courtesy vcstar.com

At the moment, I’m reading Daniel Suarez’s new book Kill Decision. So far it’s a good read, as long as you can ignore the references to “drum clips” and other firearms nomenclature faux pas. He’s a technology-minded writer, and does a great job of taking current gizmos that are widely available and in use and envisioning the logical end result. Kill Decision is specifically about autonomous drones and what can happen if the same kind of military hardware that the U.S. is using in war zones makes its way into the wrong hands. And from what I can see, it looks like PETA may be the first example of that scary future coming true . . .

PETA Press Release:

PETA will soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves. The group is shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds. PETA aims to collect video footage of any illegal activity, including drinking while in the possession of a firearm, a common complaint from those who live near wooded areas; maiming animals and failing to pursue them so that they die slowly and painfully; and using spotlights, feed lures, and other hunting tricks that are illegal in some areas but remain common practices among hunters. PETA currently has its sights on Australia-based Aerobot and its state-of-the-art remote-controlled CineStar Octocopter.

“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching.”

Hunters, using high-powered guns and bows and arrows, slaughter and maim millions of animals every year, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many animals illegally. It can take weeks for some animals who are merely wounded to succumb to their injuries. And research shows that for every animal killed by a bow hunter, another is maimed, never to be found again. Furthermore, the slaughtered animals aren’t the only victims, because weak or young family members are left to starve or be attacked by predators.

PETA also intends to fly the drones over factory farms, popular fishing spots, and other venues where animals routinely suffer and die.

Sure, there are indeed some hunters that aren’t ethically hunting animals and need to be stopped. That I can get behind. But the use of the phrase “high-powered guns” makes me think that this will be another front on the continuing assault on firearms ownership in general.

Legislators are currently going out of their way to keep “traditional” hunting rifles out of the “assault weapons ban” great purge, but how many TV commercials playing one or two scenes of unethical hunters will it take to turn the Democrats’ attention towards stopping the “senseless violence” of hunting as well?

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92 Responses to PETA to Use Drones to Watch Hunters

  1. “…weak or young family members are left to starve or be attacked by predators.”
    So now its unethical for predators to attack prey?

    • PETA will not be happy until all carnivorous humans are dead and the animals left alone. It is immoral to kill animals, you see, even if you plan on eating them. We should all be vegetarians.

      Isn’t the octocopter the same type of drone that was severely damaged in an “unexplained” accident while spying on canned dove hunters at a private club?

      • Sure, ask North Korea how that whole veganism thing is working out for them. Seems I read that they are actually shrinking as a populous.
        No thanks, give me a steak any day.

      • No, PETA members would rather you buy and consume meat in a store that came from a animal raised in a factory farm, pumped full of antibiotics, and abused until meeting a very gruesome death in a slaughterhouse.

        Sure…

        because that is a much better alternative to cleanly and quickly killing a animal roaming the countryside! /sarcasm

  2. Just curious if it’s still destruction of private property if it “happens to crash” on your own land after judicious application of high molecular weight metals at high velocity. 😉

  3. You get one guy shooting quail with one of these buzzing nearby, and it won’t stay airborne for long.

    • copters of any sort burn through batteries rather quickly these idiots will find out real fast that hunting is a slow and patient affair and with only and hour or so tops run time you wont catch anyone doing anything

  4. Big Brother will be watching, along with any organization with enough coin to take to the skys via drone? Nice. Technology is grand, depending on its use, just like any tool… such as a gun.

      • I was thinking more along the lines of air combat with my own remote control plane, that would be AWSOME!

      • It will temporarily blind it for a second or two, it takes several watts and more than 30 seconds contract with the lense to burn camera optics to the point of being unusable, contrary to hollywood. Your eyes on the other hand will be gone with the first fuckup, You even looking at the dot without protection on 1+ watts is bad for your eyes.

        It takes 2 Watts and a good 20-30 seconds of point blank lens contact with even the cheapest web cam to destroy it. – youtube.

        (I have a Spartan II 1000Mw/1Watt blue laser and a 100Mw green Chinese laser)

        Toys from when I had a job. Fun times shining it into the sky on base, or around Oahu from the stairway to heaven.

    • i was thinking a dove load since drones are fragile. i bet i could powder it.

      seems smart to put up a drone around dove hunters. lol. most deer hunting near urban areas is shotgun, ill carry a shell or two.

  5. Just sayin it isn’t hard to make a pretty simple device (not FCC regulated of course) that would make these peta drones drop from the sky.

    I am assuming they are using off the shelf technology.

    Not any more complicated than the guts of a modded wireless phone or microwave.

    • Lasers of certain wavelengths (especially infra red) will blind most ccd cameras, but only IF they don’t use a filter. However, I’ve heard the fun and effective stuff, is in the realm of jamming. Especially off-the-shelf xcvrs like one would find on a discount drone.

      Here’s a place to start for those who are interested – scroll to the bottom few articles if you’re in a hurry…

      http://www.adafruit.com/blog/category/wavebubble/

    • 1) I think the FCC and FAA both would frown on making a jammer to interfere with the safe navigation of a legal drone.

      2) If PETA programs it to operate autonomously and you jam the telemetry the drone is sending back to its PETA operator the FCC will probably have a problem with that.

      3) Maybe a better legal way and one that provides some entertainment is to do what Japanese whalers do to the anti-whaler’s Sea Shepherd boats – ram them.

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/20/world/asia/australia-japan-whaling

      Low cost expendable drones takes down expensive sensor laden drone – gun owners own version of asymmetric warfare.

      Your average 10 year old will have a great time putting a fast moving drone in a position where the slow moving PETA drone causes the collision. PETA will come out on the short end of the kinetic bang for buck equation.

      The Russians tried to use similar tricks for years with “trawlers” to harass and cause incidents with Navy submarines and aircraft carriers. It would be real nice to apply the same tricks against these fellow traveling watermelons who are green on the outside but red on the inside.

      • 1) Of course the FAA and FCC would frown. Jammers are illegal, except under very limited circumstances. Or use by the gov of course. That has not stopped hobbyists.

        2) See #1.

        3) IF what PETA is doing at the time is considered “legal” then I assure you the FAA will not take kindly to interference with a legally operated craft. Manned or unmanned. Especially by ramming, or otherwise physically assaulting it by say, dragging monofilament streamers to snag their prop.

        Command and control of their bird would be in one of a handful of narrow frequency spreads. Ones that could be readily jammed for a few thousand feet using a coupla hundred bucks in salvaged and off-the-shelf electronics. Much lower profile than dogfighting their bird with your own hardware.

  6. One of the first things I always think when I see someone in public wearing a mask of any sort is that they are up to no good and don’t want to be identified or exposed for who they are and what they are doing because it is somehow wrong – legally, morally, or ethically, or all three.

    • It’s like people who wear Guy Fawkes masks who don’t know who he was or what he tried to do.

      …but than Batman wears a mask, he’s pretty cool in my books.

  7. As someone who has come face to face with PETA due to my line of research, I can tell you that Ingrid Newkirk is the antichrist of science.

    So I ask, does this mean that non-law enforcement agencies can do surveillance work on anyone they choose?

    Can WE survey gun control nuts?

  8. Their drone appears to be made out of duct tape and a soup can (communications? Not sure, as I see no string), so I think we’re okay.

  9. If they fly them under FAA rules at 400ft or less they will stop the deer hunting by scaring all the deer away. That’s probably their real goal.

    As for bird hunters, a 32-inch barrel, full chocked, semi-auto with 3-inch magnum shells in #4 buck should do the trick nicely….

    • Many states have laws prohibiting the harassment of animals AND of legal hunters. If PETA plays these games in your area, take a videocam to the woods with you and be ready to file charges against these orifices.

      • if you shoot them down, and they tried to press charges, theyd have to admit to illegal harrassment. i dunno, that looks like a big bird to me. oops. 😉

        • The bigger they are the easier to hit :). They have to be made really lightweight so they are easy to bring down at closer ranges as well.

      • I would personally cover up my tag for a second so I could cause a mystical game warden to warp in from the warden-ether. Then I would quickly uncover my tag and report the violators.

        Game wardens are crazy. Look around before you break a game rule, nothing but trees and breeze. Oops I made this snare an inch too-OHHOLYSHEEIT where did you come from mister smokey?! I swears it was just a slip!

  10. There are a few states that are already trying to pass laws to make it illegal to mount camera’s on drones unless you have a warrent or some other provision (i.e. checking for how far a fire has spread)

  11. seems if its known shotguns will be employed in the area, the drones enter at their own risk.

    goose guns and high powered lasers…

  12. An R/C airplane with a mounted camera recently discovered a Dallas slaughter house dumping pig blood into the Trinity river. Shut the whole place down permanently.

    This “hobbyist” just happened to be flying his plane in the area…

    • Sounds like the slaughterhouse was not supposed to be dumping pig blood in Trinity river. Likewise, if PETA catches a bunch of poachers I’ll tip my hat to them.
      Of course overflying, harrassing and recording legal hunters is another thing entirely.

  13. this isn’t real, PETA is just fantasizing about how great it would be if it was easy, and maybe scare some hunters into submission. to get any incriminating photos it would have to fly low enough to risk getting shot down. the “drone” part is the actually cheaper part, the highres camera and the moco system required to use it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. if anything, their best bet of getting anything actionable is to bait hunters into shooting their drone down and then try to get them on that.

  14. I just want to announce the formation of my new company “Drone Commander” which will manufacture and sell drone calls and related accessories. Our goal is to make it possible for the average sportsman to lure drones into the range of 00 buck.

  15. Murder in the woods? I’m a vegeterian and I think that equating killing animals legally to murder is insane. Hell illegally killing an animal is not murder. Peta wishes to give animals the same standing and rights as my grandkids? Fvck Peta.

  16. “Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching.”

    I hope they get a video of that. Murdering while alone in the woods would certainly be a stunt worth watching.

  17. Lol, I’m not surprised to find that I’m not the only one who would consider anything PETA puts in the air as KOS (kill on sight).

  18. Does PETA understand that preventing hunting will have a negative cascading effect on humans? I wish they would go away permanently.

  19. I’ve been in love with PETA ever since they tried to blow up my office building and kill the people working there.

    Gungrabbing politicians say it’s for the children, then bomb villages full of them. PETA says it’s for the animals while it runs the biggest kill operation in the US. Bin Laden said all we had to do to avoid future 9/11s was to leave the Middle East and convert to Islam. PETA says all we need to do is become vegans. All are terrorist sc^mbags and equally full of sh1t.

  20. I cant take PETA seriously. They’re a large group of animal abusing hypocrites. Im not one for hunting but it does serve a purpose. Maybe if a hunter shoots one down he can use the good ol’ South Park defensive and yell, “Its coming right for us!”

  21. When terrorists (PETA can be called nothing less) come your way-I suggest-what is good for the molester is good for the molested. Get a cheap r/c plane or helicopter via Amazon or one of the big box stores. Keep the r/c in your truck. When you hear or see the drone, fly yours right into theirs. Amazing what happens when an aircraft with rotors gets hit. Your loss will be in the 40-50 buck range, whereas theirs will be greater. Fighting fire with fire…………………

    • Just coming in for a closer look. In the international maritime world it’s called right of approch. You’re generally not allowed to collide under this concept, but those PETA drones are just too squirrelly.

  22. Here’s something we can do:
    Continue/increase our efforts to keep hunting humane, and encourage fellow hunters to do the same, especially the ones who need work in this area.

    Not only will this decrease the incentive for them to send drones and interfere with hunting, but will decrease the chance of them pushing towards more restrictions on responsible gun ownership in general, outside of the hunting world.
    We must remember that while there’s always a risk in hunting, a misplaced shot can indeed cause many agonizing hours or days to a feeling animal. Make sure you are completely confident in your shot, even if it means lost kills, lost time, etc. I know that maybe some pests eat away at your livelihood, but at the risk of sounding too compassionate, think how it would feel to be shot through the thigh and have to live with it.

    As to the strangely placed term “high-powered guns”, I guess we’re supposed to think of high-powered as more dangerous, more scary, more bad, and ignore the fact that high-powered is more humane than low-powered. Fascinating.

  23. I assume they will be using sport frequencies to fly the drone. It would be fairly easy, and probably cheap, to make a jamming device. Just turn it on when the drone is near, and the drone crashes. Maybe you could even clean it, and mount it. At least keep the camera and radio.

  24. If one of these fly over me it will be shot down!

    Called SELF DEFENSE as I will assume it is armed.

  25. “Sure, there are indeed some hunters that aren’t ethically hunting animals and need to be stopped”

    Please don’t refer to them as hunters. These people are called poachers. Big difference.

  26. Here’s how you win at this.

    1. DON’T shoot at it. That is the way to lose the PR battle. It’s a waste of a great opportunity.

    2. Figure out what brand they are using, they will be using off the shelf control stuff on an unlicensed frequency. Because that’s what this stuff uses (and there’s nothing wrong with these “drones” or “fpv airplanes” either, it’s just that some small groups are abusing them). There are devices you can buy off the interwebs that will jam wide swaths of the 900mhz, 2.4ghz, etc, spectrum. Normally not something you’d want to use. But out in middle of nowhere, no one is going to mind. The range they have is not far. Don’t worry about them buying a drone big enough to put a huge tele lens on, and using it to fly far up–drones required to lift and stabilize those for any length of time are pretty pricey and if they fly high enough they’ll fly foul of legal regulations anyway.

    3. Use your jammer, optionally with a directional antenna (may be needed to stay under power limits). It’s not going to fry the drone’s electronics or anything nutty like that–you don’t want to do that, anyway. It will be enough to shut down their control of the drone, though.

    4. Wait till the drone’s batteries get low and it falls from the sky (or some will auto land if they lose control/get low battery).

    5. Take the INTACT & UNDAMAGED drone to the Police and turn it in. Let them know it was harassing you, a legal and licensed hunter, and was harassing wildlife.

    At that point, you’ve done nothing illegal, interfering with the controls of an RC drone is, from what I can tell, not illegal (might be in some places, and might be regulated at some point, but from what I can tell it isn’t now–this applies to things that are out in an unlicensed spectrum where you aren’t interfering with someone’s communications, but I’m not a lawyer so your mileage my vary). You’ve done nothing violent. Guns won’t factor into it. You can say their drone was disturbing the environment and scaring off birds and wildlife, too, for bonus points. NO ONE likes peta. Not even the “liberal media”. You can bet the police can’t stand them either. Instead of the headline being “gun owner shoots legal drone” it will be “tech-saavy citizen stops privacy invasion!”.

    PS: you can jam cell phones easily, as well (not legal). The equipment is about $30 and will fit in your pocket.

  27. I just hope the camera on that thing stays working long enough to get some good footage of me pissing on it after I shoot the little f*cker down, just like any hunter would if they saw one of the little $10,000/hr doohickeys flying overhead.

    I know it’s pointless to ask, but does PETA ever think through any of the ideas they have?

  28. Poachers are not the nicest of people. One of, if not the most, dangerous cop jobs out there is game warden. I am thinking a couple of poachers armed the teeth could take out a PETA camp armed w/ a drone.

  29. You can build cheap autopilots out of stuff from radioshack. Heck I once saw a post on a home made electronics website where a guy built a simple, low-res FLIR camera out of an infrared thermometer using an off the shelf micro-controller. I wonder what it would take to build a small even cheaper drone to fly into the rotors of these things.

  30. Hey, look at the bright side. PETA is providing invaluable training at no cost. Once guys get proficient at shooting down PETA drones, they should be able to port those skills over to shooting down government drones if/when hostilities commence!

  31. I can see how this will turn out — great PR win for PETA if it can get hunters to attack unarmed drones being used to stop illegal activity. By destroying private property and thereby breaking the law, it will only reinforce the stereotype of gun onwers being trigger-happy yahoos spoiling for a fight. And the shoot-down video would be doubly effective dovetailed with clips of illegal hunting — Bambi panting in a pool of blood for hours, slowly dying underneath the shade of a tree. Sure would make a heck of a propaganda hit.

  32. Actually since PETA has publicly stated that it intends to “Stalk Hunters” and since it is a Felony to do so and since PETA has stated that it is persueing the means to do so They are liable to multible Felony charges and hopefully forfiture of funds under RICO

    • Holder will get around to that right after F and F finish up and the indictment of the Black Panthers is complete.

  33. How about hunters send up their own drone?

    Drone Wars. Now that would make a great Discovery Channel series.

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