Big Bore Airgun Deer Hunting with a Drone Is it Legal
Sept 5th 2018 Are drones legal to use while big bore airgun hunting during the deer season? Here in Michigan... NOPE! But there are legal tactics that you CAN use to give you an advantage during the deer hunting season - read on... Recent Michigan laws have made it illegal to use drones while hunting and also have made it illegal for animal rights activists to use drones to harass hunters (which is great). You CAN NOT even have a drone with you in any way shape or form while you are hunting and I would HIGHLY recommend NOT to test this unless you are ready to have all of your gear seized. DO NOT even have drone with you in your vehicle when you are driving to and from your hunting spot. I gleaned this little tidbit of information while talking with DNR officials recently. The beauty though is that it isn't illegal to use them pre or post hunting season to help give you an advantage for when deer season comes around next. In the past year I have been scouting runway patterns of deer that I have found to be VERY predictable from year to year. This gives me a HUGE amount of insight well beyond what my trail cameras can give me. I use actual footage from my drone and comparing that footage to Google Earth historical photos of my hunting spots from year to year to compare runway patterns. Using this intel from my drone and in the field I can choose my hunting spots to set up various different blind locations so I can move depending on wind direction and weather. I can find the exact spots where deer enter their feeding grounds and bedding grounds and be able to shift and adjust accordingly throughout the season. I have found the best time to scout these locations is right after the first snow as it highlights even the smallest runway locations and makes the well used runways stand out like a paved highway through the woods. So leave your drone in the closet during hunting season - but document like crazy in the off season and you will give yourself the upper hand using technology legally and smartly for your next airgun hunting adventure.