In 2018, new regulations took effect in Nevada limiting the use of trail cameras but not banning them outright. Are trail cameras legal in Nevada now? Essentially trail cameras (also called scouting, game or hunting cameras) may not be used for hunting purposes during the hunting season.
The adopted trail camera regulations state that no one shall place, maintain, or use a trail camera or similar device on public land, or private land without permission from the landowner, from August 1 to December 31 of each year.
OR if the camera is capable of transmitting the images or video, it shall not be used from July 1 to December 31.
The regulations prohibit the use of trail cameras at any time if the placement, maintenance or use of the trail camera or similar device prevents wildlife from accessing, or alters the manner in which wildlife accesses, a spring, water source or artificial basin that is used by wildlife and collects, or is designed and constructed to collect water.
The new regulation does provide some limited exemptions for livestock monitoring, research, and other miscellaneous uses.
Note: This new law does not apply to a person who places, maintains, or uses a trail camera or similar device on private property with the permission of the landowner.
View the adopted legislation here
For the list of all states in the USA and their trail camera status for hunting, go here
Are Trail Cameras Legal in Nevada for Hunting?
The Nevada Department of Wildlife outlined its rationale for the decision in the following statement:
Nevada outdoor enthusiasts,
The Nevada Department of Wildlife wants to ensure that all outdoor enthusiasts are aware of the new seasonal restrictions on the use of trail cameras.
Since 2010, trail cameras have been a topic of discussion in Nevada. The regulation was discussed in dozens of open meetings, including County Advisory Boards to Manage Wildlife, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commission, and the Legislative Commission. The use of trail cameras, the technology associated with them, and the issues surrounding the use of them have all continued to escalate.
Proponents of the regulation raised several significant issues of concern including the growing commercialization of animal location data. New internet businesses have begun buying and selling GPS location data of animals captured on trail cameras. Also, saturating all or most available water sources with trail cameras in a hunt unit not only disrupts the animals ability to obtain water as camera owners come and go from waters that have as many as 25 or more cameras, but also creates hunter congestion and hunter competition issues. The accessibility to our public lands combined with our wildlife’s dependence on our extremely limited water sources make for some real challenges for both wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. Proponents of the regulation were quick to point out that whether enhanced, protected, or human created water sources (guzzlers), the waters’ primary purpose is to assist in herd health and herd growth, not for placement of a technological device at an animal concentration site that potentially makes it easier to kill trophy animals.
The new trail camera regulation states that a person shall not place, maintain, or use a trail camera or similar device on public land, or private land without permission from the landowner, from August 1 to December 31 of each year, or if the camera is capable of transmitting the images or video, it shall not be used from July 1 to December 31. The regulation does provide some limited exemptions for livestock monitoring, research, and other miscellaneous uses.
NDOW recognizes that there are wholesome and legitimate uses of trail cameras, and unfortunately the use of cameras have been exploited far beyond most sportsmen’s definition of reasonable. If you come across a trail camera on public land from August 1 to December 31, NDOW is asking that you leave the camera alone, and consider calling an NDOW office to report its location.
You can view the complete adopted regulation here.
Nevada Department of Wildlife