Are Trail Cameras Illegal in Utah?

are trail cameras illegal in utah

While the use of trail cameras is legal in other states, they are currently illegal to use in Utah for hunting.

Are Trail Cameras Illegal in Utah?

Since the vote of the Wildlife Board was close, some Utah hunters are unsure if they should be allowed to use trail cams during hunting season. The answer is no, but here is what you need to know.

While many states allow for the use of trail cameras at any time on public land, Utah state law prohibits their use during various times throughout the year on public land.

For example, using a trail camera in Utah’s national parks between April 1 and July 31 is illegal. This is true for all national parks in our state including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park just to name a few.

Trail cameras are also banned from being used on game management areas (GMAs) during the months of September, October and November. This includes weapons deer season as well as primitive weapon-only season.

To be clear, you are able to use a trail camera on public land outside of hunting seasons. And if you’re not hunting or on GMAs, then using them is legal anytime throughout the year for whatever reason you want!

When can you use a trail camera in Utah?

So, let’s say that you are hunting during September or October. That means you can use your trail camera on public land outside of GMAs between August 1 and July 31.

The DWR Wildlife Board decided to close off the use of trail cameras in Utah from July 31 through December 31 each year without making exceptions for any wildlife-related activities such as research projects.

During this time, using a trail camera is illegal even if you want to monitor elk activity at night because it will not be actively hunting. The reasoning behind closing off the use is that it provides wintering deer with necessary access to food and resting spots without interruption from humans and their technology.

However, putting up a trail cam inside your hunting season is legal if you’re allowed to hunt an area. For example, if you’re hunting outside of GMAs and the use of a trail camera on public land is not illegal (such as August through July), then you can set up your trail cam during your hunting season.

Keep in mind that while some people may be able to get away with using their camera year round, since there isn’t a law that specifically allows for this practice; we certainly do not recommend it!​​

What are the penalties for using a trail camera illegally in Utah?

There is a fine for each violation of the new statewide ban on trail cameras. So, if you were to use your camera illegally in September and October while hunting on GMAs, you would be slapped with two fines.

Each offence is considered a petty misdemeanor and if you’re found guilty of using your camera during any “closed season” (hunting or not), then it may result in a year of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. So please keep this in mind while setting up your equipment!

Of course we always recommend following Utah’s wildlife laws to the letter, but we also know that some people out there want to try their hand at using their technology as much as possible, especially when it comes to hunting.

So, we hope that this article has been helpful in clearing up any confusion about the legality of trail cameras in our state!

Bill Toro

I’m Bill Toro. I have been invited by my best friends to go camping with them when I was bored with my life. That all It’s a game-changer for my entire life. This site is all about things I found interested useful while camping. It’s will be something that helps you have better camper moments.

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