Two bills have passed the Senate, and will soon get a vote in the House, that could render hunting drones illegal in the Great Lakes State.
These proposed bills could potentially outlaw the use of drones for all aspects of hunting. If they pass, hunting with drones and harassing hunters with drones could become punishable offenses.
The bills have already passed the Senate unanimously and will soon be considered by the House of Representatives.
Although no incidents of either activity have been reported to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), one spokesman for the agency considers the bills proactive.
MDNR spokesman Trevor VanDyke told reporters, “It’s currently against the law to harass hunters. This just clarifies the law. Currently, remote or computer-assisted hunting is prohibited. But drones are an emerging market.”
Organizations, such as PETA, feel hunting drones should be used to stop illegal hunting practices. According to the PETA catalog:
Using your hobby drone, you can collect instant to-your-phone video footage of hunters engaging in illegal activity, such as drinking while in possession of a firearm, injuring animals and failing to pursue them, and illegally using spotlights, feed lures, and other nasty but common hunting tricks. Your amateur footage can be used to alert game wardens and other authorities to who is doing what to animals.
Using hunting drones would be considered a misdemeanor crime under these bills with punishments up to one year in jail and $2,500 fines.
The bills are expected to be amended to accommodate similar rights for fisherman.