Senate committee approves Pavlov bill outlawing drone-type vehicles in hunting

LANSING—A state Senate committee passed legislation Thursday that would outlaw the use of certain aircraft while hunting.

Senate Bills 926 and 927, sponsored by Sens. Tom Casperson and Phil Pavlov, would prohibit the practice of hunting with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—sometimes called a “drone”—or using a UAV to interfere with a person who is hunting.

“Hunting with drones would allow hunters to use remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft to locate wildlife in order to shoot and kill them for sport,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Several years ago, to help preserve the purity and the challenge of hunting game in Michigan, we passed legislation banning the practice of computer-assisted hunting. These bills will continue that same protection.”

Pavlov said using UAVs in hunting became an issue in Alaska after wildlife officials there learned that a moose was killed by a hunter using such an aircraft. That incident prompted the Alaska Board of Game to unanimously pass a regulation outlawing the practice.

Colorado and Montana recently outlawed the use of UAVs for hunting, while two other states, Idaho and Wisconsin, have existing prohibitions on the use of aircraft to hunt wildlife.

SBs 926 and 927 have been sent to the full Senate for consideration.