New Mexico May Ban Hunting With Drones

Later this month, the state's Game Commission will vote on a proposal that, if passed, would make New Mexico the fourth state to outlaw a practice that sportsmen and animal activists say hurts "the concept of free chase."

What's the Latest Development?


Later this month, New Mexico's Game Commission plans to vote on a proposal that, if passed, would make it the fourth state (after Alaska, Colorado and Montana) to place restrictions on the use of drones in hunting. Specifically, the proposal "would make it illegal to use drones to signal an animal's location, to harass a game animal or to hunt a protected species observed from a drone within 48 hours." These rules already apply to manned aircraft; the goal is to redefine "aircraft" to include the unmanned variety.

What's the Big Idea?

Although the US government has yet to finalize regulations on commercial drones in general, several groups prefer to enact a ban on them sooner rather than later so that the original spirit of hunting is preserved. New Mexico Wildlife Federation spokesman Joel Gay drones would take the challenge out of the sport: "Hunting an animal with your physical senses...puts you on fairly even ground with these animals that can see far better, hear far better and smell far better than we can."

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