
 

AZHunter

Fire Eater
In preparation for an archery elk hunt north of Grants, NM, I bought topos. I was happy to find a spring marked on the map, high up on the south slope of Mt. Taylor. I figured I'd be able to sit over animal trails headed to water. I was more than disappointed when I checked it out. First, there was a woven wire fence someone had put around it to keep critters out. The woven was all smashed down by the cattle that were running the national forest. They had wallowed in the spring, mucking it up, lots of cow pies in it. Secondly, the cattle lease owner had stuck a section of poly tubing into the spring, ran the tubing down the mountain to a series of livestock water tanks to gravity feed them. I didn't see much signs of elk using the water tanks, probably would have been futile to sit over them (nocturnal use?). At that point in time (about 10 years ago) I didn't notice any trailcams pointed at the spring or water tanks. I was more upset that the Fed Govt was leasing out national forest for pennies per acre to a cattle rancher who was altering it to suit his needs. I felt it should have, as national forest, been left "natural". Maybe water rights came with the lease as well. The amount of water coming from the spring would have probably evaporated or seeped back into the ground if it had not been protected by the tubing, so maybe the tank system benefited wildlife as well as the cattle. The national forest I hunted in Wyoming had streams, so no need for water tanks for the hundreds of sheep on the mountain. :rolleyes:

Forest Service, like BLM is managed as multi-use. I don't have a problem with ranching on Federal lands out here where it is sustainable. I work with both offices and ranchers who get it and those who don't and their only care is about preserving a way of life rather than conserving an ecosystem. Ranching in the arid SW is only remotely sustainable by development of water sources like stock tanks and most, if not all, stock tanks provide absolute benefit to all wildlife, assuming they can be kept full. This year, most tanks are dry with not much relief in sight. The part I bolded and enlarged is what should upset people. The 1935 Taylor Grazing Act, signed by FDR, was motivated, in part, by ranchers who decided they should be paying to lease the land and that there should be oversight/management (allotments with pastures, rest/rotations, etc.). Ranchers barely pay anything on public land now, though. They still pay their lease fees, but most of it is subsidized by the American Taxpayers to the tune of over $40 million annually. Rough, simplified math: Ranchers are charged $12/head to graze. They barely pay $2/head and the rest is subsidized by taxpayers. That's all a total digression from the original topic.

To my previous point in this post: "...most, if not all, stock tanks provide absolute benefit to all wildlife, assuming they can be kept full. This year, most tanks are dry with not much relief in sight." Imagine having over a dozen cameras on these tanks and people in and out all day, sometimes every day. Wildlife can't get to water without being disturbed and harassed or they just can't get to it and move elsewhere. Unfortunately, cameras aren't the only issue. AZ has a "no camping within 1/4-mile of water" rule, yet people camp right next to tanks all the time, keeping wildlife and livestock out. I'd love to see that enforced. I know backpackers who will camp right next to water holes in slot canyons and prevent bighorn sheep from coming to water. The sheep stand there bleating, wanting water so badly, but people are ignorant (or just selfish) of their actions.
 
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