‘They Fly in Town, They Get Shot Down’: Colorado Town Considers Drone-Hunting Licenses and Rewards

DEER TRAIL, Colo. (TheBlaze/AP) — The next potential target for hunters in one Colorado town might be flying with or above the birds — well above the birds.

Leaders in the town of Deer Trail, which has a population around 550 people, are considering an ordinance that would create aerial drone hunting licenses and offer bounties to anyone who shoots one down.

(Image: KMGH video screenshot)

“We do not want drones in town,” resident Phillip Steel, who drafted the ordinance told KMGH-TV. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”

Residents acknowledge they’ve never seen a drone on the Eastern Plains but want to make a statement that using unmanned surveillance planes to spy on Americans is wrong. Drafters of the ordinance say it is mostly symbolic and recognize it’s against the law to destroy federal property. But with the technology becoming more widespread and the FAA working to create new regulations to govern expanded drone use by companies and private citizens, not all drones are federal property.

According to KMGH, the licenses would cost $25 a year and offer a $100 reward to anyone who provides identifiable pieces of a drone. Such licenses would not require a background check and would be issued anonymously.

There are only specific weapons that could be used against a drone, according to the draft ordinance: a 12 gauge or smaller shotgun with an 18-inch barrel or longer. Many drones would fly above the range for such a firearm to reach it.

Other requirements include being at least 21 years old and having the ability to “read and understand English,” according to the report.

Although some might take the ordinance somewhat literally, others see it more as a novelty:

Deer Trail, Town clerk, Kim Oldfield said, “I can see it as a benefit, monetarily speaking, because of the novelty of the ordinance.”

Oldfield said there’s talk of promoting the ordinance as a novelty and, “Possibly hunting drones in a skeet, fun-filled festival. We’re the home of the world’s first rodeo, so we could home of the world’s first drone hunt.”

“If they were to read it for the title alone and not for the novelty and what it really is, it sounds scary, and it sounds super vigilante and frightening,” said Oldfield. “The real idea behind it is it’s a potential fun, moneymaker, and it could be really cool for our community and we’ve needed something to bring us together, and this could be it.”

Deer Trail Mayor, Franks Fields, too said he considers it a novelty but didn’t express his overall opinion about it yet. Steel though clarified that “to me, I’m serious.”

The town will vote on the drone-hunting ordinance on August 6.

“I’m leaning towards yes,” one of the town’s board members David Boyd told KMGH. “I’m good with passing it as long as it’s safe.”

Watch KMGH’s report:

Featured image via Shutterstock.com.