Trail cameras are a popular way to get an idea of what game is in an area. But what are the laws surrounding their use in Colorado? Are there restrictions on where they can be placed? Can you bait deer with food to bring them closer to the camera?
In this article, we will explore the answers to these questions and more.
What is the legality of trail cameras in Colorado?
as state on Code of Colorado Regulations “No person shall use a live-action camera to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in any attempt to locate or surveil any game wildlife for the purpose of taking or attempting to take said wildlife during the same day or following day.
“Live-Action Game Camera” means any device capable of recording and transmitting photographic or video data wirelessly to a remote device, such as a computer or smart phone. “Live-action game camera” does not include game cameras that merely record photographic or video data and store such data for later use, as long as the device cannot transmit data wirelessly. “
Trail cameras are considered live-action game cameras. This means that it is illegal to use one to locate wildlife for the purpose of taking said wildlife (or attempting to take them) on or after the day you set up or even the following day . It also means that you cannot bait deer with food in order to bring them closer to your camera.
Do I need a license?
If you plan on hunting, you will need a Colorado hunting license. If you don’t hunt, but rather just enjoy watching nature and animals for recreational purposes, no license is required. There are some exceptions, so they always recommend checking out their website at: https://cpw.state.co.us/
In most cases, the use of trail cameras is legal. However, there are some exceptions and restrictions to be aware of. If your goal is to take wildlife using a camera and not a gun, you need to check out all the regulations and rules before setting one up.
Are there restrictions on where you can place trail cameras in Colorado?
Yes. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, “Live-action game cameras can only be set up on private land, including state wildlife areas and national parks, unless the agency owning or managing that property has given permission.”
It is illegal to place them where you are not allowed to hunt any person other than yourself should have access to your camera at all times . You also should have written permission from the land owner so it is clear that you are allowed to put the camera there.
Can you bait deer with food to attract them to a trail camera in Colorado?
No. This is illegal. You cannot use bait to attract wildlife for the purposes of harvesting or attempting to harvest wildlife on a private property . There are some exceptions, so always check out their website at: https://cpw.state.co.us/
In general, trail camera use is legal in Colorado as long as you follow all regulations and rules regarding them. Make sure that you have written permission from the land owner before setting one up and read all restrictions related to where they can be placed . Do not set up a camera near an area where you plan to hunt unless it is allowed by law (check out cpw’s website). Bait is also illegal; do not try to lure deer with food.
Do not attempt to use the camera for hunting purposes on or after the day you set it up.
What are the consequences for violating trail camera laws in Colorado?
The consequences for violating this law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of between $100 and $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
For more information on the regulations it is best to check out Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s website at: https://cpw.state.co.us/.
Although the use of trail cameras in most cases is legal, there are some specific restrictions that you should always be aware of before setting one up . Make sure that you have permission from both private land owners where you plan to put it and also from any government agencies that may have jurisdiction over the area (such as national parks).
You must also make sure that there are no other regulations restricting its use where you plan to put it. You must also always remember that you can never use a trail camera for hunting purposes on or after the day you set it up.
If you have any more questions about whether or not using a trail camera is legal in Colorado, call the Division of Wildlife at 303-297-1192 and they will be happy to help.
Good luck and enjoy watching nature!
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