The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is in the midst of finalizing the upcoming big game seasons and thus has made tweaks to seasons, tags and regulations based on the past year and recent trends.
That included tweaks to regulations based on the spread of CWD and mountain goat movements. G&F also adjusted to the growth of technology in hunting and has a new rule banning the use of internet-enabled game cameras that can send an instant picture or video to the user when animals pass them.
The commissioners and staff determined ahead of this season this was in violation of fair chase, and we agree.
Cody Region Director Dan Smith explained it well in answering a question about the new rule during a recent Zoom Q&A session for the Cody area.
“We’re trying to curtail people setting a camera up, never actually going hunting, waiting for a big bull, seeing it and going out,” he said. “We thought that was violating fair chase.”
This is a different matter than the standard trail cams that require the hunter to go out and retrieve an SD card and then put it in a computer to look at the pictures. It is still a leg up on hunters who don’t have one, but is only an aid to scouting ahead of time, not a replacement for it.
It’s good to see G&F keep up with advances in technology and work to preserve the ethic of hunting that we know matters to the vast majority of hunters in our region.
Allowing or barring new technology is always going to be a fine line. After a big discussion on crossbows, they remain eligible for bow season, unlike in some other states. In the case of internet-enabled cameras, we believe they were right to weigh in and ban them for big game this year.