Deer Recovery

Michigan vs. Progress: Our Fight for Drone Use in Deer Recovery

Michigan vs. Progress: Our Fight for Drone Use in Deer Recovery



Kicking Things Off: Why We're Taking on Michigan

Michigan's interpretation of the "Drone Statute," which categorically prohibits the use of drones in any hunting activities, is being interpreted to include the recovery a already downed game. We firmly believe this interpretation not only stifles technological innovation and economic growth, but also infringes on our First Amendment rights. The law, originally intended to prevent technology-assisted hunting, does not clearly address activities like ours, which do not involve the actual "taking" or "hunting" of game. We argue that drone-assisted recovery of game already taken is a vastly different operation and that Michigan's sweeping interpretation is constitutionally flawed. Instead of fostering a fair and reasonable approach to drone usage, the current interpretation unfairly burdens businesses like ours and, importantly, our customers.

Who's representing us: Pacific Legal Foundation

We're not standing alone in this. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a third party with a solid reputation for defending liberty and justice, is teaming up with us. The Pacific Legal Foundation is a non-profit legal organization with a primary mission to protect and uphold constitutional liberties. Their work includes providing pro-bono legal support to individuals and businesses, like ours, who are fighting against unwarranted government overreach and standing up for principles of freedom and individual rights.

The PLF believes, as we do, that Michigan’s law is an outdated impediment to progress, and infringes on constitutional rights. They're stepping up to champion our cause, giving us free legal help and backing our mission with strong outside support.

The Problem: Michigan's Drone Law, Explained

Let's talk specifics. Michigan's law currently prohibits drones in the aid of hunting, pursuing, or taking a deer. At the same time, they require hunters to make every reasonable effort to recover a carcass. Treating the usage of a drone in the recovery of a carcass the same as using of a drone in the huntingis totally illogical in our opinion. It's time to bring laws up to date with the 21st century.

Oddly Enough: The Michigan DNR uses drones

It makes sense right? There's a ton of value that the ethical and responsible use of drones can bring to hunters, land owners, and the state. The DNR, oddly enough, allows drones to be used in other wildlife areas, which makes their stance on the deer recovery industry puzzling, to say the least.

We just want states to not hinder us w/ unreasonable roadblocks and requirements

The Bottom Line is we want to run our business without government overreach that interferes with our constitutional rights. Yes - the government may have a role in regulating this, and in ensuring that drones are not using to aid in scouting and hunting for deer, but we believe their current interpretation is both unreasonable unconstitutional.

Why We're Doing This: Setting a Game-Changing Precedent

Our aim isn't merely to win a lawsuit. We're looking to set a precedent. Lots of other states have similar outdated unclear and vague laws. We have got to move the conversation about how to ethically use drones in the aid of recovering a carcass forward. This is about enabling innovation, creating opportunities, and helping both the hunters and the state be successful.


Reading next

Drone Deer Recovery’s Herd Analysis and Its Application Elsewhere


Timothy Martin

Timothy Martin

Case was dismissed. Loss for us Michiganders.

David Roddy

David Roddy

Status on case? I haven’t seen or heard of any updates. Thanks.

Brent Stuart

Brent Stuart

What’s the status on this case? Where can I go for updates?

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