Is drone hunting, actually shooting down a drone, realistic?
Most of us think of hunting licenses as the tags we purchase each year from our state’s Department of Natural resources which allow us to hunt deer, elk, birds, and other live game in a legal sporting fashion. One man in Colorado, however, wants to expand that definition to include a provision for hunting machines, begging the question of whether we are living life in the real world or have somehow found our way into a science fiction movie.
The Colorado man – a resident named Philip Steel, who lives in the town of Deer Trail – had spent much of 2013 promoting an ordinance that would make the hunting of drones and other unmanned aircraft a legal pursuit. The ordinance would introduce licenses for the legalization of drone hunting. In addition, it would also seek to establish bounties for the hunting of drones. In other words, Steel wants to be rewarded for shooting down drones in public places.
READ OUR ORIGINAL REPORT: Colorado Town Delays Drone Hunting Vote
Steel’s furor may be directed in part at Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.com, who revealed a while back that his company was looking into unmanned aircraft technology with the goal of developing a faster and more efficient means of delivering products ordered online. The new Amazon service would be called “Prime Air,” and would ostensibly replace UPS, USPS, FedEx, and other cross-country delivery services in bringing products to the front doors of consumers all over the country.
Of course, Amazon is nowhere near implementing Prime Air just yet. The most optimistic reports indicate that the service could be up and running within five years, but even that time period has Steel jumping the gun a bit. The government has grabbed headlines this year for its use of drones in foreign warfare, but most Americans – Steel included – have yet to see a drone with their own eyes.
In reality, Steel’s fear of drones has very little to do with Amazon.com, though the internet merchandiser has brought itself into Steel’s crosshairs simply by being the first major corporation to propose bringing drones into the everyday lives of American citizens.
In actuality, Steel is worried that drones will serve as a way for the government to spy on its citizens, and eventually, to control them. In response to this threat, Steel has launched a war against drones and unmanned aircraft in general, proposing to add the machines to “fair game” hunting lists in Colorado and beyond.
There is even an upcoming drone shooting event being held in Deer Trail, announced on DroneShooters.com, the site Steel uses to carry on his message.
There’s really no way that Steel’s ordinance can pass its April vote. After all, a drone being shot down by a hunter – whether it was an Amazon.com delivery model of a government-owned surveillance drone – would undoubtedly represent a major destruction of property. Given how sparse drones are, even today, you can bet that they cost an awful lot of money to produce.
In other words, you shouldn’t expect to be buying a drone hunting license from your state anytime soon, but would you consider it if one were an option? Hunting flying robots would certainly represent a new kind of challenge in the hunting world, and is the kind of target practice usually reserved for movies or video games.