Trail Cam

Hunters must now register stands, trail cams on state lands

Charlie Megginson Government, Headlines

Hunters setting up trail cameras.

Hunters must now register temporary deer stands, blinds and trail cameras left on state lands. (Wildmedia)

Hunters must now register temporary deer stands, ground blinds and trail cameras placed on state lands.

Here’s a link to the registration form.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, or DNREC, said in a press release that the registration “will help wildlife area managers evaluate the increasing numbers and use of these hunting tools on state wildlife areas.”

But members of the “Delaware Deer Hunting” Facebook page weren’t so quick to take DNREC’s word.

“Who comes up with these dumb rules and what’s the purpose,” wrote one user.

“Probably so they can fine you after February if they find it still up,” wrote another.

“So they can estimate how much $$ they are missing out on,” another said. “Bet next year that registration number will cost you.”

In a statement to Delaware LIVE News, an official from the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife said items left behind after hunting season ends are subject to fines and confiscation if necessary, but the agency’s approach will be to seek “compliance through education.”

Knowing who a camera or other item is registered to will help identify the owner for possible return, the spokesperson noted.

Asked whether the agency plans to charge for item registration in the future, the spokesperson said, simply, “No.”

The registration is necessary because there have been reports from hunters who are unsure whether an area is being hunted at a particular time after seeing trail cameras that don’t belong to them.

“DNREC will assess the actual number of trail cameras in use on state wildlife areas to determine the extent of any such conflicts. Also, DNREC’s Wildlife Section is aware that trail cameras have been installed in recent years in areas closed to hunting – with the new registration process helpful in tracking and rectifying such uses.”

The agency stressed in the press release that the placement of a deer stand, blind or trail camera in a state wildlife area does not provide the owner exclusive hunting rights in that portion of the wildlife area, and the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is not responsible for theft or damage to deer stands, deer blinds and trail cameras left by hunters.

A single registration number can be used for multiple stands, blinds and cameras, and hunters will need to register only once as the unique registration number can be used from year to year.

Once the registration form is submitted, the applicant will receive an email containing their registration number. The registration number must be legible and conspicuously displayed on each item.

DNREC’s state wildlife area maps with associated rules for the 2022/2023 hunting season provide additional details on the placement of temporary deer stands and blinds – which are allowed from Aug. 1 through  Feb. 15 on some state wildlife areas – and trail cameras, which are allowed from June 1 through Feb. 15 on all state wildlife areas.

Additional information on state wildlife areas and the new registration process can be found at de.gov/wamaps or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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