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Tuesday, October 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hunting with use of drones prohibited in region

Some states are enacting laws to prohibit use of drones in hunting.
Some states are enacting laws to prohibit use of drones in hunting.

HUNTING -- An Oregon bill banning the use of drones in hunting is on Gov. Kate Brown’s desk.

The state Senate backed the bill unanimously last week after the House approved it last month without opposition.

Sporting groups that requested the bill say using drones is an affront to the hunting principle of a fair chase.

Other states that formally declared use of drones in hunting illegal last year include Alaska, Colorado and Montana.

Idaho and Washington officials say drones are covered under current regulations that prohibit the use of aircraft to hunt, to harass hunters or to disturb wildlife.

While there’s no evidence drones are widely used to hunt in Oregon, a handful of videos online show people using unmanned aircraft to locate game.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a sportmen's lobby group, says eight states have enacted drone bans.

In Washington, Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have said that wording the state’s exiting laws restricting the use of aircraft and electronic devices already prohibits the use of drones.

Following is the Washington law, WAC 232-12-057:

Hunting with aid of aircraft, boats or other vehicles.

(1) It is unlawful to use aircraft to spot, locate or report the location of wildlife for the purpose of hunting; except as authorized by a permit issued by the director.

(2) It is unlawful to hunt wildlife from a vehicle, aircraft, except as authorized by a permit issued by the director, or from a boat propelled by motor unless the motor of such boat has been completely shut off and its progress has ceased.

(3) It is unlawful to use a vehicle, aircraft, or motor-propelled boat for the purpose of pursuing, concentrating, or harassing any wild animal or wild bird.

(4) It is unlawful to hunt big game on the day one was airborne in an aircraft, except on a regularly scheduled commercial airline flight.

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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.

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