Should we use drones for scouting? As technology advances and changes, we will have new decisions to make.
Recently, the use of drones for many purposes has really taken off in America. Just this last summer a photographer used a drone to video my cousin’s wedding. It was a little bizarre to see the tiny flying machine buzzing adeptly over the crowd, and I know more then a few people spent more time watching the drone than the ceremony.
Today drones are used for surveillance, photography, precision agriculture, and for enjoyment, along with a million other reasons. One use some people have discovered is to use drones for scouting their hunting spots.
Watch this video to take a look.
Obviously the use of drones for scouting raises some eyebrows, and folks are bound to have different opinions on the matter. Some will attest the use of drones violates the sanctity of hunting and their use should be outlawed. Others will claim drones are basically like trail cams, and who could argue the ethics of a trail cam?
Like most issues, I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Drones probably have their place, or will make room, in the hunting community, but also raise some questions of ethical use.
While the use of drones for scouting is still in its infancy, how we decide to proceed ahead is important. Here are a few possible guidelines to follow when discussing how drones should be used for hunting.
1. No same day hunting.
Similar to Alaska’s law in that make hunters wait 24 hours after flying before they hunt. If you want to fly drones for scouting, you must wait 24 hours after flying the drone before you hunt the area you scouted. This would discourage hunters bedding a deer or elk with a drone and then moving in.
2. No use of drones with hunters in the field.
Another action that should be eliminated is the use of drones while hunters are in the field. Similar to the no 24 hour hunt rule, if you disallowed the use of drones while a hunter is in the field you would discourage people from having a drone pilot scanning an area then texting, or calling, a hunter in the field. I think most hunters would agree this might be an abuse of technology when it comes to ethical hunting.
3. No harassing animals.
Maybe it’s my mischievous mind at work, I found my way to the principal’s office a time or two, or maybe it’s legitimate, but can’t you imagine someone using a drone to swoop in to spook a deer off the neighbors or hazing it past your stand? I’ve done some drive, or push, hunts in the past, and in my opinion, there is a difference between a group of people pushing deer around and a drone. Call me nostalgic.
With the use of drones so new, I’m sure the debate will rage as they become more and more popular. Like it or not, it is time to start thinking about how we use drone for scouting. Let the debate begin.