Hunters in Colorado increasingly using drones to illegally scout animals |

Hunters in Colorado increasingly using drones to illegally scout animals

A rutting bull elk bugles near Browns Park in Northwest Colorado as he tries to sneak into a nearby herd.
Courtesy Photo

Colorado wildlife officials say they’re seeing more hunters illegally using drones when they’re in the field as ownership of the small, remotely-operated flying vehicles increases.

State Parks and Wildlife Assistant Director Heather Dugan said in a statement that drones are illegal for scouting hunting grounds or locating animals that later will be shot.

Dugan says such actions violate state regulations and the Federal Airborne Hunting Act, which outlawed hunting from aircraft in the early 1970s.

Violations can draw penalties ranging from $70 to $125,000 depending on the circumstances.

Officials say drones are illegal on Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands for non-hunters and hunters alike.

They are allowed in state parks with designated areas for model aircraft use, but cannot be used to harass wildlife.

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