Its official, Gov. Snyder bans drone use for and against hunters

Officers inspect a drone launched by animal rights group SHARK after it was shot down in PA (CNN)

Officers inspect a drone launched by animal rights group SHARK after it was shot down in PA (CNN)

Legislation that would prohibit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly termed drones, to either harass hunters or wildlife was signed into law by the Governor last week.

The new law, as reported by Michigan Sportsman in February, was proposed by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and passed the state senate by an easy 38-0 vote. In March, the House proved that lightning could strike twice in the legislature and passed the measure in its own 110-0 unanimous vote.

“Hunting and fishing are some of Michigan’s most revered pastimes, and a major driver of our economy thanks to continued participation from residents and out-of-state visitors,” Snyder said in an accompanying statement last Tuesday. “Using electronic devices to manipulate the sport is disruptive and a misuse of the natural resources we are blessed with.”

Pavlov’s measures, Senate Bills 54 and 55, are each simple modifications to the state’s conservation laws.

In 54, the bill prohibits the use of a drone to interfere with hunters and interestingly enough, covers both flying UAVs and swimming unmanned submersible vehicles (USVs) such as remote control mini-subs. Anyone that violates the law by using one of these to harass a lawful hunter or angler could be subject to imprisonment for not more than 93 days, or a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $1,000.00.

Anti-hunting groups such as PETA have in the past harassed otherwise lawful hunters in the field while practicing their sport. When asked about Michigan’s new law, the group advised they haven’t planned to fight it, but was unimpressed.

“This legislation gives us a chance to talk about hunting in the open,” Kenneth Montville, a senior strategist and representative for the organization, told Patch.  “It’s a completely outmoded concept in the 21st Century and in a first-world country. It’s not done for sustenance; it’s done for fun.

“Use the natural resources for hiking, camping and canoeing rather than sending the message that making animals suffer is fun.”

The Michigan legislation is not the first of its kind. As detailed by Fox News, the Michigan legislation is not the first of its kind. As detailed by Fox News, in the past few years Alaska, Montana and Colorado have passed similar rules while at least five other states either feel their current rules already limit UAV use or are exploring fixes to make them so.

Earlier this year, Oregon introduced a measure that directs the Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Commission to create rules governing the use of drones for angling or hunting in the state. , in the past few years Alaska, Montana and Colorado have passed similar rules while at least five other states either feel their current rules already limit UAV use or are exploring fixes to make them so. Earlier this year, Oregon introduced a measure that directs the Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Commission to create rules governing the use of drones for angling or hunting in the state.

Senate Bills 54 and 55 are now Public Acts 12 and 13 of 2015, and take effect in 90 days– just in time for hunting season.

1 Comment on Its official, Gov. Snyder bans drone use for and against hunters

  1. SicSemperTyrannis // April 25, 2015 at 8:38 am // Reply

    Ggreat but the govt can use the drones to hunt its prey the American people

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