GUEST EDITORIAL: Regulating drones the right move to preserve hunting

With these flying machines becoming more than just a niche hobby, there comes a slew of new questions: Who’s looking out for these things? And what, if any, rules are in place?

Those answers are about to become clearer, especially for hunters.

Recently, state lawmakers initiated an effort to enact new regulations covering drones and one of Michigan’s most popular pastimes: hunting.

In February, the Michigan Senate approved two bills that would make it illegal to use drones to assist or harass hunters. The legislation now heads to the House for consideration.

The proposals are designed to prohibit hunters from using a drone or other unmanned device to aid in taking game, and they’re also designed to make sure anti-hunting activists don’t use drones to disrupt legal hunting.

Both of these measures are the right moves to make.

While it might seem like drones could be the next evolution in hunting, it really adds an unfair advantage. By having an “eye in the sky,” one can have a view of the landscape that others don’t see.

We also like to see that lawmakers want to prevent people from harassing hunters from doing something they’re allowed to do. This seems like a recipe for disaster — especially if a hunter was to get hot under the collar and attempt to shoot a drone down.

While drones and their use in hunting might only scratch the surface of the scenarios in which drones could be used, it’s good to see the state be proactive.

Drones can take awesome aerial photographs and might be a fun hobby, but there are also certain restrictions that need to be in place to prevent the devices from being abused.

This editorial originally was published in the March 9, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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