Bill would prohibit hunting-by-drone in Minnesota

Aerial drones are being used for many things these days, but a group of Minnesota lawmakers says hunting shouldn’t be one of them.

A bill introduced Tuesday in the state Senate would outlaw the use of unmanned aircraft controlled remotely to take, harm or harass wild animals. Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, said hunting by drone goes too far.

“The tradition of hunting and fishing and sportsman activity in Minnesota is all about you got to get out and actually do it,” he said. “It would be in the same realm as dropping dynamite in the lake to do some fishing. It’s about making it fair. It’s not just about the harvest of the animal. It’s about the activity.”

Schoen said he isn’t aware of any noteworthy incidents involving drones and hunting to date. But he sees it as a step to head off problems later.

Schoen is chief sponsor of the bill that has bipartisan backing. The bill doesn’t say what the penalty would be for violators.

There are several videos on the internet of people using drones to scope out or chase deer.