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Old 10-22-2020, 05:21 PM   #1
wiiawiwb
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Trail Camera Use

Is putting up a trail camera on NYS State Land permitted? I tried doing a quick search on the Encon website and couldn't find anything specific.
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Old 10-22-2020, 07:09 PM   #2
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A strict interpretation of the regulations would seem to imply that no, they are not permitted- at least not without a permit.

The relevant reg would be as follows:

Quote:
190.8 General.

(w) No person shall erect, construct, install, maintain, store, discard or abandon any structure or any other property on State lands or subsequently use such structure or property on State lands, except if the structure or property is authorized by the department or is:
  1. a geocache that is labeled with the owner’s name and address and installed in a manner that does not disturb the natural conditions of the site or injure a tree;
  2. a camping structure or equipment that is placed and used legally pursuant to this Part;
  3. a legally placed trap or appurtenance that is placed and used during trapping season;
  4. a tree stand or hunting blind that does not injure a tree, is properly marked or tagged with the owner’s name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number, and is placed and used during big game season, migratory game bird season, or turkey season; or
  5. a wildlife viewing blind or stand that is placed for a duration not to exceed 30 days in one location per calendar year, does not injure a tree, and is properly marked or tagged with the owner's name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number.
There is no exception listed for trail cameras, so the first part applies- you need DEC authorization at the very least.

The reality is that it probably depends on the local ranger. Some might be ok with trail cameras provided that they are removed after a certain period of time, that they are labeled with the owners contact information (as with geocaches/tree stands), etc.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
A strict interpretation of the regulations would seem to imply that no, they are not permitted- at least not without a permit.

The relevant reg would be as follows:



There is no exception listed for trail cameras, so the first part applies- you need DEC authorization at the very least.

The reality is that it probably depends on the local ranger. Some might be ok with trail cameras provided that they are removed after a certain period of time, that they are labeled with the owners contact information (as with geocaches/tree stands), etc.
Although you are right I dont know any ranger or DEC officer that would take them or fine someone for using them for hunting or any legal purpose. Matter of fact when I do a Sportsman's Education Class the DEC officer encourages the use of them.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:51 AM   #4
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Not that it means anything, but that regulation may have been written before trail cams even hit the scene
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:36 AM   #5
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Not that it means anything, but that regulation may have been written before trail cams even hit the scene
Seems possible but unlikely given that geocaches are listed as an exception. Geocaching didn't really start to take off as a recreational activity until after 2000, when Selective Availability was turned off. Prior to then, there really wasn't a market for recreational GPS units as the poor precision (on the order of hundreds of feet) for non-governmental use didn't really provide much of an advantage over traditional map and compass.

I think it's more likely an oversight that the DEC doesn't see as urgent enough to warrant fixing via new regulations, given the (necessarily) complex process by which regulations are updated. The regulatory process is not simple, by design.
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Old 10-23-2020, 05:58 PM   #6
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You're probably right. But it seems like folks used to "geocache" before GPS became a thing. Was it a spin off of orienteering or am I off the mark, so to speaK?
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:20 PM   #7
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Seems to me that the modification to the regulation that allowed geochache is fairly recent. AFAIK, it happened as a result of people who at the time were in mass illegally leaving their crap in the wilderness and posting coordinates. Bowing to pressure, the DEC basically gave up and allowed it anyway even though it is not in keeping with true wilderness values.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:30 PM   #8
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I've always been somewhat annoyed by the "geocache exception" given that the DEC still bans climbing bolts and other tiny invisible features for other activities.

I have thought that the geocache folks must have one hell of a lobbyist working for them in Albany...
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:29 PM   #9
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There were rumors from a very reliable source a few years ago, that on some islands near the Cranberry Lake Bio Station, that some Bio Station college kids set up some trail cams to monitor small mammals, and that such island was open to primitive camping, and that middle aged fat mammals look better with clothes on....you just never know who is looking...
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:06 PM   #10
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As per Chairrock's post, I was going add that trailcams work against one's "reasonable expectation of privacy" assumption when being in the back country.

The same goes for drones.

By the way, this past spring I camped at the Elephant Rock campsite not far from the primary island that I assume Chairrock refers to. I hope I did not offend anyone.

Last edited by Crash; 10-26-2020 at 12:08 PM.. Reason: fix grammer
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Old 10-26-2020, 05:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Crash View Post
As per Chairrock's post, I was going add that trailcams work against one's "reasonable expectation of privacy" assumption when being in the back country.

The same goes for drones.

By the way, this past spring I camped at the Elephant Rock campsite not far from the primary island that I assume Chairrock refers to. I hope I did not offend anyone.
Catamont and or Sears...
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
As per Chairrock's post, I was going add that trailcams work against one's "reasonable expectation of privacy" assumption when being in the back country.

The same goes for drones.
Although i come from a career that involved a lot of flying and reconnaissance, and my son is a fighter pilot who has a drone phototography business (in another state), and having a drone would be very fun to have, I don't know what I would really do with one. Can't legally fly it in wilderness areas, and around home I am sure neighbors would object to overflights.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:50 AM   #13
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I've had a drone fly over me as I was paddling on Indian Lake. It was only about 15 feet above me, hovering, as I was threading between some barely submerged rocks. The operator was at a campsite nearby. I considered this obnoxious.

I've thought about purchasing a drone. I would have mostly used it for adding a new perspective to my photography. I've seen some really cool photos of some of my favorite campsites that were taken by drone.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:36 AM   #14
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Them drones makes great skeets!
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Old 10-27-2020, 10:54 AM   #15
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I'm not really into drones myself, but the capabilities for image capture and filmmaking are pretty spectacular.

There are apps available that will allow the drone to auto-pilot and follow you within a specified range. I've seen a number of action sports videos that are quite interesting combined with POV footage and all without an auxiliary camera person. It's almost like watching a video game and being able to toggle between a first person shooter view and the "eye of God", third person view.

This could be quite annoying if 20 people are trying to do this simultaneously in a small recreational area, but for the individual filmmaker it's pretty cool.
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Old 10-27-2020, 11:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
I've had a drone fly over me as I was paddling on Indian Lake. It was only about 15 feet above me, hovering, as I was threading between some barely submerged rocks. The operator was at a campsite nearby. I considered this obnoxious.
It was an interesting operation with Lean2Rescue at Indian Lake recently. The lake itself allows motors, but the adjacent wilderness does not. So we were allowed to use a chainsaw to cut logs and lumber on the sandy beach at the high water level, but could not run it at the nearby leanto location 200 feet away into the woods. A drone would not legally be allowed there either.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:09 PM   #17
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I've camped on 51 a few times. I have a reservation there next August. Thanks for your volunteer work with LeanToRescue!

It's a lengthy paddle - about 2 hours. The first two miles are awful, but the other 4 I find quite enjoyable. Several years back someone illegally cut the screening vegetation between the main campsite and the shore.

I spoke with campground caretaker Joe earlier this summer - he said he thought there were more lean-tos planned for the campground - likely to also be located at campsites along the southern finger of Indian Lake.
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Old 10-27-2020, 12:45 PM   #18
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I spoke with campground caretaker Joe earlier this summer - he said he thought there were more lean-tos planned for the campground - likely to also be located at campsites along the southern finger of Indian Lake.
Sites # 14 and 41 (easy to remember for the dyslexic) are on the Schedule next to receive a leanto package, hopefully next spring.
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Old 12-22-2020, 05:59 PM   #19
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We had a NYS Forest Ranger confiscate 6 game cameras on TNC easement lands. He also confiscated 24 tree stands, most of them on neighboring easement land. Even though his superior told him , because of the transition from being decades long leased lands to public hunting land, not to confiscate. Seems a warning with a short time limit to remove would have been a better strategy.

It created a huge problem for the DEC and Forest Management Company that manages the neighboring lands. Soon after the confiscation, 7 of the property gates were cut down. It cost the ny taxpayer and land management company several thousand dollars to replace gates.

The tree stands I understand because they did not have ID on them and were still in place 30 days after the close of big game season. But a warning could have defused the situation.

We had a meeting with the Colonel of the Forest Rangers. The question was asked of him about trail cameras. His answer was, it’s a grey area and he could not give us a definitive answer.

After witnessing the drama and problems the ranger created by taking the cameras and tree stands, would suggest that other ECO’s and Ranger’s , not to do it, without first giving a warning.

Last edited by Tug Hill; 12-22-2020 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:35 PM   #20
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DUH! Use the confiscated trail cams to provide evidence against whoever is messing with the gates.
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