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Vermont Joins Hunting, Fishing Drone Ban

The latest in the story of Vermont’s battle with assisted hunting, which looks close to a full on drone ban.

The state of Vermont is closing in on passing legislation that would ban using drones to assist hunters and anglers in tracking prey.

Believe it or not, the strongest proponents of the drone petition, which is working its way through the Department of Fish and Wildlife, are not conservationists or animal rights activists. They’re Sportsmen.

Eric Nuse of Orion, the Hunter’s Institute and Tovar Cerulli of the New England chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers started the petition, arguing that using drones for surveillance or “herding” of animals violated the rules of fair chase, and essentially ruined the spirit of hunting and Angling.

The board is drafting a petition to ban the practice.

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“Drones are just an overwhelming technology that have no place in hunting,” says Nuse. He’s the former executive chair and current member of Orion, which advocates for “fair chase hunting.”

Hunting is better when hunters rely primarily on their senses, Nuse says.

“They have to be skillful, they have to be patient, and they have to put forth the effort. That’s what modern hunting is about.”


“It’s something that our board was interested in addressing before it became an issue in Vermont,” says Catherine Gjessing, general counsel for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. She drafted the ban for Vermont, which  joins successfully banning legislation in Alaska, Montana, and Colorado.

The bans are attributed to a 2013 video where hunters in Canada use a quadcopter drone to track and kill a moose.

The video has since received a lot of public outcry, and has been sited in several drone-banning propositions.

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Vermont Joins Hunting, Fishing Drone Ban