Wyoming drone/aircraft ban

BuzzH

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A couple press releases out this week on the use of aircraft for scouting in Wyoming.

The proposed regulation changes will include adding drones to the definition of aircraft in regulation. It will also impose a complete closure for the use of any aircraft for scouting/locating/hunting big-game between August 1 and January 31 at all.

http://trib.com/lifestyles/recreati...cle_a027a4ef-e87a-588d-94e4-09d2e85079bf.html

This will clear up the conflict between regulation and statute by removing the "24-hour" rule currently in regulation.

However, the current rule doesn't address unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

"The statute we have in Wyoming was written before drones were even visualized, and it doesn't distinguish between manned and unmanned aircraft," Gilbert said. "We've got some folks who think we should address that."

The issue comes down to ethics and fair chase, Gilbert said.

The proposed rule change would "do away with the 24-hour prohibition on flying and make it from like Aug. 1 through the end of January so you can't fly, scout and spot game through the entire hunting season," Gilbert said.

Commercial flights would be exempt under the rule.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has extended the comment period for the proposed rule change.

Another press release here:

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/i...ming-effort-to-ban-drones-aircraft-in-hunting
 

WyOpitz

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Sounds like the current proposal would not allow a person to take a helicopter but the future proposal will allow commercial flights. Would a helicopter ride be considered "commercial"?
 

Dinkshooter

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I saw a turd send a drone over some bighorn sheep this winter, lightly scared them and then he crashed the drone. Funny watching him wade through thigh deep snow to pick up a white drone in the snow. Overall not a totally bad experience for a herd in spitting distance of a interstate but not ideal. No law broken and didn't give me the creeps to bad, just a Touron with a toy.

Then the other day I saw a remote controlled plane in the field behind the house that had the scariest range I could have ever imagined. It made me want to pull my window shades to hide my sexiness.

I'm a believer in some of this stuff.
 

Spitz

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It's good to see WY work to keep up with technology. Drones are fast becoming a common tool.

I never figured out where the person controlling the plane was.

Don't you worry your pretty little self about such details. . .
 

RobG

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So commercials are ok, but private pilots can't fly for six months out of the year. F'n brilliant. At least you could attempt to follow the 24 hour rule.
 

e300winmag

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That is also one way for big landowners to prevent people from getting to pieces of land locked public ground.... Albeit it would prevent some guys from finding their monsters for the season
 

junior71

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I could be a landowner looking for my cattle, how would they know? Time and state money wasted if you ask me. They can't stop private aircraft from flying.
 

BuzzH

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So commercials are ok, but private pilots can't fly for six months out of the year. F'n brilliant. At least you could attempt to follow the 24 hour rule.

Nope, not what the law will do or is saying, and no new law has been created..

The statute that's been on the books for decades in Wyoming clearly states that the use of aircraft to locate, scout, etc. for big-game hunting purposes is illegal.

The 24-hour rule was added in regulation, which muddied the waters and put regulation in conflict with statute. That is illegal, as regulation cannot weaken statute.

As far as commercial flights that is in regard to commercial airline flights for hunter traveling to Wyoming to hunt.

No flights, commercial or not, will be allowed to scout or locate big-game from the air from 8/1 to 1/31 with any aircraft.
 

BuzzH

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I could be a landowner looking for my cattle, how would they know? Time and state money wasted if you ask me. They can't stop private aircraft from flying.

What state money was "wasted"?

I can tell you that any airplane that flies over the Wyoming Range during hunting season, better have a damn good reason for doing so...

Any airplane flying over sheep hunting areas during hunting season up in the rocks and cliffs better have some tough cattle that are lost...
 

mhungerford

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so if this passes would one still be able to fly into landlocked public to hunt? Or are we now shut off completely from this sort of area. just wondering that's all.
 

BuzzH

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There is nothing in statute or regulation that would keep a hunter from using aircraft for transportation.

For the record, the only place a hunter could be transported are likely limited to landlocked BLM sections.

On NF lands, the only place a hunter could be dropped off via a flight would be on designated air strips like those found in the Frank Church.

Not sure what the regulations are for State School Trust properties in Wyoming,

All this does is add "drone" to the definition of aircraft in regulation, remove the 24 hour wording in regulation and add an 8/1-1/31 ban on flying to locate, scout, etc. big-game from the air in that time frame. Statute is not changed at all, only regulation.
 
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RobG

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There is nothing in statute or regulation that would keep a hunter from using aircraft for transportation.

For the record, the only place a hunter could be transported are likely limited to landlocked BLM sections.

On NF lands, the only place a hunter could be dropped off via a flight would be on designated air strips like those found in the Frank Church.

Not sure what the regulations are for State School Trust properties in Wyoming,

All this does is add "drone" to the definition of aircraft in regulation, remove the 24 hour wording in regulation and add an 8/1-1/31 ban on flying to locate, scout, etc. big-game from the air in that time frame. Statute is not changed at all, only regulation.

OK, so commercial flights aren't exempt; that isn't the issue. The bolded part is the problem Buzz. The 24 hour kept you from spotting big-game then landing and going after them. With that rule basically you can't hunt the same day you fly over the area you are going to hunt, which is fair enough.

With the new rule you can't take scenic flights (relatively low to the ground) during that six month period or someone could turn you in for looking for elk. Either that or the law is totally useless.
 
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BuzzH

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You're making this wayyy too hard.

The 24 hour rule in regulation was in violation of statute.

Statute already made it illegal to use aircraft for locating or scouting game...year round. The 24 hour REGULATION, weakened statute and created a perceived loophole to fly and scout/locate big-game.

Now, its flat illegal to use an aircraft to scout/locate game for the purpose of hunting during the time frame of 8/1-1/31 each year.

Why does that not make sense?

Its not a useless law...I can tell you for 100% fact that it can and will be enforced.

When some asshat flies over my sheep area a couple days before sheep season, or during the season, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots to what they're doing. Pretty sure they aren't looking for lost cows.

Same with the Wyoming Range prior to and during mule deer seasons...pretty easy to know when some asshat flies over a herd of mule deer bucks a few times, right on the deck, what they're up to. The first time I see a lost cow with antlers, I'll concede the point.

This will tighten up regulation and statute, something that should have been done a long time ago.

If you don't think the use of aircraft is impacting big-game here, in particular trophy big-game, then you haven't been paying attention.

Ask Randy11 to post up the pics from his pronghorn hunt last year...that guy that ruined part of his hunt with the chute-plane would be issued a citation.

Ask flynarrow here how his archery sheep hunt went in unit 5 a few days before the rifle opener.

This needed to be addressed.
 
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RobG

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Now, its flat illegal to use an aircraft to scout/locate game for the purpose of hunting during the time frame of 8/1-1/31 each year.

Why does that not make sense?

Its not a useless law...I can tell you for 100% fact that it can and will be enforced.

.

Buzz, it outlaws recreational flying with your eyes open. Why does that not make sense?
 

RobG

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When some asshat flies over my sheep area a couple days before sheep season, or during the season, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots to what they're doing. Pretty sure they aren't looking for lost cows.

You clearly aren't a pilot. Believe it or not, they go up just to fly around and scouting is not what they are doing.
 

BuzzH

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Rob,

Clearly you don't understand the level of abuse that is going on with regard to flying and locating big-game to hunt in Wyoming.

Ask anyone that hunts sheep, mule deer, elk, and even antelope...

It doesn't take much but a firing brain cell or two to figure out if someone is scouting big-game with the intent to hunt them. I reckon when an outfitter is flying around the Wyoming Range. low elevation, circling every buck mule deer...they're just "sight seeing"...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

I suppose when my buddy Greg was hunting sheep in Wyoming and trying to arrow a ram from a herd he'd found and been watching for several days...and a plane buzzed the herd several times...they were looking for lost cows...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

Probably just purely by chance that the next day an outfitter and a client were right on top of him and the rams he'd found.:W:

I guess when I located 3 legal rams in the Spanish Peaks, and a plane flew over them 3-4 times and spooked them into the timber...must have been more lost cows up there in the goat rocks.

Really Rob?

That's what you want me to believe, that flying to scout should be legal...and that theres no way to enforce it?
 
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RobG

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That's what you want me to believe, that flying to scout should be legal...and that theres no way to enforce it?

No, flying to scout should illegal and it is certainly done. Unfortunately there is no way to make it completely illegal without affecting law abiding pilots who might not even be hunters.

I know you think differently, but there is no way you can know if a pilot is scouting or not. If you turn him in - and you seem quite willing to do so based on assumptions - it turns out to be a big pain in the butt and waste of time for everyone involved.
 
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