State: Track wounded game with dogs, but don't you dare use drones

August 1, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Many a hunter has had the experience of the wounding game, and watching it bound away over the horizon.

It would be wasteful to lose track of what could be many a Sunday dinner so for years dogs have been allowed to pursue the target.

Technology now offers hunters the option of watching that game with a drone.

Except that the bureaucrats in Michigan have interpreted a law to say that's illegal.

A fight brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of a company that would provide such services now is before the federal courts.

It is that state's Department of Natural Resources that says a "drone statute" that bans "drone-assisted 'hunting,'" also bans the use of drones to locate downed game.

It is Mike Yoder’s company, Drone Deer Recovery Media, Inc., which can help hunters locate downed game just as a hunting dog does, that could end up with a fine, or in jail.

"Drone Deer Recovery is providing a valuable service that is less environmentally intrusive and more humane than alternatives, yet Michigan is stretching the law to ban it," said Donna Matias, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. "The Constitution protects Mike’s First Amendment rights to create and disseminate information collected by the drones and his customers’ right to receive it."

Past technology to pursue escaping games has included dogs or trail cameras, but Yoder contends that using drones is less environmentally disruptive and more likely to succeed.

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