Hunting Ethics Considered With Game Camera Regulation

Game camera hunting is becoming quite common with the advancement in technology. However, there is a big debate when it comes to the use of cameras in hunting. Do you think live camera feeds when hunting gives hunters an unfair advantage over the animals? While using technology to make hunting easier, it takes the fun out of the hunt. Moreover, the specific technology used might make the hunt unfair. A good example is using trail cameras to get live feeds of the game via apps on your phone.

Hunters need to stick to various codes of ethics that makes the hunting process fair and professional. Ethical hunting simply means the hunter follows the set hunting laws and rules. It also means the hunter respects the game and hunts in a manner that satisfies society. Ethical hunting gives the best satisfaction in the field. It is also a great way to secure hunting as a recreational activity for generations to come.

Legalities surround the use of trail cameras during the hunting season

Trail cameras are not new in the industry and have been in use for years now. In fact, the entire trail camera industry is driven by the huge sales from hunters. According to OpticsAddict.com, with trail cameras, hunters are able to survey hunting areas. They easily get useful insights into animal patterns, routes, and paths. All these give hunters useful information which makes hunting a lot easier. If you need more information for everything related to trail game camera, you can check out this great article.

Well, this is where the big question of hunting ethics comes in! Do the unfair advantage hunters have to make hunting unethical? The Nevada state stands out as the only state that has banned the use of trail cameras during the hunting season. However, some states only regulate the cellular transmission of cameras during the hunting season. So, what is considered the ethical way of hunting while using cameras?

The fair chase

The term fair chase can mean a lot of things to different people out there. However, this term is considered the lawful and ethical pursuit of game. It is pursuing free-ranging animals in a manner that does not give the hunter an unfair advantage over the animal. There are no written laws when it comes to good hunting ethics. The unwritten rules when it comes to camera regulation are doing the right thing when nobody is watching. Below are examples of the unethical use of trail cameras during the hunting season.

  • Using electronic devices to get alerts of games coming your way. These can be trail cameras that stream live to your phone. Such use of these devices violates the concept of a fair chase. While there are no written rules that prohibit the use of trails cameras, live feed that gives you alerts is considered unethical. Rushing to hunt in the spot where you got alert of the animal is considered unfair. However, you can take the information about where the animals pass and plan to hunt days after when you’re not sure of the exact animal location.
  • Spotting the game from the air using drones or helicopters and then landing to chase them is also considered unfair
  • If the use of trail cameras affects or prevents wild animals from accessing certain paths, then that is also considered unethical. A good example is when checking or maintaining your trail camera on a frequent basis. Trips to the sites might bring unnecessary scents that might affect the animal routes.
  • Some states like Alaska have banned the use of enhanced night vision, laser light, fire pits, and forward-looking infrared devices. The state has also banned the use of any remotely operated device like a drone to send wireless communication. The use of things like smoke deer, urine, artificial salts, and chemicals to lure animals has been banned. However, they allow the use of trail cameras with the only exception being cameras that send photos directly to the hunter.

The biggest ethical issue when it comes to the use of trail cameras is intent. Are you setting the camera to dictate where and when to hunt? If yes, then that is unethical and unfair. However, if you’re using the camera as a scouting tool, then that is fine. However, there can be debate around this since there are no written guidelines on the use of trail cameras.

Final verdict

In conclusion, what stands out as unethical in the use of cameras is direct communication from the camera to the hunter. In fact, it is unlawful in some states like New Hampshire to use live-action game cameras in an attempt to locate wildlife.

It is also worth noting that hunting regulations change with time and from state to state. Make sure you’re conversant with the laws regarding camera use in any hunting areas before using them. Most hunting ethics to consider are basically to do with a fair chase.  After all, it does not make sense gaining an unfair advantage since most hunting is for the fun and not for the meat.



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