People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced a bold new program earlier this year that proposed the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, to “monitor” hunters and anglers in popular recreational areas. At the time, PETA implied that its staff would be purchasing and piloting the surveillance drones themselves, but a recent press release revealed that the organization will be outsourcing that duty to its members. For the price of $324.99 plus shipping, any PETA member can purchase an “Air Angel” drone from the organization’s online catalog.

“Bowhunting season in Massachusetts is now open—but hunters who are hitting the woods had better keep an eye on the skies,” PETA wrote in a news release.

It is an attempt by the animal rights organization to create a hobby of “hunter watching.” PETA encourages its members to use the drones to follow sportsmen and record video of hunts, hoping to get footage of “illegal or cruel hunting practices, such as failing to follow an injured deer, laying bait to lure geese, or leaving bear cubs orphaned.”

“PETA’s drones will help protect wildlife by letting hunters know that someone may be watching—and recording—them, so they should think twice before illegally killing or maiming any living being,” said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Wildlife watchers outnumber wildlife killers five to one—and if even a fraction of these kind people use hobby drones, they’ll make a huge difference by exposing hunters’ dirty secrets.”

The footage will then be collected by PETA and possibly shared with law enforcement. Beyond that, the organization does not specify what it will do with the accumulated video.

The vast majority of sportsmen have reacted negatively to PETA’s announcement, saying that using drones to stalk hunters is merely harassment. Drones are an increasingly popular tool in conservation and wildlife protection, but many say PETA’s true motive is to discourage hunting. Unmanned patrol craft are useful in surveying large tracts of wilderness for poachers, and have been used successfully in places such as Nepal or Kenya. However, PETA’s push to monitor law-abiding outdoorsmen is seen by hunters as an invasion of privacy.

Lawmakers agreed. Shortly after PETA’s announcement in April, Texas severely limited recreational drone use and made surveillance with a drone a misdemeanor. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also signed a bill in August banning the use of drones to interfere with hunters or anglers, with language that specifically mentioned PETA.

“I think these drones are a new frontier as far as the invasion of our personal rights,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Representative Adam Brown (R-Champaign).

Image screenshot of video by videoswatch2013 on YouTube

What's Your Reaction?

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  • fliteking

    Hinters should work in pairs, when a drone is obviously harassing a hunter . . . another (off camera) hunter needs to blast it out of the sky.

    Years back hunters would hang varmints from a barbed wire fence . . . we should do the same with PETA drones.

  • renegade

    Good target practice. I will shoot them out of the sky.

  • Tom

    I would love to see a drone fly over. Cheep skeet shooting as far as I’m concerned.

  • AZPaul

    I’ll be they make good target practice.

  • maddmedic

    Drone hunting. No limit, try to maim so you can scavenge parts. Build your own drones. Use them against those idiots like PETA!!…And the NSA..

  • nummer

    has anyone ever heard of dnipe hunting (it is all the rage in england) involves shooting RC targets in the sky For real, maybe we could “partner” with PETA they provide the target we provide the ammo.

  • nummer

    I meant Snipe hunting

  • Animals Deserve Better

    Why don’t you bowhunt; at least give animals a chance. Or, go 1:1 w/a bear or wolf, then see how brave you are.
    Go PETA!

    • CMiller

      PETA kills more animals yearly than hunters do. Those that are killed by PETA do not benefit humans. Hunters kill to control population growth and for food. 99.9% of hunters eat what they kill.

      • Animals Deserve Better

        I’ve found dead carcasses on my property w/trophy horns cut off. Don’t talk to me about how innocent hunters are. By the way, I’m not even. PETA mbr but someone needs to monitor these so-called hunters.

      • Robby777

        I agree. Those are not hunters, but they are criminal and unethical. Most hunters will agree

      • Graywolf12

        I hope you reported that to the game commission. Hunters do NOT want such criminals associated with their sport. Every one must help keep the sport clean so people like peta can not destroy it. REPORT all criminal activity.

      • Your mom

        Thats a poacher you asshat. Take a shower you filthy hippy.

      • Scott H

        Damn, you are flexible if you can wear your ass as a hat… Are you enjoying crapping all over yourself with that asshat?

      • raptor45

        Sure…..yeah, we believe that. You need to get off the liquor.

      • teesquare

        If you even owned any property – that would connote that you know something of wildlife…Which in turn means you would know they are ANTLERS…not HORNS…..
        You emotional tear bags dis-credit your own cause due to your ignorance of what hunters really do.
        Sure – there will always be “bad hunters”…Just like their will be stupid, crazy, PETA people…until we can convince Russia to come and get the rest of your sorry asses….

    • Big D

      Hunters(and fishermen) foot the bill to take care of and manage wildlife in all states that I am aware of. Without them you’d have no wildlife in many states.
      peta sucks.

    • Graywolf12

      Why don’t you get out of mothers cellar and go see what the real world outdoor life is like. Oh, I am sure you are not allowed to do anything with out a helmet, knee pads, thigh pads, ETC.

      • Animals Deserve Better

        Hey, I’ve probably seen more of the real world than you- raised cattle & sheep & lost 8 lambs to a cougar; worked @ a wildlife refuge where raptors’ wings had to be amputated because
        people like you thought it was fun to try & kill a hawk. Why don’t you do something constructive with your life.

      • Jeff

        That is like saying everyone that drinks is a Drunk Driver Sure there are NUmb-nuts who do stupid, but on a whole hunters are NOT them, …

      • teesquare

        SO…did you raise the cattle and sheep just for pets? Or were they for food???

        There are at LEAST as many of you no-bathing tree huggin’ Al Gore leg humpin’ socio-pathic mis-fits…that like to bomb and burn research centers as there are “bad hunters”.

        So – why don’t YOU do something constructive – and STOP your crazy assed brethren from committing felonious acts that endanger PEOPLE’s lives???

      • Graywolf12

        I have. I worked in the medical field for 44 years where helping people was our only job. I milked cows by hand, fed chickens, carried a hurt calf 1/2 mile to get her where the vet could help her. I raised many wild rabbit where the mother was gone. I shot 1 hawk in my 78 years only because it was killing our chickens. I am not as killer as you seem to think. Oh, yes I am a member of Ducks Unlimited and HAVE SHOT 1 DUCK FOR AN OLD GIRLFRIEND. I also donate to other wildlife funds. What do you do other than accuse people of crap.

    • NRA-Joe

      We don’t need idiots like you. Humanity deserves better

    • teesquare

      I am a lifetime member of PETA!

      P eople
      E ating
      T asty
      A nimals

  • Mark G.

    At first I thought this was a joke. Maybe it is. If not, these drones would have to be controlled from someone nearby. I doubt they are controlled by satellite link like military drones. So it would be easy to locate the “pilot” controlling the drone. Confrontations could occur. And it is doubtful that most hunters could be monitored, especially in remote areas. All the hunters I know follow the rules and are ethical and so PETA may discover that hunters are actually a good group of people. As with all things, the few spoil it for the rest. This all sounds more like a publicity stunt. I do not know how high these drones fly, but they could spook wildlife and interfere with hunting which also may be their motive. So it there is a good case for harassment and interfering with the right to the pursuit of happiness, etc.

    • Animals Deserve Better

      I’m all for people’s rights, but if any of you have seen the gruesome things I’ve had to clean up (rabbits & quail) run down by snowmobiles, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to like hunting edpecially when your land is posted as such. You want to hunt to feed your family, fine by me, otherwise leave the animals alone.

      • Ender Consumerist

        What does rabbits and quail getting run down by snow-machines have to do with hunters?


        I’m sorry to hear that you have some scumbags that live by you that do not respect wildlife, but that doesn’t mean they are hunters. Right?

      • Animals Deserve Better

        Right. Just venting.

      • teesquare

        I dare say that 90% of hunting is done for food. The other 10% are there just to piss you off. Looks like it’s working!

    • Dines

      Great points Mark! If a drone was to follow me, my family and anyone I know, they would see ethical hunts, bonding with friends and family and gourmet prepared wild game. There are very few instances that actually happen the way PETA preaches and the numbers of warden citations will reflect that fact. Please send one out our way they can watch all they want! Maybe we can team up and use some of their great aerial footage?

    • raptor45

      Catch them, whip their @sses, tear up their toys and send them packing. Very easy thing to do and to get away with.

    • Tony Greif Sr.

      You can get equipment from nearly any good hobby store and fly drones from miles away. You should check out Youtube for drones, people even make drones out of normal RC planes and fly them like they are in a video game, there is some pretty wild stuff.
      They even have some that will fly a pre-programmed flight path, then come back and land themselves, all stuff you can buy from hobby stores.

      • Tony Greif Sr.

        I just looked at the thing they sell, it says the range is only 165 feet…sounds more like a scam to make money for PETA, i know the members are stupid but to get that close to hunters while operating this thing is just asking for a beating, lol.

  • Robby777

    Shooting them down is a good method. Shotguns only. Invasion of privacy, interference with hunting and fishing [due to noise] is illegal.

  • Robby777

    If they say that it is noiseless or unobservable, then it should be okay if a hunter can’t “see or hear” it and shoot it down

  • tim

    Might be fun to team up with peta and actually have aerial dog fight. It would be great traing for larger drones. Thanks peta!

  • Lynne Phillips

    you have got to be kidding this is over the top tell me peta whaer do u think all the meat in grocery store comes from?? u peat peeps r nuts

  • Eric

    the only footage i want to see from these is what its like when steel shot is coming at it about 1500fps.


    Let it be known that if a drown is detected by any hunter, fisherman & out door sports minded person they should take every action to bring this machine down!

  • ADW

    Just another example of PETA’s massively inaccurate perception of reality when it comes to hunting and wildlife managment…

  • disqus_NdbZjEtTJH

    Sounds like a great target practice program…..Might even end up creating a collection of PETA Pets. Just think of the wall trophies….I’m in!

  • sugar bear

    I think the hunting part is a Lie its going to be used to survey ALL kinds of animal places if peta starts this Trust me its not for hunters . this will be there new method of spying on all animal places .

  • teesquare


  • ct

    Aerial assistance is illegal hunting in most states, if not all in all states. How is a game warden to know if the person in the field operating the drone is assisting a hunter or merely “watching”? I would think that any aerial “watching” during a hunting season would be suspect for illegal activity and game wardens should approach it as such.