Boone and Crockett Club says cellular trail cams unethical

Boone and Crockett

Deer killed with use of cell cams now disqualified for B&C Club

Cellular trail cameras are amazing pieces of equipment that have helped hunters kill their target bucks by transmitting photos of the animals in real time. Instead of waiting until you physically go to check your camera, the camera sends photos to you right when the photos are taken.

This can help a hunter determine which stand to go to — and when. And if his/her schedule allows, they can be in their stand before the deer leaves. It can also help them develop a pattern of the buck’s behavior and base their next hunting venture on that information.

In December, the Boone and Crockett Club decided to disqualify any future applications from hunters that used a cellular trail cam to help kill their trophy animal. And that’s not the only type of hunting gear that the group has added to their disqualifying list.

Smart scopes — rifle scopes that have built-in rangefinders — also have been deemed against B&C rules. Thermal imaging devices, while allowed to help track wounded game, are disqualifying if used to target game animals during the hunt.

Hunters applying for Boone and Crockett must sign a fair chase statement

Killing a buck that meets the minimum score requirements for acceptance into the Boone and Crockett Club is a very rare feat, especially in the Carolinas. But for those who have, they’ve always been required to sign an affidavit swearing the hunt was “fair chase.” This means the animal wasn’t inside a high fence, no drugs were used, and the hunter didn’t violate local hunting laws.

With this latest ruling, that fair chase affidavit will also include that no cellular trail cams or range finding scopes were used.

The Club’s statement reads that “sights with built-in range finding capabilities and technology that delivers real-time location date (including photos) to target or guide a hunter to any animal” are considered against the Club’s code of ethics.

Justin Spring is the director of records for the Boone and Crockett Club. He said it’s up to each hunter to decide their own ethics. But he also stressed that Boone and Crockett views their new rules as the bare minimum.

“At the end of the day, our fair-chase entry requirements were never intended to be the end-all list of what is and what is not fair chase. Our intent is to try to show folks that each person will have their own personal fair-chase ethic. Our requirements are the bare minimum. You can’t drop below our standards and be anywhere close to fair chase,” said Spring.

Click here for more information on the Boone and Crockett Club.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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