Wireless Trail Cameras During Fall Hunting Seasons

Regulation Number: 
2020-0-09
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Province-Wide
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Limited Entry Hunting
Species: 
All
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

There are currently no regulations in place that prohibit real time, remote detection and notification, wherein a hunter is notified of an animal’s presence someplace other than within range of the hunter’s vision or hearing.

Proposed Regulations: 

Similar to current prohibitions related to drones and hunting:

A person commits an offence if, while on a hunting expedition from August 1 to December 10, the person operates a wireless trail camera, has a wireless trail camera in their possession, or uses information obtained from a wireless trail camera for the purpose of hunting.

Rationale: 

This proposed regulation has been requested by the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team. For more information on the process that led to the request refer to the “Additional Information” section at the bottom of this page.

Wireless trail cameras that send images of wildlife to a remote device provide a hunter with the location of wildlife outside the hunters’ vision or hearing and negate an animals natural ability to avoid detection. Hunting stakeholder representatives do not feel that this method of hunting aligns with the standards and ethics of fair hunting in B.C.

Additional Information: 

A sub-committee of the Provincial Hunting and Trapping Advisory Team (PHTAT) with representatives from the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., B.C. Trappers Association, Wild Sheep Society, Wildlife Stewardship Council, and United Bowhunters of B.C., has conducted a review of various hunting practices (methods, tools, and tactics), evaluated those practices against a set of criteria that reflect the principles of fair chase, and recommended management actions for specific hunting practices. These recommendations were accepted by PHTAT and have been forwarded to the Province for consideration.

Factors that influenced or informed the Management Action Recommendation included:

  1. Does the hunting method, tool, or tactic:
  • Negate wildlife’s ability to avoid detection?
  • Negate wildlife’s ability to escape once it has detected a threat?
  • Lead to an inhumane treatment of wildlife?
  • Lead to increased wounding loss/jeopardize a hunter’s ability to retrieve the wildlife?
  • Jeopardize public acceptance of hunting?
  • Result in higher harvest rates/reduced opportunity in the future?
  1. Estimated difficulty in enacting a regulation.
  2. Regulatory enforceability.

The Management Action options available for each hunting practice included:

  1. Encourage/discourage the hunting practice through education and/or training
  2. Regulate the hunting practice through legislative prohibitions
  3. Monitor the hunting practice over the coming years to see if it becomes an issue in B.C.
  4. Defer; not of concern and no specific management action or monitoring is required.