Utah Wildlife Board Upholds Trail Camera Ban During Hunting Season

by Amy Myers

Despite the pushback from local hunters, the Utah Wildlife Board isn’t budging on its decision to ban trail cameras during the hunting season. Originally, the board made the decision to nix trail cameras from the equation two months ago. Since then, Utah hunters have hoped that they can persuade officials otherwise.

These individuals that opposed the ban saw a glimmer of hope when their feedback triggered an administrative rule appeal hearing. During a three-hour meeting on Thursday, hunters voiced their concerns regarding the matter. Many of the “hundreds, if not thousands” comments had to do with the process in which the ruling was carried out. So, they met once more to include the perspectives of hunters. At Thursday’s meeting, hunters submitted over 73 comment cards. This resulted in over two hours’ worth of public comment.

Unfortunately, this still didn’t sway the board’s votes.

“We stand by the process. None of us are considering changing our votes. I don’t think any of you should be either,” Matt Clark, a member of the regional advisory council for northern Utah, said, according to KSL.com.

According to Clark, the board spent “literally hundreds of hours” collecting surveys, attending public meetings and other administrative action that led to the decision.

Prior to Thursday’s vote, Bret Selman, a member of the Utah Wildlife Board, stressed the importance of gaining back “control” of the situation.

“We’ve got to get control of this. Rules have to be put in place, signs have to be put up to stop the bad actors,” said Selman.

Utah Wildlife Board Worries Local Hunters Won’t Follow Ban on Trail Cameras

Meanwhile, some of those who originally supported the rule has since changed their opinion on the matter. Reed Pendleton, of Moab, was among the residents that at first agreed with the data from the surveys. However, after hearing the comments from hunters, he felt the board’s decision didn’t reflect what the hunters had shared.

“So, for me, it was kind of a blind shot and I think there is a lot of confusion,” Pendleton said. “If hunters can’t have those trail cameras out during the season, but other people can, like, how do we know they are being responsible?”

Despite the decision, some board members still worry that hunters won’t uphold the ban on trail cameras.

“The most disappointing thing for me in the whole process is the comments I heard of, ‘I’m just going to do what I want and then I’m going to damage property.’ That is tremendously disappointing for me in this whole process,” said board member Karl Hirst. “That bothered me more than anything else.”

Starting July 31, the ban on trail cameras will go into effect in Utah. Board members stated they can revise the rule in the future if they run into problems.