If North Carolinians want to bag some game they’ll have to do so the old fashioned way, without help from an unmanned aerial vehicle (a.k.a., a drone) if new legislation passes in the state legislature. The state’s lower house recently unanimously passed a bill outlawing the use of drones for hunting and fishing and the state Senate is about to vote on it.
The bill also outlaws the use of drones to surveil people or private property without consent; their use for hunting (or fishing) prey would also be restricted.
Per WRAL Techwire:
Using a drone to hunt or fish or to harass hunters would be a misdemeanor. Putting a weapon on one, or using one with a weapon on it, would be a felony, as would using a drone to interfere with manned aircraft traffic.
(One word: Phew.)
As IEEE Spectrum reported, there was never really a question of allowing armed drones to hunt by proxy, but the new law would mean that a hunter can’t use images from a drone to help locate prey.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is already struggling with how to handle an influx of consumer operated drones and it’s unclear whether its rules regulating drones will stand.
But other authorities are stepping into the fray: last month the National Park Service moved to outlaw drone use over 84 million acres of park lands. In January, Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission banned their use to assist hunters. Field & Stream has a good story on the controversy.
In a nutshell, purists feel that use of drones to find prey is akin to using bait and traps. But I’m betting this isn’t the last we’ll hear about this.