Alaska Bans Hunting with Drones

“Hunting big game in Alaska with the help of remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft will be illegal later this year when new regulations take effect,” reports. “Troopers brought up the issue with game board members in February after hearing about a drone-assisted moose kill in Interior Alaska in 2012, Chastain said. That moose hunt was reported to troopers by state Department of Fish and Game staff, the trooper captain said, but there were few details about it, because the moose kill was apparently legal and troopers did not investigate it.” Color me confused. What the problem? And the Game Board’s rationale for government intervention in drone assisted hunting is . . .

Prohibiting the use of drones is based on the same principle of fairness as the same-day airborne regs, [operations commander for the Wildlife Troopers Capt. Bernard] Chastain said.

In the proposed regulation, remote-controlled aircraft are listed with unlawful hunting methods including the use of poison, bombs, radio communication or exploding salt licks, among other things.

“Other people don’t have a fair opportunity to take game if somebody else is able to do that,” Chastain said. “On the biology side, if you make it too easy to take animals, then there’s not opportunity for everybody else out there, because they can only allow so many animals to be taken.”

Didn’t Kurt Vonnegut write a short story along these lines? Long story short, Louisiana remains the drone-assisted hunter’s go-to happy hunting ground. Who’d a thunk it?


  1. Well, since Obama’s cut off sales of Hellfire missiles to the military, don’t we need the civilian market to support their sales and manufacture?

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  2. avatar lolinski says:

    Mothertrucker. Can you at least use them against pests like feral pigs?

  3. avatar Cliff H says:

    Much more entertaining than listening to Eliot Fineman “drone” on.

  4. avatar Dennis says:

    Exploding salt licks? Where can I get one!!!

    Seriously though, I have no problem banning drones for hunting game that has a limit. For hogs, go hog wild.

  5. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Most of the drones I know from DC aren’t hunters anyway, so no loss there.

    …unlawful hunting methods including the use of poison, bombs, radio communication or exploding salt licks

    Wait, WHAT? An air strike on small game?

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      It’s coming right for us!

      1. avatar DonS says:

        Democrats piss me off.

  6. avatar Allen says:

    What about hunting drones?

    1. We must do all we can to stop this drone-on-drone violence. Also protect the children. Also . . . . oh, squirrel.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    2. avatar Larry says:

      Are you thinking about those DC drones again?

  7. avatar jsallison says:

    I sense an emerging market selling Bullwinkle AAA…

  8. avatar B says:

    Huh, I’ve read that story before, didn’t realize it was Vonnegut. I think it may have been in English class in school.

  9. “exploding salt licks”

    Really? They don’t allow those? Oh c’mon!

  10. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    I’m kind of with the Fish and Game people on this one. How many subsistence hunters are going to be able to afford a drone to compete against trophy hunters? With bag limits it definitely is a competition. Plus it is consistent with existing regulations (i.e. same-day airborne), it would be strange to say remote-controlled aircraft and airborne scouting are a no-go, but drones are OK.

    1. avatar 2Alpha says:

      Same, I’m not a fan of trophy hunting, and it seems to me using a drone is just, how should I put this…really lame. Fish in a barrel.

  11. avatar cam says:

    1st I’m ok with no rc use in hunting of game animals (I don’t consider feral hogs game animals) also I would like to ban the calling of every rc with a camera on it a drone

  12. avatar cam says:

    I also would like some of these exploding salt licks as this seems entertaining

  13. avatar KMc says:

    “Principle of fairness,” doesn’t that mean arming the Wildlife? Shouldn’t they be able to shoot back?
    Just thinking out loud.

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      When it comes to hunting regulations, “fairness” applies to being fair to other hunters. In Alaska, if I recall, it is also illegal to have an airplane spotting for the hunter(s) on the ground, so the no-drone rule is a totally logical extension of the no-plane rule.

      1. avatar KMc says:

        Stillborn joke on my part.

      2. avatar bobmcd says:

        Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to get all literal on you. I guess I’m just used to people arguing that hunting is inherently unfair.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Speaking of fairness, I heard an urban-legend-grade story about some guy who went deer hunting with a knife. He climbed a tree over a path in the woods, and when the deer walked under him, he pounced. It’s reported that the thing nearly killed him. Evidently, those horns and sharp little hooves are some fairly effective self-defense tools!

        2. avatar KMc says:

          In the spirit of March Madness, no harm no foul.

  14. avatar Zachary marrs says:

    I fucking lost it at “exploding saltlicks”

  15. avatar tdiinva says:

    Since you are not a hunter you are probably not aware of the concept of fair chase. It is the reason why you can’t shoot game birds until they are in the air and that you can’t bait deer during hunting season. I personally think that hunting deer with modern firearms from a tree stand or blind is not fiar chase. The fair chase concept is an essential part of wild life management.

  16. avatar Mario says:

    Why isn’t anyone noticing they also banned walkie-talkies by banning radio communications.

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      That law’s been on the books for decades (and it includes cell phones).

  17. avatar Billy G says:

    It’s not a drone you idiots. It’s a radio controlled hobby toy. Either a heli or a multirotor. The media in this country is staffed with nitwits.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    So citizens can’t hunt moose with drones but the G can hunt citizens with drones? Got it.

  19. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

    If hunters 300 years ago couldn’t find game to stalk and hunt, they didn’t eat. A little adversity for the modern hunter in that they can’t use drones to do their dirty work is fair.

  20. avatar Philip Mehegan says:

    As a hunter, it makes me sick to think that someone could sit at home in their pjs and find and kill game. I am totally fine with this being applied to hogs though. It also makes me sick to see guys cussing because there is just another freaking 10 pointer, and they want the 20 pointer! Where I live we are happy with 8 pointers.

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