Drone Hunting In Deer Trail, Colorado? Town Considers Bounty For Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Town May Issue Drone Hunting Licenses, Bounties

Residents of Deer Trail, Colo., a small town 60 miles east of Denver, are considering an ordinance to issue hunting licenses for drones and a bounty system to reward anyone who shoots down or damages an unmanned aerial vehicle.

"They fly in town, they get shot down," explained Phillip Steel, the Deer Trail resident who drafted the anti-drone ordinance, per Denver's 7News.

A draft of the anti-drone ordinance, provided by DeerTrailColorado.com, would allow the town to issue an unlimited number of drone-hunting licenses for $25 each, so long as those issuing the licenses follow basic guidlines.

No background checks would be required, and all licenses would be "issued on an anonymous basis." Additionally, there's no residency requirement, so long as the hunting occurs within Deer Trail only. The license applicant must also be older than 21 and "able to read and understand English."

Those who are successful in shooting down or damaging a drone will be rewarded for their marksmanship. Bring in a fuselage or a wing with markings from the U.S. government, and the town will pay you $25. A whole drone? That's worth $100.

Town leaders acknowledge the ordinance is mostly symbolic, particularly as drone-hunting weapons are restricted to shotguns "12 gauge or smaller." There's also no shortage of pesky federal laws standing in their way, even though the measure asserts Deer Trail is "a sovereign political entity" entitled to maintain the security of its airspace.

"It's all novelty," Deer Trail Mayor Franks Fields cautioned to 7News, prompting Steel to respond: "To him it's a novelty, yes. To me, I'm serious."

The measure will go before the town council at its next meeting, scheduled for August 6.

If they don't pass it, "I will get my 25 signatures that I need on a petition and will force a special election to pass [it as a] citizen's initiative," Steel told the I-70 Scout, a newspaper in Eastern Colorado.

"I am pretty sure the whole thing is [illegal]," he continued, "but I would love to argue that in court. It is also against the law and the constitution to conduct covert surveillance on American citizens."


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