A hearing is scheduled for October 21 to discuss a proposal by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board to ban the use of drones and other aircraft to locate game animals in the field.
Modern hunters use a lot of high-tech gadgets to track down their prey, but Vermont legislators are looking to pull the plug on one controversial tool: remote-controlled drones. A public hearing is set for October 21 to discuss the issue.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board was inspired to draft their own ban on drones after receiving a petition from Back Country Hunters and Anglers and Orion-The Hunter’s Institute. If the proposal becomes law, Vermont will be the latest state to ban the use of drones, joining states such as Alaska, Colorado, and New Mexico which have nixed unmanned aircraft in hunting. Supporters of the bans say drones violate the age-old hunting tradition of fair-chase.
“We feel that the use of drones to aid in hunting is inappropriate and overwhelming technology that would essentially undermine the concept of fair-chase hunting.”
– Eric Nuse, former executive director of Orion, the Hunter’s Institute.
Drones haven’t yet posed a problem for state authorities, but the proposal aims to be a preemptive measure as drones become more popular and affordable.
“We’re just trying to stay ahead of the curve,” said Vermont Game Warden Lt. Curtis Smiley. “Most ethical hunters do not agree with it at all and do not think they should be used. Sometimes if you get ahead of them, you can get the law in place before it becomes an issue.”
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