Drone Hunting

By Mark HuelsingJuly 24, 2013

LAST UPDATED: May 1st, 2015

Big Brother has been in the news a lot recently.  The National Security Administration (NSA) has come under fire for its far-reaching surveillance of American’s communications, and many citizens are becoming increasingly sensitive to privacy issues.  The climax of this anti-spying movement is most apparent in Deer Trail, Colorado. The board of this small town will be voting on an ordinance that would allow the city to begin selling hunting licenses for drones.  Yes, drones.  Not only would this ordinance permit the sale of drone hunting licenses, it includes a reward program for anyone that successfully shoots down a drone.

The ordinance specifies that $100 will be rewarded to, “any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”  The ordinance was proposed by Deer Trail resident, Phillip Steel, who stated that he hopes if, “[drones] fly in town, they get shot down.”  Steel has never seen a drown fly over his town, but he believes that passing such an ordinance is a symbolic way to voice opposition against the “surveillance society”.


Some hunters may soon get a chance to take aim at this! Or will they? (image appears courtesy of Don McCullough)

Would this ordinance actually make it legal to hunt drones?  That is certainly debatable.  After all, it is against the law to destroy federal property.  You might think that this ordinance is just the wild proposal of one man voicing his opposition of Big Brother – certainly this ordinance has no chance of actually passing a vote of the seven-member Deer Trail board – right? Wrong. Although Mr. Steel is very serious about this regulation, and wants to see drone hunting become a reality, the Deer Trail board is considering passing the ordinance for other reasons – novelty, community, and money.

The ordinance outlines the requirements for attaining a drone hunting license.  Background checks will not be required.  Applicants can remain anonymous, but must be at least 21-years-old, have the ability to “read and understand English,” and pay $25. At $25 per license, the tiny town of Deer Trail could bring in a relatively significant amount of money from people that buy the permits for novelty.  Deer Trail board member, David Boyd, told a Denver reporter, “Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that’s cool. That’s a lot of money to a small town like us.”  In fact, Boyd – who is just one of 7 Deer Trail board members – is leaning towards voting to pass the ordinance, “as long as it’s safe.”

The idea of the drone hunting license has even spawned new ideas to bring more visitors to Deer Trail and help Deer Trail residents rally together and strengthen the community.  One idea is to begin an annual drone-themed skeet shooting festival. Maybe your next hunting trip out west won’t be for an animal after all.
Tell us what you think about this idea. Is it good or bad? Would you participate in the program? Why or why not? Sound off. Let YOUR voice be heard.

Mark Huelsing
I am a husband to one very patient and understanding woman, a father to two amazing kids, a hunter, an explorer, a wanderer, a thinker and a writer. You can follow Mark's adventures at soleadventure.com
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