Town Considers Drone Hunting


Deer Trail, Colorado, is expected to vote August 6 on an ordinance that would sell hunting licenses and provide rewards to its citizens for destroying federal property if it appears overhead in the form of an unmanned aerial drone. The ordinance was drafted by town resident Phillip Steel. It states that Deer Trail will offer $100 rewards to shooters licensed (at the cost of $25) if they produce specific identifiable parts from an unmanned aerial vehicle “known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.” There may be some complications due to the fact that it’s against the law to destroy federal property.

Federal law aside, the proposed ordinance offers outlines for weaponry, ammunition, hunting techniques and rules of engagement. According to a local ABC news affiliate, Steel has never seen a drone flying over his town. However, he does not believe “in the idea of a surveillance society” and said, “I believe we are heading that way.” Steel stipulates that the ordinance is “very symbolic” and expects that drone licenses will “sell like hot cakes.” They would be valid for one year and “could be a huge moneymaker for the town.” According to town board member David Boyd, “Even if a tiny percentage of people” apply for a drone license, “that’s a lot of money to a small town like us.”(The population of Deer Trail has been below 600 for the past 20 years ending in 2011, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.)Boyd considered that there may be other considerations: “Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck?”