An Oregon State Police truck in Gales Creek on October 31, 2021. The snout of either a decoy or real elk or deer is seen poking up out of the truck bed. Photo: Chas Hundley

In the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division's September 2021 newsletter, released at the end of October, one entry in the report noted that a pair of hunters were seen using a drone to scout for the upcoming rifle season on private property near Banks.

A North Plains OSP trooper contacted them, and the pair said they didn’t know drones can’t be used to hunt.

“They said they thought drones fell under the “8-hour rule” when a person cannot hunt within 8 hours of flying into an area,” the report from OSP said. “The Trooper made it clear to the subjects that drones are not allowed to be used in any aspect of hunting.”

Both hunters were issued warnings for Hunting Prohibited Method, and the landowner that had given the pair permission to hunt there revoked their hunting permissions, OSP said.

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Oregon's fishing and hunting regulations are clear that drones cannot be used for hunting or fishing. In fact, the use of aircraft in general is limited. Oregon regulations state that it is unlawful to “hunt within eight hours of having been transported by, communicating with, or having received information on the location of a game mammal from an aircraft.”

And as for drones, the regulations are clear, with ODF&W noting it is unlawful to use drones for hunting, trapping, or angling, or to use drones to aid in those activities to harass, track, locate, or scout wildlife, or to interfere with someone who is lawfully hunting, trapping, or angling.