The animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced plans on Monday for a drone program that will use remote-controlled aircraft to keep an eye on hunters. According to a press release, the group is actively shopping for drones to include in the program. The top contender is Aerobot’s state-of-the-art CineStar Octocopter, although it remains to be seen which particular drone type the organization will choose.

“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching.”

The program will fly drones over popular hunting and fishing spots, although specific locations have not been released. PETA intends on using the devices to record illegal activity and combat those that “gun down deer and doves.” The drones will not have any weapon capabilities.

The reaction from sportsmen to this program has been overwhelmingly negative. While a number of hunters approve of anti-poaching drones such as those supplementing conservation forces in Nepal and Kenya, some say that based on PETA’s past history with hunting, law-abiding outdoorsmen will be targeted. Many worry that the drones will accomplish nothing more than to harass hunters and anglers.

“While hunters disguise themselves as trees and pretend they are ducks, it is only fair to give animals something to fight back with,” wrote activist Alisa Mullins on PETA’s official blog.

You can read PETA’s announcement here.

A demonstration of the Cinestar Octocopter can be seen below, operated by a non-PETA affiliated hobbyist:


Image screenshot of video by montavestaman on youtube

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23 thoughts on “PETA Aims to “Spy on Hunters” with Aerial Surveillance Drones

  1. “law-abiding outdoorsmen will be targeted. Many worry that the drones
    will accomplish nothing more than to harass hunters and anglers” That says it all. Not sure what kind of trouble you’d get into for shooting it down, but they can certain be in trouble with F&G for hunter harassment.

    1. Trouble?? Last time I looked, you are allowed to defend yourself and should this thing come near you while in the woods anyone would probably make the mistake of thinking this thing was some type MUTANT MOSQUITO and shoot it down in self-defence!! Oh, wonder if they will be classed the same as Feral Pigs and Yotes by DNR with open seasons and unlimited bag limits allowed?

  2. Just one more species that we get to hunt! Hopefully DNR will treat them as Yotes and Feral Pigs and not impose a season or bag limit. Only problem I have is, I normally do not harvest anything that I don’t eat and, at the moment, I haven’t the slightest idea of what kind of marinade would tenderise the thing! Anyone got any ideas?

  3. Lol…Lol….Ok…..These people are nuts, How much do these drones cost? and how many do you think they can afford? and how big is the US? Most poachers will be in camo of some sort and won’t be able to be recognized by photo, and because they “claim” they are going to be used against poachers they can’t go to the land owners to verify who they are… these will only be used to harrass leagal hunters….They will be shot down……

  4. Real simple: Shoot it down, salvage the camera and cool stuff, and then bury it. Never say a word. This concept won’t last long. It’s actually pretty funny when you think about it. Yeah Peta, give it your best shot.

  5. Just maybe, PETA could be involved in such harassment and endangering law suits that it would put them out of business. I would be concerned for the operator’s safety if some folks caught them spooking game or harassing hunters.

    1. Do it even if hunting has been great. Invasion of privacy. “Sorry, thought it was a pheasant!”

  6. PETA best read these comments. Sitting in a deer stand can get quite boring. Will be glad to practice on some UFO buzzing around my deer stand. Bring it on PETA, hope you got insurance.

  7. on the other hand, a filament based shotgun load (a type of flak) could bring down the drone in one piece. Start your own drone and video cam parts business.

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