This is they time of year when it's more common than not to see people wearing camo in Missouri. Hunting season is upon us and this year it involves a question thanks to new technology. Can you legally use a drone to hunt wildlife in Missouri? The answer is more complicated than you probably think.

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I heard this question come up in conversation from a friend who frequently flies drones from a young hunter. Can you legally fly a drone to assist with hunting much like an old-school hunter would have used a hunting dog or binoculars?

The short answer is no. You cannot legally use a drone for hunting in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation stipulates what you can and can't do with your drone in Missouri. Here's the short list:

  • You cannot use a drone to harass wildlife or other users
  • The Missouri law says you cannot use a drone to "pursue, take, attempt to take, drive, or molest wildlife."
  • You can't fly a drone near wildlife to cause them distress or affect migration and movement.
  • You can't use a drone to track down a wounded animal

The long answer isn't so simple. I saw the Springfield News-Leader mention in an article that the state of Missouri is considering allowing some drone use for scouting like other states have now adopted. They said that the greatest request the state of Missouri is getting from hunters is the use of drones for scouting.

Time will tell if the age old tradition of hunting in Missouri will adapt to the new technology available to society. Maybe someday a drone will be the modern-day scouting tool for those skillful enough to use them without harassing the wildlife we all want to protect.

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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews

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