Trail camera regulations
This page explains the hunting-related trail camera and night-vision device regulations that will be in effect in Utah in 2022. (See Administrative Rule R657-5-7 for the exact regulations.) This page will be updated with additional questions and answers, as needed, in the weeks and months to come.
What are the trail camera regulations in Utah?
You may not use any trail camera (or non-handheld device) in the take of big game, cougars or bears — or to aid in the take of big game, cougars or bears — between July 31 and Dec. 31 on public or private property.
The rule also prohibits the sale or purchase of footage or data from any trail camera (or non-handheld device) that could be used to take, attempt to take, or aid in the take or attempted take of big game, cougars or bears. That includes images or video, location information, time and date of the footage and any other data that could aid in the take or attempted take of big game, cougars or bears.
Can I still use my trail camera from July 31 to Dec. 31 if I'm not hunting big game?
The seasonal restrictions on trail camera use do not apply to:
- Private landowners who are monitoring their property for trespass
- Private landowners monitoring active agricultural operations
- Agricultural producers harvesting bears or cougars that have killed livestock
- Government or educational organizations gathering wildlife information
- Cities involved in the Urban Deer Program
- Cameras used purely for recreational activities that are not associated with hunting in any way
Are these seasonal trail camera restrictions just for public land?
Trail cameras (or non-handheld devices) on public or private property cannot be used to help in the take of big game, cougars or bears between July 31 and Dec 31.
What are the rules for night-vision devices?
The rule prohibits the use of any night-vision device to locate or attempt to locate a big game animal from 48 hours before any big game hunt in the area through 48 hours after any big game hunt ends in the area. A night-vision device is defined as anything that enhances visible and non-visible light and includes the use of night-vision devices, thermal-imaging devices, infrared-imaged devices and other electronic devices that enhance the visible and non-visible light spectrum. A trail camera is not a night-vision device.
What should I do if I see a trail camera in use during the seasonal closure?
Leave it alone and contact our conservation officers with the camera coordinates if you have concerns that someone is using it for hunting purposes. Do not attempt to remove or damage the camera — it's someone else's property and may be in use legally.