Drone Vote Set For Deer Trail

Citizens in the tiny Eastern Plains town will cast ballots in October on whether to approve hunting licenses for the unmanned flying machines.
August 2013

What earlier sounded like a joke now could become reality in Deer Trail: Residents in the Eastern Plains town will vote on October 8 abouth whether to issue permits to hunt drones.

If approved, the license would cost $25 and be valid for one year. It’s illegal to destroy federal property—the Federal Aviation Administration already warned the town in July that anyone who shot down a drone could be prosecuted—so it’d be a purely symbolic measure more about attracting attention, plus some cash and visitors to the town.

The original ordinance reads: “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 ordinance also says that shooting drones would be limited to “any shotgun, 12-gauge or smaller, having a barrel length of 18 inches or greater.” Among the requirements to be eligible for a license, an applicant needs to be at least 21 years old and has to “read and understand English.”

Deer Trail’s town council deadlocked on the idea during a meeting early this month, which pushed the issue to a community-wide vote.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock