Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Are Cell Game Cameras an Unfair Advantage?

As game cameras have gained popularity over the last decade or so, technology has increased from the old archaic battery draining cameras to cameras with battery life that lasts over 12 months and produce 14+ megapixel. The quality of the pictures and video are of the highest quality.

A few years ago, game cameras advanced to wireless technology where the camera takes a picture, and instantly sends the picture to your mobile device or computer. As this technology has grown, and the cell plans have gone down in price, more and more people have adapted to this technology.

Recently, some states have studied these cameras and determined they offer an unfair advantage to hunters and have begun to make them illegal to use. One case in point is a water hole in Arizona where a wildlife officer documented over 30 cell cameras on one water hole on public land. As pictures were taken hunters were flocking to the water hole.

Other incidents are of individuals who are looking for a particular buck, and when the buck finally appears, they ditch their job and head to the woods. DNR officers, conservation officials and wildlife biologists all agree that the use of cell game cameras offer an unfair advantage to the hunters.

What is the compromise? Hunters spend millions of dollars annually on game cameras and lately cell cameras. Both wireless providers and camera companies are making millions off of these cameras. But the question remains, do these offer an unfair advantage to hunters.

Many hunters who travel out of state to hunt, spend thousands of dollars on these hunts and many of them, (that I know personally) are setting up cameras in the spring to monitor game hundreds or thousands of miles away. Does this offer an unfair advantage? Or is it a good use of their time, to monitor areas before driving several days to arrive at their hunting land?

Are these cell cameras offering public land hunters opportunities they otherwise would not have had? In reality, when the picture is taken, and the hunters arrive can be many hours or even days apart. Yet some states are still saying the hunters are using technology to avoid fair chase.

Frankly I am not sure where I fall on this. I see both sides very well. But as an absentee landowner, I value the wireless cell cameras for security and monitoring. If I saw a buck, it would still take me a day to get there. I use them mostly as a security camera to monitor my gates, cabin, and access areas. But I also use them to monitor game. I guess, like a lot of things it is up to you do determine where you fall on this topic. If it is legal in your area, and you want to use it? Use it. If you deem it is an unfair advantage then, by all means don't use them. But be certain before you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cell game cameras, that they are legal to use in your country, state or province.

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