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Vermont Officials Consider A Ban On Hunting With Drones

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering a ban on the use of drones like this one to assist hunters.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife officials are considering a ban on the use of aircraft while hunting, and the big concern isn't about helicopters and small planes - it's unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.

Officials aren't so much worried about a drone flying around shooting at deer (though that would certainly be alarming), but they want to make sure hunters don't violate landowners' rights, get too much of an unfair advantage in their hunt or disrupt other hunters.

"The issue would be them perhaps able to drive animals that they can see from a long distance or perhaps even on a property that is prohibited from hunting or landowners don't want trespass, whatever the case may be," said Col. David Lecours, director of law enforcement for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Or maybe other hunters actually interfering with another hunter's hunt."

Lecours said the rule is preemptive and that drone hunting hasn't been a problem in Vermont yet. But the practice is common in other parts of the country and the department is hoping to stay ahead of any problems.

A public hearing on the potential ban is scheduled to take place at the Pavilion Auditorium at 116 State Street in Montpelier at 6:30 p.m. on October 21.