Thanks to the lipo battery, drones can be small and relatively inexpensive. Now they are everywhere. You can find a camera toting drones at your local mall, Best Buy or even Walmart. It’s estimated that consumers will be spending more than $100 million on drones this year.
With so many drones, in so many different hands, I guess I should haven’t been surprised when I read about hunters using drones in Shannon Tompkins’ “Name of ‘drones’ just one part of controversy” article. I don’t believe drones should be used in this fashion because I believe it creates an unfair advantage to hunters. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Orion – The Hunter’s Institute takes the same position.
It’s also a promising trend that multiple states have already banned the use of drones by hunters. These forward thinking states include “Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho, Michigan, Alaska, Montana and New Hampshire.” As a resident of California, I hope that my home state follows suit.
Hunting organizations have condemned using UAV technology to give hunters an unfair advantage over game. In 2013, the board of directors of Orion, the Hunter’s Institute approved a policy statement that states: “It is the position of Orion, the Hunter’s Institute that the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (UAVs) to aid or assist in hunting should be banned. We believe that the use of airborne camera and sensing equipment gives an unfair advantage to the hunter over game and is therefore a clear violation of the principles of fair chase. We further urge states to immediately ban the use of UAVs in hunting before they can become established.”
Several have done just that. More than a dozen states, including such major hunting states as Colorado, Wisconsin, Idaho, Michigan, Alaska, Montana and New Hampshire, have banned use of UAVs by hunters actively engaged in hunting. Most of the prohibitions are a variation of language in the law New Hampshire passed earlier this year that makes it a criminal violation to “use an unmanned aerial vehicle to attempt to locate or assist in the taking of wildlife.” Many of the states also include a prohibition on using UAVs to harass legal hunters, a tactic some anti-hunting groups have employed.
About Orion – The Hunter’s Institute
Since our founding in 1993, Orion has been focused on the pursuit of two goals that were born out of strategies developed at a 1992 governor’s symposium on hunting: First, we are dedicated to improving the image of hunting with an emphasis on fair chase ethics. Second, we are focused on putting hunters at the forefront of our nation’s conservation ethic.
We call ourselves The Hunter’s Institute because we view it as our mission to be the thought leaders and facilitators in the pursuit and evolution of open and honest discussion, debate, and consensus-building for the benefit of hunting.