LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation to ban the use of unmanned aerial vehicles – often called “drones” – to hunt game animals or to harass hunters and disturb wildlife.
“Hunting is a favorite tradition and way of life for many Southwest Michigan families,” said Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I was proud to support these initiatives as part of my firm commitment to protect our hunting rights and traditions.”
Senate Bills 54 and 55 are supported by Michigan sportsmen groups who are interested in “fair chase” policies and are concerned with what some special interest organizations may do to advance their anti-hunting agenda.
“The Michigan United Conservation Club – a 40,000 member, outdoor heritage group – has long pushed for this type of legislation in order to maintain fair chase and ethical hunting practices in our state,” Proos said. “Locating wildlife by using remote-controlled, camera-equipped aircraft is not a fair hunting practice, and this issue unites animal rights groups and hunters who view drone hunting as either cruel or cheating.
“Another major concern addressed by these bills is that some animal rights groups have talked about stalking hunters with drones. I believe that type of action is unsafe and an attack on the hunting rights of our citizens.”
Other states, such as Alaska, Montana and Colorado, have already outlawed drone-assisted hunting, and two states, Idaho and Wisconsin, have existing prohibitions on the use of aircraft to hunt wildlife.
SBs 54 and 55 have been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Editor’s Note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.