The state Senate passed legislation banning hunters from using drones to track game and banning other groups from using drones to track hunters.
Michigan legislators joined their cohorts in Alaska, Montana, and Colorado when they passed laws banning the use of drones for hunting purposes. The same law also bans drones for tracking or “spying” on hunters and hunting activities. This trend is spreading across the nation, as bans are also being considered in Illinois and Oregon.
Banning hunting with drones is supported by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and has the general support of hunters and non-hunters alike. However, PETA encourages the use of drones to track the activities of hunters.
“It isn’t a big issue right now, but it is something we wanted to get ahead of, the unfair advantage drones could provide in tracking game could give all hunters a black eye,” said the Conservation Clubs’ spokesman Drew Youngedyke.
The Senate bill would ban drones for use in hunting any game, but the penalties would vary by type of game. Penalties include jail time from five days to one year and fines from $200 to $5,000. The largest penalties overall pertain to the use of drones in moose hunting.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and in one House committee and could be presented for a full House vote by early March 2015. This measure protects game, as well as hunters, from unscrupulous use of drones.