Boone and Crockett Club: Drone hunts ineligible for records

2014-03-31T06:15:00Z 2014-07-06T19:07:06Z Boone and Crockett Club: Drone hunts ineligible for recordsBy DILLON KATO of the Missoulian missoulian.com
March 31, 2014 6:15 am  • 

Heading out for the big hunt? Leave your drone at home.

The Missoula-based Boone and Crockett Club, North America’s oldest hunting and conservation organization, has announced that any game scouted or taken with the help of drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles is ineligible for entry into its records program.

“Boone and Crockett likes to, as much as possible, set the standard for fair chase,” said Richard Hale, the chairman of the club’s big game records committee.

The club defines fair chase as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.

“These drones, like all technology, have advanced rapidly. We need to be responsive to the way technology is changing things,” Hale said Sunday, adding that several states, including Colorado and Alaska, have already moved to ban the use of drone-aided hunting.

Curbing the use of technology is not new for the Boone and Crockett Club.

In the 1960s, the group declared that trophies taken with the use or assistance of aircraft, including spotting or herding game, would be ineligible for its prestigious records.

“We already don’t allow things like trail cameras that could send an image to, say, your phone, or pursuing game in a vehicle,” Hale said.

He said if Boone and Crockett or even state wildlife agencies take a wait-and-see approach on new technology, companies and other groups can develop an entrenched interest in seeing such technology stay legal, and lobby against any moves to limit them later on.

The Boone and Crockett Club was founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887 to promote the proper management of wildlife and encourage hunting sportsmanship. Its international headquarters is in Missoula.

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(19) Comments

  1. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - April 01, 2014 11:27 am
    Tell you what. Someone firing off AR-15 rounds in the woods is a LOT more obnoxious than some little trail camera. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're after you.
  2. onetwopunch
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    onetwopunch - April 01, 2014 8:47 am
    What happens when the drones turn onn us like they did the Jedi?!? I say destroy all drones on site. Friendly or not.
  3. Objective observer
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    Objective observer - April 01, 2014 8:06 am
    Agreed. The wolf is back, it should be managed in the same manner that other predators like mtn lions are managed. Nothing more nothing less. Anti-wolf advocates will not be able to hunt them to extinction and pro-wolfers will not be able to keep the states from managing wolves. Get over it. Let it go.
  4. Smilely
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    Smilely - March 31, 2014 10:28 pm
    Dubs, you just don't seem to get it (the true value of wilderness and the reason for the 1964 Preservation Act). The very reason we have designated wilderness areas is exactly to keep the vast amount of the population out unless they want a more primitive, more pristine, more remote, and a more risk taking experience. Come on, cannot there be a miserly 2% of the total U.S. land mass set aside for people who chose not to be back to the restaurant by 5:00? And by the way, designated wilderness is one of the few place left today that prohibits "4 wheelers, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles for a good reason - they are terribly disturbing and outright obnoxious to anyone for miles and miles and miles and miles around attempting to enjoy the magnificent quiet that only a wilderness offers in today’s loud world. And another by the way, not only are wheel chairs prohibited in wilderness areas but the creators of the Act (the American people) were even smart enough to include specific wording that says no accommodations will be made for people with disabilities in wilderness areas.
  5. Smilely
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    Smilely - March 31, 2014 9:34 pm
    Dubs, you just don't seem to get it (the true value of wilderness and the reason for the 1964 Preservation Act). The very reason we have designated wilderness areas is exactly to keep the vast amount of the population out unless they want a more primitive, more pristine, more remote, and a more risk taking experience. Come on, cannot there be a miserly 2% of the total U.S. land mass set aside for people who chose not to be back to the restaurant by 5:00? And by the way, designated wilderness is one of the few place left today that prohibits "4 wheelers, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles for a good reason - they are terribly disturbing and outright obnoxious to anyone for miles and miles and miles and miles around attempting to enjoy the magnificent quiet that only a wilderness offers in today’s loud world. And another by the way, not only are wheel chairs prohibited in wilderness areas but the creators of the Act (the American people) were even smart enough to include specific wording that says no accommodations will be made for people with disabilities in wilderness areas.
  6. BJackson
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    BJackson - March 31, 2014 3:27 pm
    Also, I CAN pay to hunt anything I want in the world and my choice is still to hunt deer and elk in my backyard with my trusty little ole' longbow with wood arrows I made myself.
  7. BJackson
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    BJackson - March 31, 2014 3:25 pm
    Man, I wish the wolf extremists on both sides would get over themselves, this is really getting old, do you guys dream about wolves? And I am not just talking to the anti's I am pretty sure the wolf lovers do the same thing! No matter which side you are on, having wet dreams about wolves it really not normal!
  8. COMMON SENSE
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    COMMON SENSE - March 31, 2014 2:12 pm
    Tell me we don't live in a surveillance state, you can't even take a walk in the wilderness without being captured on someone's GD trail cam or being recorded from someone's eyes in the sky. How many of those eyes on the trail and from above belong to the gov't/NSA that were not being told about? I say ANY automated device with a camera in the woods on the ground or in the air SHOULD be fair game. A good argument for carrying an AR-15 into the woods, I'd bet a 5.56mm hollow point round or two could cause a "catastrophic malfunction" in any surveillance drone, privately owned & operated or otherwise.
  9. NoturAverageBear
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    NoturAverageBear - March 31, 2014 12:16 pm
    I'm all for an open season on drones! And I think it'll be a good reason to bring back the 10 or 8 gauge, but anything you can throw at a drone should be legal. Your 44 mag, probably won't have the range and bird shot won't do enough damage! Damage, is the reason for the larger bores--turn the dam things into confetti!
  10. Dubs
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    Dubs - March 31, 2014 11:56 am
    Ya, lets keep people out and especially if they walk, ride a horse, ride a 4 wheeler, dirt bike, wheel chair, snow shoe, snow mobile, ski, crawl, skip, run backwards---need to take a breath, and THEN keep anyone from flying over by any means (maybe make an exception if someone is on their way to heaven) but for sure, LOCK IT ALL UP by air and by sea---there, now maybe make an exception for you.
  11. Roger
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    Roger - March 31, 2014 11:05 am
    It's unlawful to hunt at night, so night vision scopes are a moot point. "Sniper rifle" is a term that nobody but an ignoramus or a biased person would use to refer to a hunting rifle. Hey, I heard California calling - perhaps you should go home.
  12. Dubs
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    Dubs - March 31, 2014 10:33 am
    Our legislature did not approve spears as a means of hunting. Pretty ironic isn't it?
  13. Bobbiebear
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    Bobbiebear - March 31, 2014 9:15 am
    Supply in demand. You think that using drones are the only way for an outfitter to gain an upper hand on hunting? Is the idea of “fair chase” a thing of the past?


    Over on a popular, unnamed anti-wolf website there has been discussion of using radio receivers to track and hunt wolves and the frequencies of the radio collars on them so I asked the IDFG about this. I sent them the exchanges which have taken place there and, specifically, I asked “I would like to know if there is any language which prohibits the practice of hunting wolves, elk, or deer with the aid of radio tracking.”

    The reply I received from Jon Heggen, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game:


    "There is currently no prohibition against the use of radio tracking equipment for the taking of big game.

    Radio collar frequencies are considered [just] a trade secret and therefore their disclosure is exempt from Idaho’s public records law."

    The problem is that the radio collars frequencies are not a secret. A quick search of documents obtained through public records requests does reveal radio frequencies of wolves and it is common practice to give ranchers receivers with the frequencies of collared wolves. Are we to believe, that with the animosity towards wolves and, frankly, other wildlife, that this information will remain only in the hands of those with the authority to have it?

    This is not only a problem with wolves. There are hundreds of elk, deer, bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, wolverines and many other species that are burdened by radio devices. It appears, based on my question and the answer given, that there is a gaping hole in wildlife protection that needs to be filled legislatively or through the commission. Is the state legislature or IDFG Commission going to fill this hole as quickly as they do when the profits of the livestock industry or outfitting industry are threatened or are they going to scoff it off because it might result in the death of a few more wolves and possibly other species?

  14. 00dk
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    00dk - March 31, 2014 8:48 am
    Drones sound great for getting the wolves under control? Not really...but the B&C Club should deny anyone who PAYS to kill a huge animal. How fair is it to me that I can't afford $10k to kill a huge trophy animal. Maybe a rule like that is already in place, but I myself would not stoop to paying to kill a trophy because I couldn't muster enough ambition to do it myself or, like many "ranch" hunts in MT that people pay for, the game, often elk, are hearded back onto the "ranch" by the managers with backing from our proud MT FWP personnel. And they call this fair chase! And don't deny it, you all know who you are and how you operate! I have seen it with my own eyes and have several people witness the same thing every year. Have a nice day.
  15. BJackson
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    BJackson - March 31, 2014 8:47 am
    It is already against regulations to fly over your hunting area and hunt in the same day in most states, it should be no different with these drones.
  16. c
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    c - March 31, 2014 8:44 am
    Il like the idea of drone hunts. So many questions though. Can you knock down a drone with a bow? 410, 20 gauge or do you need a 12 gauge mag to knock one down? Will the 44 mag I usually pack in the woods do the trick with a round of birdshot? I guess it depends how low they are flying.
  17. thomascash
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    thomascash - March 31, 2014 7:52 am
    Considering the technological advantages of sniper rifles and night vision scopes, wouldn't fair chase be when the hunter is armed with just a spear and a knife? Maybe a bugle horn. Just sayin....
  18. BWO
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    BWO - March 31, 2014 7:12 am
    Drone hunts? Are you kidding me?!!? Just how lazy can hunters (errr...wildlife killers) get? This will put an end to hunting....stupid, stupid, stupid.
  19. Smilely
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    Smilely - March 30, 2014 8:58 pm
    I urge all land management "agencies [NOT TO] take a wait-and-see approach on new technology". Get started now. I have been lobbying the F.A.A. and each of the four land management agencies for years now to nip these drones in the bud before they get out of hand - which is devastately and unfortunately about to happen any minute. We already have an abundance of terribly disturbing flyovers above our wilderness areas now. And believe me as rangers and land management law enforcement officers we have not been waiting and seeing. On the job we have been keeping logs for some time now that include number of flyovers in a day or during a particular patrol, direction of travel, altitude, estimated motor rpms, if repeated pass overs, whether the aircrafts banks at all during the flyover and record their tail number and contact those pilots that ignore the 2000 foot lateral advisory. I urge anyone who is not only concerned about the number of present flyovers above our wilderness areas and national parks but the impeding onslaught of drones about to take to the air to contact and complain to their congressmen and women, the FAA, and the four land management agencies and boycott yourself the participation in any private or administration flyovers above wilderness areas and national parks. A good book to read is "One Square Inch of Silence". By simply reducing noise we are not protecting quite. Flyover tours of our wilderness areas and national parks are increasingly ruining these magnificent areas.
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