LAMAR, Colo. – Colorado wildlife officials are taking a close look at setting limits for hunters using drones to help spot potential game, saying it gives hunters an unfair advantage.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission is set to begin discussion on the question Thursday in Lamar.
It's a separate question than the one pending before voters in Deer Trail, which is considering flouting federal law and issuing permits to hunt aerial drones.
Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton says the technology makes it easier to hunt and that ethical guidelines about drones are needed.
"There is a ton of technology available to people that would make it very, very easy for people to hunt. We try to hold the line to make sure that hunting is done in an ethical manner," Hampton said.
The use of aircraft to aid in hunting is explicitly illegal under a federal law called the Airborne Hunting Act. That law prohibits people from hunting for at least 48 hours after you fly over an area. However, the law was created years before the private use of unmanned drone aircraft, KMGH-TV reported Tuesday.
"It was not something that most people were engaged in and it wasn't needed in a regulatory model," Hampton said. "Because it has become more prevalent we want to make sure people understand it is still outside the bounds of what is allowed."
If adopted, it would take effect for the 2014 big game season, which begins in the end of August.