Using drones to gain an advantage when hunting or fishing might soon be illegal under a bill proposed by state Sen. Julie Morrison.
“Let’s keep the man —or woman—in outdoorsman,” the Deerfield Democrat said in a statement. “Using drones to hunt makes the process too easy. That’s not fair for hunters and fishers who are seriously into the sport, and it’s not fair for the animals that deserve a chance to escape.”
While small animals that fear birds of prey run when they see unmanned aerial vehicles, larger game animals such as deer are unfazed by small aircraft, making them easy pickings for high-tech hunters, the statement said.
“The sentiment is that using drones to hunt is basically cheating,” Morrison said. “I’m inclined to agree.”
The senator came up with the idea for Senate Bill 44 while talking to officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources last year. It might include an amendment to allow the use of drones to hunt or fish for invasive nuisance species such as Asian carp.
Several other states, including Colorado, Montana and Alaska, have passed laws or rules banning the use of drones for hunting and angling, and they’re off-limits in Wisconsin under existing state law, the statement said.
Under the law, conservation police and other DNR employees would be allowed to confiscate drones used for hunting, the statement said. The hunter could also be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and jail time.