Alaska Ban on Hunting with Drones

droneIn this new world where everything we do will soon be observed by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), it stands to reason someone will come up with a way to use the annoying things for hunting. If you think about it, a drone with a camera can be great tool to locate that elusive trophy. And one of the best places to use this tool is a big empty state like Alaska.  Unfortunately, this brilliant idea is about to die a blazing death, shot down before it began.

Robert Gearty of FoxNews reports, “Alaska this month became the third state recently to take action. On March 17 the Alaska Board of Game approved a regulation that would prohibit hunters from spotting game with unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. It is expected to become law July 1.” So, why would anyone want to ban this useful tactic? There are two schools of thought. Of course, we have the animal rights side who want to ban anything to do with hunting, but, surprisingly, many hunters are also opposed.

Somewhere, the line has to be drawn between hunting and killing. A drone could eliminate much of the hunting in hunting, by letting the hunter know exactly where the animal is. Some feel this is unsportsmanlike and a way to take the work and the thrill from winning that elusive trophy.  They don’t want to ‘cheat’ themselves from the experience of using their skills to find, stalk, and bag that single lifetime trophy.

One other issue for hunters are that drones are another way to make hunting a rich man’s sport and not the pastime of the average man who comes from a long time family tradition. In similar fashion to the rich who buy-up or lease-up prime hunting land, soon only those who can afford a fancy drone will be able to take the trophies, the playing field no longer leveled by those who work hardest, but by those who have the most money.

However, if you take the drones out of the spotting and stalking part of hunting, they can be a useful tool in the science of hunting. There are many scientific uses for a drone. They can take counts of herds, and watch for predation and illness among other things. They are also useful in agriculture, and search and rescue.

Even if a drone doesn’t give an animal a sporting chance in hunting, perhaps a drone can give the animals a sporting chance at survival, and that’s what a hunter, a true conservationist really wants. We want the animals to thrive, so we can continue to hunt them.