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Arizona proposes alternative rule amendment to regulate trail camera use

Arizona trail camera rule change update

Photo credit: Brady Miller

Below is a recent press release sent out by Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

If you want to see the previous updates, check out the links below:

Summary of public comments received:

Listed below is a breakdown of the public comments received from the January 1, 2021 through February 1, 2021 public comments related to the language proposed in December:

  • 2,742 total public comments
  • 1,200 opposed the proposed ban
  • 832 supported the proposed ban in total
  • 442 suggested additional regulation or partial ban
  • 254 duplicates (meaning multiple comments are submitted by one person; they are considered to be one comment)

Of the 442 comments that suggested some form of regulation instead of a full ban, a breakdown of the suggestions is as follows:

  • 160 said to prohibit trail cameras around waters
  • 101 said to prohibit trail cameras by season
  • 70 said to prohibit trail cameras by location
  • 54 said to limit or regulate guides
  • 35 said register trail cameras
  • 14 said to prohibit trail cameras statewide, except on private property
  • 4 said to conduct an education campaign
  • 3 said to allow only CHAMP hunters to use trail cameras

Public comments related to the February rulemaking proposal are being accepted by email at rulemaking@azgfd.gov from March 11 through April 11, 2021.


Commission proposes alternative rule amendment to regulate use of trail cameras

Public comment period on new proposed rule runs March 11 through April 11

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is seeking public comment on an alternative proposal to amend rules within Article 3, Taking and Handling of Wildlife, to regulate the use of trail cameras for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife.

The commission in December 2020 originally voted to open rulemaking with proposed language that would prohibit the use of trail cameras for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife. That rulemaking went through a public comment period in January.

In response to internal and external discussions and comments related to the December proposal, the commission, at its February 2021 meeting, voted 5-0 to open a separate rulemaking with proposed language that, if approved, would:

  • Prohibit the use of trail cameras for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife within ¼ mile of a developed water source.
  • Allow the use of trail cameras to aid in the take of wildlife from February 1 through June 30 as long as the camera is not placed within ¼ mile of a developed water source. 

This new proposed language presented in February does not replace the December proposed rule, but provides the commission with options to consider at the conclusion of both rulemaking processes.

View UPDATED INFORMATION about the two rule proposals (the document also includes an overview of comments received related to the December proposed rule - see second bullet down). A link to the document is also posted here.

Public comments related to the February rulemaking proposal are being accepted by email at rulemaking@azgfd.gov from March 11 through April 11, 2021.

The final rulemaking for the December proposal will not be heard at the March 19 commission meeting as previously anticipated. The final rulemaking for both proposals will be heard at the June 11 commission meeting in Payson. At that meeting, the commission can approve either of the two final rules or terminate rulemaking altogether. Any change to the current trail camera rule will not go into effect prior to Jan. 1, 2022.

To view proposed rule amendments, track the progress of rules, view the regulatory agenda and all previous Five-Year Review Reports, and to learn about any other agency rulemaking matters, click here.

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