Outdoors: Watch out for drones
by Charles Johnson
Special to The Star
Nov 06, 2013 | 1186 views |  0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some things in this world are so absurd they are unbelievable. I'm not speaking of stories like aliens and Big Foot. They could be out there. A handful of folks say they have seen them.

What I am speaking of here are stories that are true, but are really unbelievable.

Recently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has launched a campaign against hunters using drones. Your read that correctly. Drones, as in surveillance aircraft. The animal rights group has issued a warning to the bowhunters of Massachusetts that aerial drones will be monitoring them.

According to a PETA news release, the drones will be operated by staff members and volunteers to monitor any illegal activities by hunters. The animal activist group says the drones will help protect wildlife by letting hunters know that someone might be watching.

PETA is encouraging its members to purchase a drone for $325, plus shipping and handling, of course. I actually looked it up on the PETA store, and the drones are available. However, there was not much information on the specifications of the drone. Other that it had instant to-your phone video footage and was easy to operate.

The news release also states video clips collected by PETA possibly may be shared with law enforcement. Beyond that, the organization does not specify what it may do with any video.

I think the hunters of Alabama and those in Massachusetts have nothing to be concerned about. The drones appear to be cheap knock-offs and have limited capabilities. Flying range is probably fewer than a few hundred yards. And flight time can’t be more than 10 minutes or so. A drone would have to hover at treestand altitude and still the video would be questionable at best.

It is interesting that PETA chose bow season to introduce their drones. Once firearm season opens, the drones will mostly like draw some fire. I do know some bowhunters who are excellent shots and would not hesitate to fling an arrow to take out one of these giant mosquitoes.

This announcement by PETA garnered a negative reaction from a majority of sportsmen. It is only an attempt by the organization to harass and attempt to discourage hunting. Each year, the group introduces to some crazy scheme to draw attention to themselves.

Also, Alabama, along with many other states, has a hunter harassment law on the books. While the law has not been tested this far south, some northern states have had to deal with harassment from PETA members.

The majority of hunters across the nation follow the conservation laws. It is the hunters and anglers that support and protect wildlife with their license fees and taxes on sporting goods.

PETA is only trying to get a few seconds of recognition from reporters. Their time and efforts would be better spent in using the drones to locate Big Foot or track down a few aliens.

Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at ChrJohn7@aol.com

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Outdoors: Watch out for drones by Charles Johnson
Special to The Star

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