Is It Possible to Go Deer Hunting with a Drone?

The drone, also known by some as an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, has many uses in various industries, which includes photography, agriculture, real estate, construction, and security. While drones can be quite versatile, there are certain industries and activities that forbid the use of these gadgets. One of these activities where the use of drones is forbidden is deer hunting. In case you don’t know, deer hunting is an activity where people hunt deer for meat or simply for sport, and this activity is believed to have started thousands of years ago. 

As mentioned previously, there are two reasons why deer hunting is popular, and the first reason is that the deer’s meat, called venison, is considered one of the most nutritious food sources for humans, although people that don’t like hunting have already found alternatives for deer meat. The second reason is that hunters would often like to compete with others to see which one would hunt a deer with the biggest or most intricate antlers.

The popularity of deer hunting is also attributed to its difficulty, as you would need to be a seasoned hunter or at least adapt to using hunting weapons to successfully hunt deer. So, with its difficulty, there are plenty of people that have used various gadgets and tools to help them hunt deer faster and easier. The drone is one of those gadgets, and because of the advantage that it brings to hunters, it has been banned for deer hunting in many states in the USA. Why is the drone banned? Let us find out as we learn more details about the connection between drones and deer hunting.

How is a Drone Advantageous for Deer Hunters?

Of course, drones were popular in deer hunting before they became banned. Its popularity eventually allowed people to see the benefits of using a drone for the activity. Here are the possible advantages that deer hunters have when they use drones.

Have Surveillance on a Large Part of the Forest

One of the most difficult aspects of deer hunting is finding out where a lot of deer are gathering, so you may need to explore a large part of the forest before you can find a deer to hunt. With drones, you will have a much faster time looking for deer, as you will be able to have an aerial view of the forest, which would then give you better sights of where you can find a herd of deer in the area.

Look for the Best Deer Faster

In addition to finding where deer herds are located, a drone would also allow hunters to look for a deer with the best-looking antlers faster. So, they don’t have to spend hours spotting or tracking the best deer, as they can just use a drone to have a much wider view of the forest, which would then enable hunters to have a much quicker way to survey wide areas.

Drones are Harder to Spot

Because of the small size of most drones available on the market, they are the perfect gadget for spying, and they are particularly used in hunting as a silent lookout for hunters, as they will be able to fly above herds of deer without being spotted. However, there would be drones that would have noisy motors or propellers, which makes them unsuitable for spying, but people can buy noiseless versions of these parts to make the drones quieter.

Why are Drones Banned for Deer Hunting?


There are various reasons why drones are banned from hunting, and these reasons are attributed to making the hunters “cheat” and also disturbing the wildlife of a forest by using unnatural techniques in hunting. Here are details about the reasons why drones are banned or prohibited from deer hunting.

FAA Regulations

The FAA or the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA has placed a ban on drones that are flown in natural habitats, national parks, and other areas where wildlife is preserved. A lot of people within the FAA see drones as a disturbance to wildlife, so hunters and people that visit forests and other natural areas in the US are not allowed to fly drones unless they have a permit to do so in some states.

Diminishes the Skills of Hunters

For many experienced hunters, the drones are considered an “easy way out” of hunting for deer, as hunters that use drones wouldn’t have to hone their skills in spotting and tracking anymore, which are skills that are essential for the most experienced hunters. 

So, the drones basically diminish the skills of hunters, as they will start to rely on drones once they get used to utilizing these flying gadgets in the forest or on the field heavily. Moreover, many hunters are advocating the ban of drones to preserve the history and culture of deer hunting.


Are there States in the US that Allow Drones for Hunting?

If you really want to use a drone for deer hunting, there are a few US states that don’t impose a ban on drones for the said activity. In addition, there are also some states that don’t ban drones but impose restrictions on them. As of 2022, here are the US states that allow drones for deer hunting.

  • Connecticut
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Delaware – drones are prohibited in State Wildlife Areas
  • Hawaii – if the drones are classified as aircraft
  • Iowa – if the drones are classified as aircraft
  • Kansas – drones can only be used to scout on land that is not managed by KDWPT (Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism)
  • Louisiana – drones are prohibited in State Wildlife Areas
  • Massachusetts – if the drones are classified as aircraft
  • Minnesota – drones are prohibited in State Wildlife Areas
  • South Carolina – drones cannot be used on game birds
  • Texas – drones need a permit before use

These are the pieces of information that you should know about before you go deer hunting with a drone. If you want to properly hone your skills as a deer hunter, we highly recommend that you don’t use drones, as they can prevent you from improving, and they are also banned in most states in the US, so you may have limited use for the drones.