Drones are surprisingly cheap, remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircrafts used for a variety of purposes. Companies like Amazon plan on using drones as a means to quickly ship their merchandise, the government utilizes drones as a form of weaponry and some hunters in Alaska are using drones to help them hunt big game. A basic drone for a hunter costs only about $1,000, says Captain Bernard Chastain, operations commander for the Wildlife Troopers. Considering the achievement of the technology, that’s a very accessible price.
Hunters can use drones to fly above trees and other obstacles that otherwise would impede their vision. This is effectively giving the hunter a bird’s eye view of the scene; this is a great and dangerous advantage that will soon be outlawed in Alaska. The issue of drones in hunting was brought up at a recent Alaska Board of Game meeting, where members voted a measure to prohibit hunters from using the drones to spot or kill game. “What happens a lot of times is technology gets way ahead of regulations and the hunting regulations don’t get a chance to catch up for quite a while,” says Chastain.
Troopers first addressed the issue in 2012 when they heard about a drone-assisted moose kill in Alaska. Unless the law explicitly states that drone-assisted hunting is illegal, it remains legal. The logic behind making drones illegal is in the principle of fairness. If one person is capable of spotting a lot of game and collecting the animals, opportunity is missed for others who do not have the same advantage. Possibly even more important to consider is the health of a species. A species’ population could be put into jeopardy if a large group of hunters used such an easy method to collect their kill.
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