Aerial Scouting of Big Game May Be Banned

WYOMING — The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission recently passed new regulations designed to prevent aerial scouting of big game herds with the intent to aid in hunting. The rule will take effect on August 1st if approved by Governor Mead. Currently, flying is prohibited within 24 hours before hunting.

The regulation reads:

No person shall use any aircraft with the intent to spot, locate and aid in the taking of any game animal from August 1 through January 31 of the following calendar year. Nothing in this Section shall apply to the operation of an aircraft in a usual manner where there is no attempt or intent to locate any game animal, such as aircraft used for the sole purpose of passenger transport.”

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Aircraft is defined by the Game and Fish Commission as: “Any machine or device (including but not limited to airplane, helicopter, glider, dirigible or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)) capable of atmospheric flight.”

The video above was the subject of many concerned citizen reports to the Wyoming Game and Fish. The video shows an ultralight aircraft flying low over a herd of elk in the Deer Creek Park in the Laramie Range southeast of Casper. These reports led to a wildlife harassment conviction for the pilot.