No, the sky is not falling, but it is starting to buzz.
As you may have read in the Fall 2013 issue of the Backcountry Journal, or heard about through BHA's Facebook page, the use of drones for hunting and scouting is a small but rapidly growing threat to our fair chase hunting traditions.
Youtube videos of moose being stalked and hogs eradicated with drones show that the technology is already available and that it will be used unless sportsmen do something about it. In Montana and Colorado, BHA members recently worked with wildlife department staff to develop regulations that put drone use for any hunting or scouting to bed. The regulations that BHA proposed in both states passed unanimously, thanks to the hard work of BHA members like Greg Munther (MT) and Tim Snowden (CO).
The issue of drone use was flagged at BHA's 2012 National Rendezvous in Boise and since then chapters have been working with their respective wildlife agencies to develop common sense regulations that ban the use of this technology. Other organizations, such has Orion, the Hunters Institute and Pope & Young Club have since followed BHA's lead and developed policy statements on the issue. As BHA Co-Chair, Ben Long put it in a recent news piece "It's just inappropriate technology that doesn't fit the traditions of fair chase."
To help facilitate the discussion on the use of drones and other technology for hunting, BHA will be hosting a panel on "Technology & Hunting" on March 22nd at the National Rendezvous in Denver. And on the 23rd, chapter leaders from across the country will meet to strategize a plan of action to address the use of such advancing technology in hunting. These meetings are not to be missed. If you're unable to attend, but are interested in helping your BHA chapter address this issue, please let your chapter leaders know.
Thanks for helping BHA defend the principles of fair chase and keep our most honorable hunting traditions alive!