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Thread: Drones and Recovery

  1. #1

    Default Drones and Recovery

    I know that the word drone on a hunting forum can be a touchy subject. Instead of just saying "a buddy and I were having a hypothetical discussion...." I will simply be explicitly clear that I have not done any hunting this year. When I do make it out, I leave the drone at home. I would never use a drone to hunt. This is purely a case of wondering if anyone knows the answer because it came up in discussion.

    Most of us know that you cannot use a drone for hunting.

    We were trying to determine if you could use a drone to recover an animal. You are not allowed to use dogs to hunt bears in Alaska, but you may bring out a blood-tracking dog in an attempt to locate a bear you have shot.

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    I would think that it would hard to prove that one was looking for 'wounded' game and not looking for game in general. The safe bet, would be to just leave the drone at home and stay out of trouble.
    Besides, some game may not expire out in the open, but in and area where the drone would not be of any use.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshlaska View Post
    We were trying to determine if you could use a drone to recover an animal. You are not allowed to use dogs to hunt bears in Alaska, but you may bring out a blood-tracking dog in an attempt to locate a bear you have shot.
    Dunno whether it would fall under the regulation against hunting same day airborne or the prohibition against using helicopters in any association with hunting. But I betcha it would bitecherhiney if you tried it. I know of one family that used a helo to fly in building materials for their cabin. Then got busted for hunting from the cabin.

    Take yer pick. Keep us posted if you try it. I love reading the trooper log!
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I talked to the troopers about building cabins with a helo. They said as long as you do it out of hunting season your ok. Surprised me.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Bearcat View Post
    The safe bet, would be to just leave the drone at home and stay out of trouble.
    I totally agree. I wouldn't even want it in the back of the truck inside of its case. Much easier to have nothing to need to prove.

    It was just a question that came to mind out of sheer curiosity.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    I talked to the troopers about building cabins with a helo. They said as long as you do it out of hunting season your ok. Surprised me.
    That's some pretty stupid sh*t right there.... How does it all of a sudden mean somebody is hunting just because it's a certain day on the calendar? I would imagine there are lots of people that don't hunt but do fly helicopters.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  7. #7

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    The laws for drone use are being sculpted as we type. In a few years there wont be many questions not covered in some new regulation I'm sure.

    But the laws are fairly straightforward for aerial traffic. If your drone is outside of controlled airspace and less than 400-ft AGL, you're legal.

    The gray areas are concerning wildlife harassment and same-day airborne rules.

    IMO, the issues with drones are two fold:

    1. pilots who fly their drones higher than 400-ft AGL and in to controlled airspace.

    2. pilots who are insensitive to invasion of personal space of people around them.

    Battery life will decide the volume of successful drone users in the backcountry. There is no technology as of yet that provides a consumer-model drone capacity with more than 15 minutes of battery use. Recharging requirements will limit their use for anything other than very specific uses.

    With 5 batteries at $125 a pop and 10-13 minutes of real time use per battery, including the startup time to lock onto satellites...they're not yet practical to be real issues in the field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    The laws for drone use are being sculpted as we type. In a few years there wont be many questions not covered in some new regulation I'm sure.

    But the laws are fairly straightforward for aerial traffic. If your drone is outside of controlled airspace and less than 400-ft AGL, you're legal.

    The gray areas are concerning wildlife harassment and same-day airborne rules.

    IMO, the issues with drones are two fold:

    1. pilots who fly their drones higher than 400-ft AGL and in to controlled airspace.

    2. pilots who are insensitive to invasion of personal space of people around them.

    Battery life will decide the volume of successful drone users in the backcountry. There is no technology as of yet that provides a consumer-model drone capacity with more than 15 minutes of battery use. Recharging requirements will limit their use for anything other than very specific uses.

    With 5 batteries at $125 a pop and 10-13 minutes of real time use per battery, including the startup time to lock onto satellites...they're not yet practical to be real issues in the field.
    Man lots miss information!!!

    Most don't hunt in town so there no in controlled a space. So your 400 foot ceiling is not a worry. Not to worry just join
    ama. Your exempt.

    Haha all Phamton drones are 20 or more depending on temp!
    Lock up takes less that 2 mins.

    As far as hunting. Don't have drone in your truck/ camp anywhere you are hunting. Other wise you'll be fighting in court over the intent of use of the drone hunting or scouting!



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    I thought you can hunt bears in Alaska with dogs if you get a permit.

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    I think it is the same as radios. You can't use them for the hunt or recovery. I you really want to know, just go down and talk to the guys at F&G. They have always been a great help to. If they don't know, they will find out the answer and call you later.

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    I wish they would just make the drone law the same as airborne hunting. I've heard the argument raised that using a drone to "hunt" or assist in the hunt gives the drone hunter an unfair advantage over other hunters who don't have access to the same equipment. Keep in mind I'm not discussing drone use in a populated area so all you haters who think every drone user is spying on you or your kin find another thread to discuss your right to privacy, etc.

    What I don't understand is how I can use a $800 dollar pair of binos to spot the bull moose a mile away then use a $2800 spotting scope from Swarovski to determine brow tines or 50"+. The best user friendly drones out there cost under $2K so I spot the moose with my binos and send the drone over at just under 400 ft, zoom in, take a pic to see if its legal or not. How is that any different than a supercub buzzy a moose at 100 ft to determine if it's legal and having to wait 24 hours to go and "hunt" that moose. Seems ridiculous to me that drones for a hunting, harvesting, specimen identification and/or recovery tool are currently illegal. A drone is way less intrusive to the environment noise wise than a airplane. I would also state that there is no way another hunter a mile away could even see my drone in the air, but I have plenty of times seen a cub circling a particular spot, have trained my eyewear that direction and seen a moose that I would have never saw or at least knew to keep an eye on that area. It also sucks that there is an implication that if I even bring my drone into hunting camp that I would have to explain to LE what I was doing with it. Drone footage is a cool way to record your hunt, trail in, surrounding area from a perspective that your average non-pilot would never get. Just because I'm also hunting I can't bring a drone into camp to record my trip in etc? I'm gonna go with LE has to prove I did something before I'm gonna alter my behavior just cause I don't want the hassle.

    I personally see no reason why a drone is not an extension of a hunters ability to identify legal animals the same as a plane, so make the rules the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1S1K View Post
    I wish they would just make the drone law the same as airborne hunting. I've heard the argument raised that using a drone to "hunt" or assist in the hunt gives the drone hunter an unfair advantage over other hunters who don't have access to the same equipment. Keep in mind I'm not discussing drone use in a populated area so all you haters who think every drone user is spying on you or your kin find another thread to discuss your right to privacy, etc.

    What I don't understand is how I can use a $800 dollar pair of binos to spot the bull moose a mile away then use a $2800 spotting scope from Swarovski to determine brow tines or 50"+. The best user friendly drones out there cost under $2K so I spot the moose with my binos and send the drone over at just under 400 ft, zoom in, take a pic to see if its legal or not. How is that any different than a supercub buzzy a moose at 100 ft to determine if it's legal and having to wait 24 hours to go and "hunt" that moose. Seems ridiculous to me that drones for a hunting, harvesting, specimen identification and/or recovery tool are currently illegal. A drone is way less intrusive to the environment noise wise than a airplane. I would also state that there is no way another hunter a mile away could even see my drone in the air, but I have plenty of times seen a cub circling a particular spot, have trained my eyewear that direction and seen a moose that I would have never saw or at least knew to keep an eye on that area. It also sucks that there is an implication that if I even bring my drone into hunting camp that I would have to explain to LE what I was doing with it. Drone footage is a cool way to record your hunt, trail in, surrounding area from a perspective that your average non-pilot would never get. Just because I'm also hunting I can't bring a drone into camp to record my trip in etc? I'm gonna go with LE has to prove I did something before I'm gonna alter my behavior just cause I don't want the hassle.

    I personally see no reason why a drone is not an extension of a hunters ability to identify legal animals the same as a plane, so make the rules the same.
    You make a lot of great points. I see this issue the same way. I find it very interesting that Alaska was the first state to jump on this and make the use of drones unlawful for hunting. It's not surprising that our Board of Game pushed this through so quickly as it has been established what their primary agenda is. Why would they want competition with bush planes when guides already have a monopoly on that market? Obviously there should be some regulation such as using drones to somehow drive or push animals would be unethical. I'm sure there are a lot of other scenarios as well that would border on harassment of game, but more so than a super cub giving moose hair cuts by buzzing them? I think not. I do not own a drone but can see the value in them if it weren't for narrow minded individuals making flimsy excuses, such as it would increase hunter success to a level that would endanger game populations. As if flying a drone for 20 minutes automatically guarantees you get an animal. If electronic calls and attractors are legal for predator hunting then why not drones for verifying a legal animal? Every piece of equipment we bring in the field with us is meant to give us an advantage. I like your analogy of Swarovski scopes. Saying it would only favor those that can afford them is another lame excuse. That goes for every high priced specialty item. That being said if I did own a drone I believe I would bring mine into hunting camp too. The footage that only these tools can provide can be stunning and worth the trouble of explaining, in my opinion, as long as you are taking video of the ride/hike in, hunting camp, and scenery. Like they say, if you are obeying the law then you should have nothing to worry about. Also I believe the law is written very clear, no use of a device that has been airborne, controlled remotely, and used to spot or locate game with a camera or video device.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 1S1K View Post

    What I don't understand is how I can use a $800 dollar pair of binos to spot the bull moose a mile away then use a $2800 spotting scope from Swarovski to determine brow tines or 50"+. The best user friendly drones out there cost under $2K so I spot the moose with my binos and send the drone over at just under 400 ft, zoom in, take a pic to see if its legal or not. How is that any different than a supercub buzzy a moose at 100 ft to determine if it's legal and having to wait 24 hours to go and "hunt" that moose..
    I'm pretty sure it's not just about seeing if it's legal or not but also just finding the animals in the first place. As far as I know binos and spotters can't look through rocks or trees to be able to see what's on the other side.

    Sure you can spot game from a supercub, but even that has restrictions..... you do have to be able to land the darn thing close enough to even get after the animal to make it practical. I don't know about you but I've seen all kinds of animals from a cub....going after them would be a whole different story.

    Imo, using drones for hunting takes the term "fair chase?" to a whole new level.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Default Drones and Recovery

    If I would have had a drone on my moose hunt last year, I would have almost certainly got a bull that had eluded me. Of course there are no guarantees, but if i would have droned the area the night before and figured out where that guy had run off to, sure would have increased my chances. Yeah, it would have been legal to do with an airplane, but there were no suitable strips/landing areas nearby. That comparison only works so far.

    I think I'd agree with those that feel that drone use stretches the bounds of fair chase. Strictly for game recovery, though...well, that is an interesting question.

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    I guess it is all in ones perception, but to me hiking up to high ground and glassing is not the same as sitting around flying a drone until you spot something and then going after it. I am not a gear junkie so maybe that skews my perception, but to me once you do to many things to eliminate the "hunt" and skip right to the kill you are kind of defeating the purpose and may as well just butcher a cow.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss View Post
    I guess it is all in ones perception, but to me hiking up to high ground and glassing is not the same as sitting around flying a drone until you spot something and then going after it. I am not a gear junkie so maybe that skews my perception, but to me once you do to many things to eliminate the "hunt" and skip right to the kill you are kind of defeating the purpose and may as well just butcher a cow.
    Yup. It's turning "hunting" into just one more video game for the video game generation in my decidedly stilted view. Never played a video game and never will, but just about every youngster I know lives and breathes for them.

    I'm so strong on fair chase, I've done all my hunting in the last decade with traditional muzzleloaders, with many decades of archery and open-sighted revolver hunting before my eyes and hands got too geezerly for it. Spot an animal at 300 yards? That's an easy shot with a scoped rifle and a rest, but for me it's just the start of an interesting stalk to get within 50 yards. Like as not, I'll blow it and never get the shot. But the stalk is what I'm all about, and I'll happily "miss" a chance for game while having a ball stalking.

    Just my twitch, but for me turning hunts into video games is like putting a scope on a muzzleloader or bow for "primitive" weapon hunts. Gotta draw the line somewhere, whether your personal line or the legal line. I know where my personal lines lie, and folks will learn where my legal lines lie by the enthusiasm of my response to attempts to change the laws.
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    I agree..... although we'd all love to fill the freezer, the stalk is what it's all about. Kinda like fishing, we may not catch anything but it sure is fun being out there getting our lines wet with anticipation. Pretty much why I don't dip net either....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  18. #18

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    Your statement there about guides is completely wrong. There are plenty of residents and nonresidents that fly around Alaska looking for a hunting opportunity and go way beyond what I have seen guides do. Do not turn this thread into another guide bashing mouth piece through which you voice your opinion.
    That was directed at cdvhunter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearsnack View Post
    Your statement there about guides is completely wrong. There are plenty of residents and nonresidents that fly around Alaska looking for a hunting opportunity and go way beyond what I have seen guides do. Do not turn this thread into another guide bashing mouth piece through which you voice your opinion.
    That was directed at cdvhunter
    Sorry there Bearsnack if there was some confusion. I wasn't bashing guides at all. I know many and they are all great guys. Anyone who has hunted in Alaska knows every hunter with a plane uses it to spot game. What I was saying was if someone thinks buzzing moose with a super cub, whether guide or not, is more fair chase or sporting than flying a drone for a few minutes then in my opinion they are completely wrong. It's pretty obvious to me that if someone wishes to use a drone for hunting then it should be the same rules that apply to planes...drone users even have to register with the FAA. Now if you are referring to my comment about the Board of Game pushing the law through very quickly, first state in the country, not sure what to tell you. It is my opinion, and a few others I'm sure, that this is a broken system and there isn't much to be done about it. Not like we can vote new, unbiased people in there. Of course these are opinions, like 95% of the comments on here so if we are banning those then this board will get pretty quiet. I agree with you that it is a fact that the worst offenders when it comes to breaking laws while hunting are most certainly not guides. Again, not bashing them at all, just the few individuals whose decisions effect all us hunters and whose views seem to lean in a certain direction time and time again. It may seem to you that I just shoehorned that topic in here to get it going again, but it is directly related to the original post, unlike your comment.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CDVHunter View Post
    Sorry there Bearsnack if there was some confusion. I wasn't bashing guides at all. I know many and they are all great guys. Anyone who has hunted in Alaska knows every hunter with a plane uses it to spot game. What I was saying was if someone thinks buzzing moose with a super cub, whether guide or not, is more fair chase or sporting than flying a drone for a few minutes then in my opinion they are completely wrong. It's pretty obvious to me that if someone wishes to use a drone for hunting then it should be the same rules that apply to planes...drone users even have to register with the FAA. Now if you are referring to my comment about the Board of Game pushing the law through very quickly, first state in the country, not sure what to tell you. It is my opinion, and a few others I'm sure, that this is a broken system and there isn't much to be done about it. Not like we can vote new, unbiased people in there. Of course these are opinions, like 95% of the comments on here so if we are banning those then this board will get pretty quiet. I agree with you that it is a fact that the worst offenders when it comes to breaking laws while hunting are most certainly not guides. Again, not bashing them at all, just the few individuals whose decisions effect all us hunters and whose views seem to lean in a certain direction time and time again. It may seem to you that I just shoehorned that topic in here to get it going again, but it is directly related to the original post, unlike your comment.


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