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Arizona Bill Would Make Trail Cameras Illegal

A recent bill introduced in the Arizona House of Representatives would ban the use of trail cameras for six months out of the year, raising concerns from hunters who require these cameras to track and monitor deer populations outside of the hunting season. Arizona  HB 2130, was introduced by Arizona Representative Bob Thorpe (R), Jan. 1, 2020. 

Trail cameras or similar devices; prohibited periods of use

The bill states:

  1. A person may not place or use a trail camera from July 31 through December 31.
  2. If a trail camera is capable of wireless transmission of images, it cannot be used from June 30 through December 31.
  3. The placement or use of the trail camera can’t prevent or alter the manner in which wildlife can access water.

QDMA Opposes Bill

The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) filed a letter of opposition on the proposed bill. 

We oppose Arizona H.B. 2130. This bill would prohibit the use of trail cameras from June 30 to December 31 for models capable of transmitting a digital image, and from July 31 to December 31 for all other trail cameras. At QDMA, we support pursuits that are ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful, and allow harvest of white-tailed deer in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage. We do not feel that trail cameras cross any ethical lines and feel that they can contribute to deer hunters taking an active role in management.

Why This Matters

The crux of the argument for or against trail cameras comes down to “fair chase.” Does a trail camera give an unfair advantage to the hunter? I side with QDMA on this one; while it might give a hunter knowledge of what game is in the area and what times they passed by the camera in the past, that is no guarantee of future game activity. This legislation seems to be an attempt to add more laws around something that doesn’t need to be fixed.

I would urge everyone to contact Bob Thorpe and tell him that you oppose this legislation.

Bob Thorpe Contact info:
(602) 926-5219

Why This Matters segments are the opinion of the author. Agree or disagree, let us know in the comments below.
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