I would like to get one to look around my mountain property. Just to see what's going on. Parts of it I haven't stepped foot on for years it's so rugged.
As far as using them for hunting, what's the difference in using one of those and a game cam that sends pictures to your cell phone?


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I'm into drones big time right now (in fact I'm working on getting my remote pilots license). My gut instinct is to say "no" to using them to locate game for the hunt, and "yes" to using them for recovery of game. My thoughts on this stem from deer hunting, I could care less if you used one for hogs. I classify hogs as an invasive though.

I'm also leary of property boundaries. I don't like the idea of these flying over private property without permission. In my opinion they should be treated the same as boots on the ground and trespassing.

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Catscratch's sentiments are the exact same as mine, couldn't have said it better.


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True for some - not for all...
In some jurisdictions this is already settled, this was big news when it happened:


There's no doubt that with their popularity growing rapidly, there's going to be the need for legislation that protects privacy and property rights. I think they're cool toys and in some case useful tools but there's been little effort to address the downside of their wide availability now and trust me when I say I'm about the last guy in the world who will call for more legislation/gov't rules/bureaucracy but this is one area where I think some common sense legislation is needed. On the topic of privacy, have any of you guys watched this new show "Hunted" on CBS? That right there will give you some thoughts on privacy in our world today.


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They probably will never be legal in most states for any aspect of deer hunting because of the ease with which they can be used to move/drive/herd deer ... and I'm OK with that (the fair chase issue). The same holds true for waterfowl hunting even though a lot of folks might love to use a drone to chase ducks/geese out of an inviolate area (refuge or corporate pond). Their use in predator/hog hunting is OK.


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It isn't just drones....and we're talking about hunting here. Just to expand the philosophical arena, lets start with archery. I don't even know what you call a primitive bow. Use it or a recurve? A recurve or a compound? Peep sights? Lighted sights? Primitive firearms used to be primitive firearms. Now, its hard to see the difference between a muzzleloader and a breech loader. Open sights or scopes? Heck a rifled barrel or a smooth barrel? Aren't we always making value judgement? It might be for you but it isn't for me! Why do you hunt? Do assume my reason is yours! It's different in Virginia than it is in Iowa than it is in Montana. Heck, here in Virginia we just defeated a bill to allow baiting.

Drones are cool. I'm still trying to decide if and how they fit into hunting. Before I address that, let me raise up hunting compared to some other sports. Bowling? Do you get to decide what you value and play the game the way you want to play the game? Golf? Is there room for this kind of discussion? The rules are the rules, right?

This is healthy and freeing and exciting! That's my value judgement.

I think a lot of us here drank (drink?) the QDM(A) poison. We all want(ed) to be game mangers and farmers. We want(ed) to grow the biggest and the best....and the way I read a lot of posts here and there, some (of us) would go to any level to grow the biggest bucks and to have the best weed free food plots. We (would) spend massive amounts of money to stroke our (my) ego. And that's acceptable and healthy! We all have to be somewhere and doing something! Positive, I hope.

How is a drone any different? I'd ask where does it stop? And, I'd answer, I hope it never does because each of us has to look inward to decided who we are and what we value! That's the challenge and joy of hunting.

Your worried about privacy and trespassing? I think it's too late! Next move is to figure out how to thwart your (our) loss of anonymity! If you use a computer (you're here, right?) you should check out TOR.

WTF? Thermal imaging on a drone? Tell me how! What a great tool for mastering the ways of the whitetail. Where are they and why are they there? How many? What kind? For me, though, it's not about the kill -- it's about the prospect of becoming more enlightened.

Deer? You can have all the technology and insight available. It's still going to be a challenge! Always and everywhere!

Drones? How cool!

I'm still undecided...

I hope you don't mind my babbling....and even find some entertainment in it.

Shaynelv, you have provide great thoughts, and I thank you for this!


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I know a small town in eastern Colorado was actually selling drone hunting permits a few years ago, so depending on where you are you might have some trigger happy people looking to blast something mechanical out of the sky


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X-farmerdan.....I like your perspective.

I imagine soon we will see university researchers using them for all sorts of studies.

Imagine being able to watch behavioral patterns in response to weather, drought, seasons etc.....live!

I sure would like to know more about my herd. Will I use it to kill them? NO. But it does fascinate me to think about the possibilitys.
For starters... Brush up on current regulations. By stating that you have flown ahead 2 miles, and over 1000 feet, you have already broken two, possibly more.

That said, I don't support for any kind of hunting and it's already in the works if not in effect in KY. The problem with using for tracking is it makes it harder to define Intent. That's why Spotlighting is illegal in KY and any form of baiting March 1-May 31 in KY. Before, during, after spring Turkey season. Do it, your breaking the law, period. No interpretation.

I have been an avid hunter all of my life. Over the past few years I have emerged myself in drone technology which is ome of the largest growing consumer markets worldwide.

I know there has been an ongoimg debate about the use of drones to track down and locate game. I have mixed feelings and would like to reach out to both old school and younger hunting enthusiasts before I consider utilizing my high end thermal imaging drone commerciallly to assist hunters locating deer or hog.

I recently went on a trip with 3 neighbors on a lease they owned. The property like so many here in Texas is riddled with hogs and the damage is widespread to the entire area.

I was able to use my thermal imaging to fly overhead up to 2 miles ahead of our party and locate areas that contained higher populations and direct the group in their direction. I did not use it for short range and I was flying 1000 ft plus in elevation. This didnt give an exact location but rather just gave an approximation of the distance and direction to assist.

Needless to say, the guys had a more fruitful hunt and it reduced the amount of time we spent drastically.

I am divided and cant decide whether it was a good or bad thing.. I saw it as not much different than hiring a guide or scout who already knows the land and the hotspots for taking game.:

In this day and age where people have less and less freetime. Young people want and need instant gratification (which goes against all ai learned from my grandfather about hunting.) I have seen a drastic disinterest in hunting even from my own step children than Ive seen a decade ago. Lazy people who want to grab a wall mount even pay these days to have game released right in front of them to avoid the cost, time, and effort of a real hunt. It makes me sick.

However, deer and hog are running rampant and putting them in check improves the overall quality of the lands once they are minimized...

If used a general tool to assist in locating a heading for the hunter but not as a pin point device is it really such a bad idea?

What if laws were passed for operators of such drones requiring them to have special training and licensing? Only certain types of game, max amount of hours of use per day/session, minumum distance of say 1000 yards, whatever... To limit the use and impact..

Could it bring interest to the next gen of hunters? Reduce costs of expensive hunts on high priced leases while increasing probability of hunters bringing home trophies but not making it a sure thing?

I am all for assist but not down with completley eliminating the skill and time needed for a successful outing.

My question to all of you is this:
If done with moderation amd respect for wildlife and only to locate the general heading what do you think of drone us in that scenario?


I have considered the new Mavik Pro for post-season scouting. I hunt almost exclusively public land in river bottom/flood plane and it sure would streamline my time. I can't tell you how many times I take a mile hike back only to find out that the last high water ripped all the trees out and it's bare sand now... it could be interesting for summer inventory scouting too.
In season, I personally believe they have no place in the air.

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I have considered the new Mavik Pro for post-season scouting. I hunt almost exclusively public land in river bottom/flood plane and it sure would streamline my time. I can't tell you how many times I take a mile hike back only to find out that the last high water ripped all the trees out and it's bare sand now... it could be interesting for summer inventory scouting too.
In season, I personally believe they have no place in the air.

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Unfortunately, under current FAA regulations, if your using a drone then you aren't allowed to have it leave your line of sight. This is a maximum f somewhere around 3000 feet +/- depending on weather conditions.

I'm in the process of gaining my 107 certification for sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems) for my profession as a land surveyor, and it's surprising all the regulations that drone users aren't adhering to. If you are using your drone for commercial use then you have to make sure that you are following all the regulations put in place by the FAA.


Honestly, the FAA really has their head in the sand regarding drones. The current regulations are ridiculous. There are many places where, regardless of altitude, you can't fly a drone for over 20 miles in all direction. They even have old grass strips that have been plowed under and turned into neighborhoods on the list. I understand the line of sight thing, but I think at altitudes under 400-500ft they should allow much les stringent flying restrictions.
Fortunately, the only place I really want to is it would be outside 2 miles from listed fields, so the only restriction would really be altitude and distance. And honestly, I would have little to no use for it above 100 feet or so. Google Earth resolutions are getting high enough that it may be a mute point for me anyways. I have already gone in blind to a specific tree I picked on GE. I knew my ranges to other landmarks and everything.

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So true on the FAA having their heads in the sand.

I live in a very rural area. Closest neighbor is a half mile away, but I have a "airport" that's less than five miles away, so every time I want to fly I have to contact the tower there. That would be fine if there actually was a tower, or an airport there, but all that is there is a hay field where no plane has landed or taken off from in at least ten years. They need to allow to fly within five miles of more than just G classified airports.


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I have minimal experience with drones but here are a couple of thoughts about drones and their practical application in hunting. Ive spent lots of hours flying helicopters over the low brush in S. Tx and Mexico. Deer, especially bucks, quickly figure out helicopters and become quite adept at hiding from them. Plenty of studies have been done showing observation variability with helicopter surveys . This in country where you would think you could see every mouse. Thus I am doubtful that drones would be especially effective at consistently spotting deer particularly in timber country and seriously doubt they would ever be effective at driving deer.

I can tell lots of stories about deer hiding from helicopters but one in particular stands out. We happened to look directly underneath us and spotted a superstar 10 point hiding at the base of a mesquite tree. He was literally on his knees with his head down. We slowly lowered till the prop wash was flattening everything around him. Finally he darted out straight ahead and before the helicopter could get going and catch him he was out of sight. we never saw him again from the air and in fact never saw him all season.

All said I agree with posts above and nonetheless think drones should not be used on whitetails but am all far hog eradication! Still I doubt they would be very effective on deer.

Triple C

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From a guy that owns one of the really nice ones...Hire someone with a nice drone to come out and take overhead pics and videos of your property. After about 5 times flying you've seen all you want to see. For me personally...one of the worst and most useless uses of cash I've ever parted with. Mine sits in the gun safe. Wish I had the money sitting in the bank rather than losing value in the gun safe.