Colorado Town Proposes $100 Drone Bounty
Pilots might want to think twice about flying their unmanned drones over Deer Trail, Colo. The small town is considering an ordinance that would make drone hunting licenses available, in addition to offering bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Although it’s illegal to destroy federal property, according to The Denver Channel, the proposed ordinance states, “The Town of Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.”
The town board will vote on the ordinance on Aug. 6. If passed, a drone hunting license would be issued for $25 and be valid for one year. The ordinance stipulates that weapons would be limited to “any shotgun, 12 gauge or smaller, having a barrel length of 18 inches or greater.” The licenses would be anonymously issued without a background check and only to applicants 21 years or older who can “read and understand English.”
Despite its reluctance towards non-English speaking, drone-hating sharp shooters, the ordinance was drafted by Deer Trail resident Phillip Steel, even though he’s never seen a drone or UAV flying over his town.
“This is a very symbolic ordinance,” he told 7NEWS reporter Amanda Kost. “Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way.”
Along with Deer Trail Mayor Frank Fields, Town Clerk Kim Oldfield thinks the ordinance could be promoted as a novelty, potentially spawning a drone hunting festival.
“If (people) were to read it for the title alone and not for the novelty and what it really is, it sounds scary, and it sounds super vigilante and frightening,” said Oldfield. “The real idea behind it is it’s a potential fun moneymaker, and it could be really cool for our community and we’ve needed something to bring us together, and this could be it.”
Steele, however, isn’t so gung-ho. To him, his proposed ordinance is no novelty. “We do not want drones in town,” he Steel. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”
Credit: Ron Chapple/Corbis