Colorado town to vote on drone hunting licenses

Sept. 3, 2013 at 10:02 PM
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DEER TRAIL, Colo., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The people of Deer Trail, Colo., will vote in a special referendum Oct. 8 to decide whether the town of about 550 will issue hunting licenses for drones.

The proposed ordinance was written by and is being lobbied for by Phil Steel, who said Tuesday he is concerned about the federal government's efforts to set parameters for drones to fly in U.S. airspace, possibly at lower altitudes than manned aircraft, The Denver Post reported.

"My intent is to encourage people to shoot back," Steel said. "We've lost our patience."

The Federal Aviation Administration has officially frowned on that concept, warning shooting unmanned aircraft could result in prosecution.

Steel has already started selling unofficial licenses that have a spot for the Deer Trail mayor's signature. So far, he's had 60 buyers, mostly from out of state and as far away as Australia, the Post said.

Steel's proposed ordinance would require the town, located about 55 miles east of Denver, to issue licenses for $25 per year to anyone who speaks and can read English. License holders would be authorized to shoot at drones flying below 1,000 feet over private property during daylight hours.

Steel, who has set up Professional Drone Hunters Inc., a company he says will be a vendor for governments issuing licenses, said Tuesday, "It's a question of not whether licenses are going to be sold, but a question of whether the town is willing to accept free money."

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