Could Louisiana Follow Suit With Arizona and Ban Trail Cameras?
So I'm not accused of "baiting" you into the further reading of this, I want to start off with how unlikely I feel it would be for Louisiana to ever implement an edict like this, but when you consider the "why" and "how" it happened in Arizona, it's easy to see how a situation like this isn't completely out of the realm of possibility.
When I first saw an article in Field and Stream that discussed Arizona's recent ban on the use of trail cameras, I thought it was some kind of joke. Apparently there was an incredible undertow involved with the use of trail cams.
For the non-hunter, trail or game cameras, are simply a motion activated camera that hunters can place in areas to photograph the size and movements of any type of game in the area. These cameras don't shoot anything (other than pictures). They don't harass the game. They don't give a hunter an unfair advantage, yet somehow, Arizona was banning them because of the negativity associated with them and had deemed they violate the philosophy of fair chase and endangered the future of the sport.
What? Thinking to myself, "How could the use of trail cams ever be conceived to be negative?" That would be like saying that wearing camouflage was an unfair, unethical advantage for deer hunters.
But indeed, the State of Arizona has banned the use of all trail cameras and just a quick glance at the entirety of the article explained all to me. The rationale was clear. Just like I've said many times; left to our own devices, we can ruin just about anything. This was another example.
Arizona is Banning the Use of all Trail Cameras
According to the Field and Stream article, they discussed the ban with Kurt Davis, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, and we learned that Arizona is in the midst of a historic twenty year drought and how that had made the ban necessary.
“There are 3,100 water catchments in the state, the vast majority of which are on public land and all are mapped,” he said. “When people start placing and checking cameras on those limited water sources there are going to be conflicts.” There have been reports of as many as a dozen or more cameras on a single water hole.
So there it is. Hunters inflicted the wound on themselves. Along with the conflicts between hunters, apparently even ranchers had complaints who's livestock uses those same water sources and they were concerned about the high volume of hunters around those sources and the associated damage to roads leading to them and such.
Much like a classroom full of third graders when a puppy is brought in, we can easily cause such a commotion that the merits of the initial action are quickly forgotten and replaced with the thoughts of how this action can never happen again.
Now, we don't have vast deer herds showing up in limited watering holes, but we do have oak bottoms that deer frequent. We've got food plots that deer can't resist. There are certain corridors that deer use more than others. And wouldn't these areas possibly cause friction among those who might think they have sole rights to use?
So, in my best "Dad" voice, we've got to learn to "play nice" and get along with each other in this environment because if the right, influential person, feels wronged, it's been proven that we could all lose that privilege.