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British Columbia Man fined for hunting with drone.

teeroy

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A Fort St. James man has been fined $1,000 for hunting with a drone.

Paul James Hesse was issued the penalty on November 9 in Fort St. James Provincial Court. He was also prohibited from hunting for one year and assessed a $150 victim surcharge.

The outcome stems from a complaint conservation officers received on Sept. 22, 2018. The next day, officers attended a cabin on Marie Lake, southwest of Fort St. James, where they seized the drone along with a harvested bull moose. After securing a search warrant, they gathered photos and videos showing he had been using the drone to hunt.

Conservation officer Richard Keenan-Toop, who was the lead investigating officer on the file, said it was the first conviction for the offence in British Columbia.

"It was definitely a different one and definitely a learning experience for the Conservation Officer Service for sure," Keenan-Toop said. "But it's not something we see very often, thankfully, because hunting with a drone completely defeats fair chase for wildlife."

As part of the prohibition against hunting for a year, Hesse is also prohibited from accompanying other hunters and the drone was forfeited to the Crown.
 

zocalo

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Using a drone seems like a very practical way of locating potential game to me, yet this seems to be a no-no because there's supposed to be a "fair chase for wildlife" when hunting, but other than an ability to cover more ground and actively track an animal how is this really any different from using things like camera traps to locate potential targets, etc.? Or are they prohibited in British Columbia as well?

Mostly curious, because I did a guided wilderness trek in northern Scandinavia some years back and the guides provided some of our food in-situ rather than bring it in with us (or, more accurately, replenished the larder for those on subsequent treks). This was done using camera traps and the like to locate potential game, it would seem logical that they'd be using drones as well as, or instead of, the camera traps now. Unless the law has changed and/or the use of drones for this is also banned in Lapland, of course.
 

teeroy

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Using a drone seems like a very practical way of locating potential game to me, yet this seems to be a no-no because there's supposed to be a "fair chase for wildlife" when hunting, but other than an ability to cover more ground and actively track an animal how is this really any different from using things like camera traps to locate potential targets, etc.? Or are they prohibited in British Columbia as well?

Mostly curious, because I did a guided wilderness trek in northern Scandinavia some years back and the guides provided some of our food in-situ rather than bring it in with us (or, more accurately, replenished the larder for those on subsequent treks). This was done using camera traps and the like to locate potential game, it would seem logical that they'd be using drones as well as, or instead of, the camera traps now. Unless the law has changed and/or the use of drones for this is also banned in Lapland, of course.
Wireless trail cameras cannot be used during hunting season in BC.
 

teeroy

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Interesting, I run trail cams all year long..
if you have to be at the camera to get the photos they are legal to use. It's the cellular cams that send photos via sms messaging that are prohibited during hunting season in BC.
 

A.O.

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if you have to be at the camera to get the photos they are legal to use. It's the cellular cams that send photos via sms messaging that are prohibited during hunting season.
I guess that makes sense, I have to physically go to my cameras to collect my pics. I see more and more the cameras are going cellular these days, I don't want to have a phone bill to run my cameras though..
 

zocalo

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Wireless trail cameras cannot be used during hunting season in BC.

Then that would absolutely rule out using a drone to the same ends, which explains the court ruling, so thanks for the clarification. I guess they've erred on the side of "hunting is a sport" rather than "hunting is a way of putting food on the table", since the former is more about the skill whereas the latter is more about the pragmatism and efficiency. If you genuinely need to make a kill to eat (e.g. native ways of life in wilderness areas), then you're probably not going to want to waste too much time getting it done as you've probably got other things to do necessary to survive as well.

Have to keep that in mind and check the rules if I'm ever in the back country hunting wildlife with my Canon (note the spelling! ;)), because I'd almost certainly use my Mavic, and maybe some camera traps as well, to help get me into the ballpark!
 
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A.O.

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Then that would absolutely rule out using a drone to the same ends, which explains the court ruling, so thanks for the clarification. I guess they've erred on the side of "hunting is a sport" rather than "hunting is a way of putting food on the table", since the former is more about the skill whereas the latter is more about the pragmatism and efficiency. If you genuinely need to make a kill to eat (e.g. native ways of life in wilderness areas), then you're probably not going to want to waste too much time getting it done as you've probably got other things to do necessary to survive as well.

Have to keep that in mind and check the rules if I'm ever in the back country hunting wildlife with my Canon (note the spelling! ;)), because I'd almost certainly use my Mavic, and maybe some camera traps as well, to help get me into the ballpark!
BUT, you would not be hunting so I'm not sure if the law would apply to you. Big difference hunting and photographing. But yes, check the laws, hey vary a lot depending where you are.
 

zocalo

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BUT, you would not be hunting so I'm not sure if the law would apply to you. Big difference hunting and photographing. But yes, check the laws, hey vary a lot depending where you are.

More than likely, but it's not a lot of effort to be sure, and you certainly don't want to get into any avoidable legal entanglements in a foreign country, even if you haven't done anything wrong.

In this case, I was thinking more along the lines of a ranger or similar finding one of my camera traps near a watering hole or the like, thinking it had been left by a hunter, and removing it. Probably a bit of a stretch statistically, but even so checking in with the park authority or whatever and keeping them in the loop certainly doesn't hurt, provides an additional safety net if you really are going into a wilderness area and you don't checkout when they expect you to, and in my experience they'll often return the courtesy with some advice on good locations etc.
 

A.O.

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More than likely, but it's not a lot of effort to be sure, and you certainly don't want to get into any avoidable legal entanglements in a foreign country, even if you haven't done anything wrong.

In this case, I was thinking more along the lines of a ranger or similar finding one of my camera traps near a watering hole or the like, thinking it had been left by a hunter, and removing it. Probably a bit of a stretch statistically, but even so checking in with the park authority or whatever and keeping them in the loop certainly doesn't hurt, provides an additional safety net if you really are going into a wilderness area and you don't checkout when they expect you to, and in my experience they'll often return the courtesy with some advice on good locations etc.
I'm thinking if you are on public property like a park ,and you are going to put out game cams you might want to mark them with your name and phone number. If the ranger or someone else (public land after all) finds them they can give you a call.
 

JMC3

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Kind of eliminates the word hunt from the activity. Years ago I fished the smith River for Salmon. There was a big fuss between the anglers and the native tribe. The anglers followed the rules but the tribe in that region used a net spread across the river to trap hundreds of fish spawning. Rules are generally not applied evenly.
 

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A Fort St. James man has been fined $1,000 for hunting with a drone.

Paul James Hesse was issued the penalty on November 9 in Fort St. James Provincial Court. He was also prohibited from hunting for one year and assessed a $150 victim surcharge.

The outcome stems from a complaint conservation officers received on Sept. 22, 2018. The next day, officers attended a cabin on Marie Lake, southwest of Fort St. James, where they seized the drone along with a harvested bull moose. After securing a search warrant, they gathered photos and videos showing he had been using the drone to hunt.

Conservation officer Richard Keenan-Toop, who was the lead investigating officer on the file, said it was the first conviction for the offence in British Columbia.

"It was definitely a different one and definitely a learning experience for the Conservation Officer Service for sure," Keenan-Toop said. "But it's not something we see very often, thankfully, because hunting with a drone completely defeats fair chase for wildlife."

As part of the prohibition against hunting for a year, Hesse is also prohibited from accompanying other hunters and the drone was forfeited to the Crown.
While I can understand this to a point, what about using a fishfinder on your boat to find a fish? Does the use of a fishfinder defeat fair chase for wildlife?
 

teeroy

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Kind of eliminates the word hunt from the activity. Years ago I fished the smith River for Salmon. There was a big fuss between the anglers and the native tribe. The anglers followed the rules but the tribe in that region used a net spread across the river to trap hundreds of fish spawning. Rules are generally not applied evenly.
There are very few rules here in Canada when it comes to treaty natives and sustenance hunting/fishing. It is a major point of contention between them and the non treaty hunters/fisherman.
 

roaddawg

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Similar laws in Arizona. You cannot use an aircraft to locate game (that you have a permit to hunt for) within 2 weeks of your allotted hunt. Cannot use wi-fi game cameras, attractants, or drones while hunting.
 

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Please read the updated article
The old article was proven to be misinformation

 
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