PRATT – Over the past several years, staff with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have fielded an ever-increasing amount of public concerns regarding the use of trail or game cameras on public lands. Concerns cited by the public commonly included the ethics of “fair chase,” issues of theft and privacy concerns. After much deliberation – including seven public meetings held over the course of two years – Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commissioners voted this year to prohibit trail cameras on Department lands and waters, including Walk-in Hunting Access and iWIHA properties (private lands leased by KDWP for public hunting access).
“As the number of trail cameras on the landscape increased, so did the number of reports made by constituents citing camera theft and misuse,” said Ryan Stucky, KDWP Public Lands assistant director. “There were also concerns about trail camera users disturbing wildlife with frequent visits to check on those cameras.”
As a result, Department staff and Commissioners agreed the regulation change – which is now in effect – should state that no person shall place, maintain, or use a trail or game camera on Department lands, or use any images or video from a trail or game camera including location, time, or date, for any purpose on KDWP lands and waters.
KDWP defines trail or game cameras as any remote motion-activated or infrared camera in which the shutter is activated by sound triggers, proximity sensation, radio transmitters, or a self-timer built into the trail or game camera.
While using images of wildlife produced by or transmitted from a satellite to aid in taking or locating wildlife on Department lands and waters is prohibited, the use of mapping systems or programs remains a legal activity.
For the full regulation, visit ksoutdoors.com/Services/Law-