DWR bans trail cameras during big game, cougar and bear hunting

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Several indicators give DWR biologists valuable information about Utah’s cougar population and how the population is doing.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Trail cameras and other hunting-related technologies will be restricted during big game hunting.

The Utah Wildlife Board approved the new rule on Tuesday. The restriction follows a bill passed in May 2021 that required the wildlife board to enact rules regulating the use of trail cameras while hunting.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) surveyed over 14,000 big game hunters for ideas, with an overwhelming majority opposed to using transmitting trail cameras for hunting.

This new rule now prohibits all trail cameras (including both non-handheld transmitting and non-transmitting devices) in the harvest or to aid in the harvest of big game between July 31 and Dec. 31.

The trail cameras in question transmit footage in real-time and is defined as a device that is not held or manually operated by a person and is used to capture images, video or location data of wildlife or uses a heat motion trigger.

Another approved change will prohibit using any night-vision device to locate a big game animal. The rule goes into effect 48 hours prior to the start of any big game hunting period and remains in place 48 hours after the hunt ends.

All trail camera and night-vision prohibitions will apply to cougar and bear hunting, as well.

To see all new changes regarding big game, cougar and bear hunting, click here.

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