Drones and hunting: Some states take aggressive stance but so far no rules in Oklahoma
As drones grow in popularity, some people are using them to hunt, prompting new legislation in some states. In Colorado, wildlife officials are taking a somewhat aggressive move to combat what they are calling an unfair hunting advantage.
"It could be as much as $125,000 fine if they can prove you have used a drone to locate and kill an animal," said Travis Duncan with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Violators can also be arrested, cited and their drones confiscated. The idea is Colorado officials don't want people using drones to scout ahead so they know where to find their targets. The odds are already stacked against the animal since you have the gun, so wildlife officials want the playing field as level as possible.
Oklahoma's game wardens share that idea.
"Make it more about using technology, getting the kill, and outsmarting the wildlife, then that's when the laws will catch up," said Oklahoma state game warden Carlos Gomez.
We've seen this in the past with other technologies that gave hunters too much of an edge.
"There was a time where it was the two-way radios, and now everyone is using their cellphones and text messaging. The computer-aided hunting equipment became a new fashion and was dealt with quickly by wildlife agencies across the country," said Gomez.
In Oklahoma, some hunters may have experimented with drones, but Gomez says at this point it hasn't been abused.
"When technology can create an advantage to actually take place, then we will have to step in and say that's not hunting," he said.
When it comes to drones and hunting, there are no rules here in Oklahoma. But do keep in mind, the FAA has their rules and you have to follow those.
As long as drones continue to be used as more of a toy than a tool when hunting, there shouldn't need to be a change in the rules.