Sitka Gear
Drone deer recovery
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Scrappy 20-Dec-22
[email protected] 20-Dec-22
Woods Walker 20-Dec-22
Woods Walker 20-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost 20-Dec-22
Top Pin 20-Dec-22
GFL 20-Dec-22
Bigdog 21 20-Dec-22
tobywon 20-Dec-22
Bowboy 20-Dec-22
70lbDraw 20-Dec-22
Bou'bound 20-Dec-22
Grey Ghost 20-Dec-22
EmbryOklahoma 20-Dec-22
Jaquomo 20-Dec-22
smarba 20-Dec-22
jjs 20-Dec-22
Ziek 20-Dec-22
bigswivle 20-Dec-22
RSP PA 20-Dec-22
Ollie 20-Dec-22
APauls 20-Dec-22
Fields 20-Dec-22
RK 20-Dec-22
t-roy 20-Dec-22
bigswivle 20-Dec-22
Tracker 20-Dec-22
Jaquomo 20-Dec-22
Zbone 20-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost 21-Dec-22
Pat Lefemine 21-Dec-22
fuzzy 21-Dec-22
bigswivle 21-Dec-22
Zbone 21-Dec-22
sticksender 21-Dec-22
ILBow288 21-Dec-22
bigswivle 21-Dec-22
Hh76 21-Dec-22
Grey Ghost 21-Dec-22
ILBow288 21-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost 21-Dec-22
Missouribreaks 21-Dec-22
bigswivle 21-Dec-22
Zbone 21-Dec-22
Michael 21-Dec-22
Charlie Rehor 21-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost 21-Dec-22
APauls 21-Dec-22
RK 21-Dec-22
Zbone 21-Dec-22
Michael 21-Dec-22
Zbone 21-Dec-22
Grey Ghost 21-Dec-22
bigswivle 21-Dec-22
JusPassin 22-Dec-22
IKE220 23-Dec-22
TJS 23-Dec-22
Bou’bound 23-Dec-22
smarba 23-Dec-22
fuzzy 23-Dec-22
From: Scrappy
20-Dec-22

Scrappy's Link
Crazy Technology for sure. Whether we like it or not the use of drones while sitting in the stand is coming.

I can see it now, just send up your drone to locate your big buck in his bed then decide on the best stand to sit.

20-Dec-22
Most States have preemptively banned drones for hunting purposes.

From: Woods Walker
20-Dec-22
Or which bait pile he's on. And don't forget to name him too!

"Hunting"......riiiiight......

From: Woods Walker
20-Dec-22
Tracking skills? We don't need no steeenking tracking skills!

I can see it now.....just put a microchip in your broadhead/bullet, and let the computers do the tracking! Shoot from whatever distance you like. Then you can even arm the drones and you can sit on your ass in your house and do a "virtual" hunt. If you have a really big TV screen you can even make it seem like you're in the woods!

From: Aspen Ghost
20-Dec-22
Wouldn't be legal in my state.

Interesting that I watched two of his videos. He was 2 for 2 in finding the arrowed bucks but 0 for 2 in recovering them.

From: Top Pin
20-Dec-22
I think the use of drones to locate and recover a shot or wounded animal would be a very useful tool.

From: GFL
20-Dec-22
I have a no fly zone over my farm!

From: Bigdog 21
20-Dec-22
It's probably being used more then we know. I'm sure a poacher would use one to the fullness extreme.

From: tobywon
20-Dec-22
I've been watching some of his videos, very interesting use of the technology to recover deer. I've seen ones where the deer was still alive and unaware of the drone and I can only imagine a recovery dog would push deer from their beds in this situation. I'm not saying I'm for or against drones for this purpose, but definitely an interesting use of the technology.

From: Bowboy
20-Dec-22
Not legal in WY.

From: 70lbDraw
20-Dec-22
They’re great for shed hunting!

From: Bou'bound
20-Dec-22
At least take some physical manual manipulation of the drone control by the hunter to employ that tactic that’s more than could be said for sitting at your desk letting trail cam pictures come in over the cell phone to tell you which DEER is where when

From: Grey Ghost
20-Dec-22
Illegal in Colorado, too.

20-Dec-22
Easy button… just like the new norm for whitetail hunters. Throw out bait, put up a cell cam, wait until buck starts daylighting, go sit stand. I’d rather not hunt than hunt in that manor. Drives me absolutely batty. Yea, I know I probably sound like the “get off my lawn” guy.

Edit: not sure I’d be opposed to finding a deer this way, but it would sure open up a can of worms for finding deer and killing them.

From: Jaquomo
20-Dec-22
WW, the gps tracking technology for arrows is already here. A company in Idaho makes an attachment that fits behind the broadhead with a barb that hooks into the hide as the arrow passes through. My hunting partner field tested it but did not shoot anything. Probably illegal in most states.

From: smarba
20-Dec-22
It might be a gray area here in NM. Drones not allowed for hunting, but I haven't read anything about recovery. However, technically if you used it to find a wounded but still living animal, then you wouldn't be able to hunt (finish) it.

Honestly I'm not sure the drone is any more effective than a good tracking dog, although perhaps more readily available.

From: jjs
20-Dec-22
an alternative to sporting clays.

From: Ziek
20-Dec-22
If any of you still have it, checkout my article on pg. 68 of the Spring 2013 P&Y Ethic. It's not about drones, but it's getting closer to reality every day.

From: bigswivle
20-Dec-22
Man it’s just a slippery slope. I think we’re all in favor of anything that would help us recover an animal before it goes bad but where does it end? Rangefinders, crossbows, cell cameras? Where does the line stop?

From: RSP PA
20-Dec-22
If you have never flown a drone around deer, then your opinion is useless in this topic. Try and get within a 100 yards of a whitetail with 1, then post your thoughts. They aren’t stealth nor quiet.

From: Ollie
20-Dec-22
Does it come with a “Bowhunters do it the Hard Way” bumper sticker?

From: APauls
20-Dec-22
The “All in favour of most ethical kill” argument falls flat when you follow it to its logical end that killing cattle is most ethical. Rifle hunting at short distances is most ethical. Using a recurve is unethical compared to a crossbow when all you look at is the kill and recovery.

Hunting and what it is must be fought for and guarded, but hunting itself is its own thing.

From: Fields
20-Dec-22
In theory, its good, but like anything, it will be used for purposes other than retrieval.. Im sure its already being misused....

Where does the line stop?? I doesn't. LOL..

From: RK
20-Dec-22
That's an interesting article. We use a drone at the ranch for cattle but not deer. In our experience the drone scares wildlife. Must be a southern thing

We used helicopters often to find dead deer especially when there were high trophy fees involved. Drones did not cut it

From: t-roy
20-Dec-22
I’m wondering if I could get my wife to fly me in a refill when I run out of hot chocolate, mid morning. Would that be considered unethical?

From: bigswivle
20-Dec-22
I’ve gotten into thermal stuff the last couple years for coyotes and hogs, man it’s cool stuff. My thermal drone scares the crap out of deer

From: Tracker
20-Dec-22
I have a friend that flys his drone above whitetail all the time. They know it's there but pay little attention to it. I have seen his video.

From: Jaquomo
20-Dec-22
Drones scare the willies out of muleys, elk, pronghorns, and moose where I live. Run like their asses are on fire when they hear it coming. Seems like using one to try to recover a hit animal would push it into the next county if it isn't dead yet.

From: Zbone
20-Dec-22
Was he using inferred seeing body heat to locate? Man that can be a bigtime cheating tool... I'm from Ohio, and haven't any idea if that is legal, or even how to find out... Am guessing, if the ODNR gets wind of this it won't be legal for long...

From: Aspen Ghost
21-Dec-22
Zbone, it's illegal in Ohio.

From: Pat Lefemine
21-Dec-22
I own a drone, and have a thermal scope and a thermal monocular for coyote hunting.

They are not effective for finding game. Drones make a lot of noise, they only can fly for about 15 minutes before battery is depleted, and unless the deer is dead in a wheat field - good luck finding that needle in a haystack in the woods.

Thermals show differences in heat so unless it’s cold out it’s really hard to identify a deer and you have to have direct line of sight. If it’s bedded in thickets it’s almost impossible to see and identify.

The only (totally unethical) effective use for drones is to push, or disturb game. You see a herd of elk in a far meadow so a scumbag flies his drone to push them in his direction. Or the geese landed on the wrong side of the cornfield, etc.

I use mine to get really good B-roll shots for video features. When filming my summer plots I occasionally I see deer in my bean fields but to actually identify what they are (bucks?) I’ve got to be within 100 yards and they are bolting away long before that.

I imagine a thermal drone is marginally effective at finding down game but low end units are 6k. Even with them, they are far less effective than a dog.

I think the hysteria over drones is well intentioned, but completely divorced from reality. The biggest problem I see with them is hunter harassment. That’s about the only use-case they are completely effective for.

From: fuzzy
21-Dec-22
T-roy I've never had a wife that'd bring me a cup into the next room. Lol

From: bigswivle
21-Dec-22
Zbone, it's illegal in Ohio.

I’ve seen a few of his recoveries in Ohio

From: Zbone
21-Dec-22
Yeah, not sure where to find the legalities of it, don't remember reading it in the regs... If it is illegal, the guy sure is bold putting it on the internet...

From: sticksender
21-Dec-22
I have an older DJI Phantom drone. I don't fly it much anymore, but in the past I found that it does indeed scare the bejeezus out of whitetail deer. It's loud and the deer, in daylight at least, do not like the sound above them at all. The new drones as best I can tell are not all that much much quieter. Based on that, unless you could fly the drone higher than the statutory ceiling limit (133 yards above the ground), I don't believe it would be too useful for "hunting" purposes in daytime, unless you were trying to intentionally push them. Maybe at night thee deer would be more tolerant of the noise, I don't know, I never flew mine at night because it was formerly not permitted under FAA rules, but apparently night flying is allowed now. YMMV.

From: ILBow288
21-Dec-22
He was on working class bowhunter last week. It was a pretty good listen. According to this guy, its EXTREMELY effective for finding wounded deer, and unless the deers under a log or under water, he's able to locate it. He operates mostly at night or dusk/dawn when the heat signature of a deer contrasts most with the surroundings. It sounds he's attempting to do everything ethically and encouraging others to do so too, so it doesn't get banned throughout the country. I'd still be ok with my state banning it. Too many ways for it be abused.

From: bigswivle
21-Dec-22
I can fly at 300’ and see deer and hogs clearly at night.

From: Hh76
21-Dec-22
Maybe it was because that deer was injured, but that video certainly made it seem easy to locate deer. I can't believe anyone would argue that use of a drone or thermal imaging isn't a huge, unnatural advantage.

WI has rules against hunting with aircraft, I assume a drone would be considered aircraft?

From: Grey Ghost
21-Dec-22
I read an article in Bowhunter Magazine (I believe) about this guy. It stated he did extensive research on the legality in Ohio. He found that was legal to locate a dead deer with a drone. But it wasn’t clear whether a hunter could legally pursue a wounded deer immediately after being located. So, he’s definitely operating in a gray area. I suspect regulations will be passed that eliminate that gray area.

Matt

From: ILBow288
21-Dec-22
Matt, You are correct. He's consulted with the DNR and attorneys prior to doing any of this.

From: Aspen Ghost
21-Dec-22

Aspen Ghost's Link
From Page 39 of the Ohio DNR Hunting Brochure: "Aircraft or drones are prohibited in hunting or the aid of hunting for all game."

If ODNR is ok with using drones to track deer after they are shot at (including missed, wounded and dead) for the purpose of determining how badly injured they are and where they are "ready" to recover or whether the hunter needs to continue hunting them (including sneaking in on a located wounded deer to finish it) then I guess that's their prerogative.

I guess ODNR no longer considers anything that happens after the first shot part of the hunting process.

21-Dec-22
Great for the patrolling of trespassers.

From: bigswivle
21-Dec-22
Great for the patrolling of trespassers.

For sure, one problem though, they have the same technology

From: Zbone
21-Dec-22
Thank you much Aspen Ghost!!! Finally found it after pointing the page out... Yep, you're right, it's in there, it's only one short sentence, but it's there.... So yeah, this guy is in violation of a game law... Good thing he didn't assist is a dead deer recovery, had it been a 200 incher, the ODNR would have snatched that deer right up, they are notorious at confiscating high scoring bucks if illegal or if you don't dot your "I"s and cross your "T"s...8^)

From: Michael
21-Dec-22
I too listened to the working class bowhunter podcast and have watched some of his videos on his YouTube channel.

This guys drone isn’t a few hundred dollar drone. He has over 20 grand into this drone.

In watching his videos he isn’t spooking any deer.

If he finds the deer that has been shot and it’s still a live he leaves the property. He gives the hunter a pin for the deer location. I would assume if the hunter goes in that night and has to shoot the animal some laws have been broken at least by the hunter anyway. But if the hunter goes in the next day and the deer is dead were any laws broken? Or if the hunter goes in the next day and the hunter has to shoot the deer have any laws been broken? After all it is the next day.

He requires a picture of the buck before it was shot. He won’t give pins to hunters of any deer that have not been shot.

As others have said this guy has done his research on wether it’s illegal or not in Ohio. In his videos he has talked about what the FAA requires as well and follows their regulations. If I remember right he can’t fly over 400’ above the ground.

He has found deer days after the shot as well.

He isn’t cheap either. He has a flat rate, per mile rate and charges $100 when the hit deer is found.

I will hold my opinion on this. However it gets thrown into when do we say we have reached our threshold for technology.

21-Dec-22
We’ll researched Michael. Equipment is over 20k. I watched his YouTube channel as well and feel the same way you do. With his social media exposure if he was doing something illegal he’d be stopped quickly.

Personally I would never use this service (if a deers dead I’ll find him at some point) but it is a high tech version of tracking dogs. Tracking dogs were illegal in some states until they weren’t.

From: Aspen Ghost
21-Dec-22
Zbone, Unfortunately, what the ODNR prints and what they enforce seem to be two different things.

I watched a bunch of this guys recovery videos. He is all over Ohio doing this quite publicly. He is clearly aiding in peoples hunts, showing them where wounded and non-wounded deer are. And those people are clearly following up by continuing to hunt those places.

And yet the ODNR does nothing. So apparently the ODNR no longer considers anything that happens after the first shot part of the hunting process.

From: APauls
21-Dec-22
In Manitoba tracking dogs are illegal. They don't want us finding our wounded deer. The reason this guy is finding deer is because he is using a heat signature. That is serious $$

From: RK
21-Dec-22
Right after we got our drone I was out one morning practicing with it and decided to fly it over the shop area to see if everyone had showed up for work. When it got there I could see all the vehicles but no workers anywhere. I brought the drone back and drove over to the shop area to see what was going on. All of the workers thought the drone sounded like a swarm of killer bees headed their way and they had all gone into the shop or their vehicles to hide out.

From: Zbone
21-Dec-22
Aspen Ghost - the ODNR is just waiting for him to assist in recovery of a 200 plus inch monster buck to confiscating and decorate one of their offices and use the $20K drone to spy on hunters...8^)))

From: Michael
21-Dec-22
Zbone, He has already recovered a deer over 200”. It’s on his YouTube channel.

From: Zbone
21-Dec-22
Hmmmm.... Wow, maybe ODNR isn't aware or if they are, as Aspen Ghost indicated, they aren't enforcing the law... You'd think they know if it made a splash on youtube (I didn't know until now)... I do know they do monitor the Ohio forum...

From: Grey Ghost
21-Dec-22
Internet legal experts aside, apparently this guy did his legal due diligence. As the regulations stand and are enforced, he’s legal. He found a gray area niche to capitalize on. Good for him. It may not last long, however.

Matt

From: bigswivle
21-Dec-22
Seems like a legitimate business and good for him.

From: JusPassin
22-Dec-22
If you can't hunt without a battery you're not much.

From: IKE220
23-Dec-22
As ILBH288 said he was on a WCB podcast. He gets called in to locate a hit deer. Usually to not push it off property. It is a $20K drone with thermal and zoom. He flys at 300' mostly at dusk or dawn to pick up the heat signature. When located it's up to the hunter to retrieve. He's located in Ohio and his rate is $450 + mileage, $100 bonus if deer is located. He said he is swamped with work. Obviously, he is getting called on big buck recovery. Seems to be a very ethical person that has found and researched his niche.

From: TJS
23-Dec-22
I saw and appreciated quite a few of the Youtube videos. Seems ethical and within laws. I would have used him on a bad hit on a trophy deer this past season. This deer is dead, just not recovered.

I am (not) surprised at some of the responses above came, seemingly, without research and/or not understanding his process.

From: Bou’bound
23-Dec-22

Bou’bound's embedded Photo
Bou’bound's embedded Photo

From: smarba
23-Dec-22
I would think nothing he's doing would be illegal. He's just locating a dead/wounded deer. It's what the hunter does that may become illegal. If the deer is dead, I'd assume just go retrieve it, no problem. But if the deer is still alive, then the hunter would be using aerial real-time information if he sneaks out to put another arrow into the deer. That's where things may run afoul of the law. But to the hunter, not to the drone pilot.

From: fuzzy
23-Dec-22
Just JusPassin you're right. I need to get a hunting car with a magneto ignition and hand crank.

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