The availability and reliability of radio controlled drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles has provided hunters with a unique tool for scouting game animals. However, the use of these small, and extremely mobile radio controlled drones for hunting purposes has already been banned in several states.
The latest options have a reach that is far above the lightweight climbing tree stands or any well placed game cameras.
In fact, the newest hunting tools are drones that are being used to scout game from the air. It seems that some hunters are always looking to the newest technology to provide them with the edge or an unfair advantage over wild animals.
I recall the days when a length of sewing thread strung across a deer run was considered a major advance in scouting technique.
Sure enough, the old ‘string across the trail’ technique was refined with the addition of a digital clock that recorded the exact time the animal passed by.
When game cameras first came out, they provided an actual photo of “whatever passed this way again”, at least until the film or the batteries ran out.
Game cams with digital technologies soon replaced the old film versions, and the show was on.
Today’s game cams allow hunters to check the size and number of deer feeding on their food plots or walking down the big runway, in real time.
There have been legitimate reservations voiced over the use of game cams that send an instant text message with a digital photo to alert a hunter that Bambi is back.
In New York, as in many other states, it is illegal to use any electronic device (cell phone, walkie-talkie, etc.) to alert other hunters of approaching game.
However, the statute does not cover similar acts of electronic communication that are relayed from a game cam to a cell phone.
The argument revolves around the concept of Fair Chase which is intended to balance the skill and equipment of a hunter with the ability of the prey animal to escape.
Ethical hunters abiding by the fair chase ethic do not employ tactics or techniques that provide them with an unfair advantage over the game animals they seek.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.