Cumberland Times-News

November 23, 2013

Colorado dealing with use of drones by hunters to spot big game animals


Cumberland Times-News

— LAMAR, Colo. (AP) — Colorado wildlife

officials are taking a close look at setting limits

for hunters using drones to help spot

potential game, saying it gives hunters an

unfair advantage.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission

began discussion on the question Thursday

in Lamar.

It’s a separate question than the one pending

before voters in Deer Trail, which is considering

flouting federal law and issuing permits

to hunt with aerial drones.

Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy

Hampton says the technology makes it easier

to hunt and that ethical guidelines about

drones are needed.

“There is a ton of technology available to

people that would make it very, very easy for

people to hunt. We try to hold the line to

make sure that hunting is done in an ethical

manner,” Hampton said.

The use of aircraft to aid in hunting is

explicitly illegal under a federal law called

the Airborne Hunting Act.

That law prohibits people from hunting for

at least 48 hours after you fly over an area.

However, the law was created years before

the private use of unmanned drone aircraft,

KMGH-TV reported.

“It was not something that most people

were engaged in and it wasn’t needed in a

regulatory model,” Hampton said. “Because

it has become more prevalent we want to

make sure people understand it is still outside

the bounds of what is allowed.”

If adopted, it would take effect for the 2014

big game season, which begins in the end of

August.