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Small town could be first to issue drone hunting licenses

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Shooting a drone

The small town of Deer Trail, Colo., could soon open hunting season on drones. Resident Phillip Steel has drafted an ordinance that would create hunting licenses and offer bounties for anyone who shoots a drone down in this community about 60 miles east of Denver.

“We do not want drones in town,” Steel told local TV station ABC 7 News. “They fly in town, they get shot down.”

While it’s against the law to destroy federal property, Steel’s proposed ordinance outlines weapons, ammunition, rules of engagement, techniques, and bounties for drone hunting, according to ABC 7 News. The proposal states:

“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.”

Steel told the TV station he’s never seen a drone flying over his town, and it is probably merely a symbolic ordinance.

“Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way,” he said.

“I can see it as a benefit, monetarily speaking, because of the novelty of the ordinance,” Deer Trail Town Clerk, Kim Oldfield told ABC 7. The town would charge $25 for drone hunting licenses, valid for one year. Oldfield said there’s talk of promoting the ordinance as a tourist draw.

“It’s potentially a money-making project, hunting drones in a skeet-style, fun-filled festival,” Oldfield said. “We’re the home of the world’s first rodeo, so we could home of the world’s first drone hunt.”

Steel, though, sees the measure as more than something to set the town apart.

“To them it’s a novelty, yes,” he said. “To me, I’m serious.”

Watch the ABC 7 News report here.

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