The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has approved a new regulation that will restrict the use of aircrafts or drones during hunting season.
Mike Choma is the Law Enforcement Supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish. He says “fair chase” means something different to everyone. In Wyoming, that definition now excludes using an aircraft or drone with the intention to spot, locate and aid in the taking of wildlife. The new regulation came after an increase in public concern and a number of complaints received by the department.
Choma says since the commission approved the regulation in April, there has been some misunderstanding. For instance, some believed the new regulation would restrict aircrafts as transport vehicles for hunting.
“This regulation does not preclude someone from using an aircraft to fly in and hunt, actually on the same day as they land in an area, as long as they’re not using the aircraft to spot, locate, and aid in the taking of the game animal.”
Choma also says enforcement of the new regulation will not be easy.
“The law enforcement, or game wardens, need to be able to prove that the person’s intent was to spot, locate, and aid in the taking of a game animal. So for example, if a person is using an aircraft or drone for other purposes and they happen to see a game animal, that’s not a violation.”
The new regulation will take effect by the 2016 big game hunting season in the fall.