News

Colorado town mulls issuing licenses to shoot down drones

Colorado town mulls issuing licenses to shoot down drones

Deer Trail, Colorado is considering paying bounties to anyone who shoots down an unmanned drone. Photo: WENN

DENVER (Reuters) – The farming and ranching town of Deer Trail, Colorado, which boasts that it held the world’s first rodeo in 1869, is now considering starting a 21st century tradition – paying bounties to anyone who shoots down an unmanned drone.

Next month, trustees of the town of 600 that lies on the high plains 55 miles east of Denver will debate an ordinance that would allow residents to purchase a $25 hunting license to shoot down “unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Similar to the bounties governments once paid to hunters who killed animals that preyed on livestock, but only after they produced the ears, the town would pay $100 to anyone who can produce the fuselage and tail of a downed drone.

“Either the nose or tail may be damaged, but not both,” the proposal notes.

The measure was crafted by resident Phillip Steel, a 48-year-old Army veteran with a master’s degree in business administration, who acknowledges the whimsical nature of his proposal.

But the expansion of drones for commercial and government use is alarming, he said.

“We don’t want to become a surveillance society,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

He said he has not seen any drones, but that “some local ranchers” outside the town limits have seen them.

Under the proposal, hunters could legally shoot down a drone flying under 1,000 feet with a 12-gauge or smaller shotgun.

The town also would be required to establish a drone “recognition program” for shooters to properly identify the targeted aircraft.

“In no case shall a citizen engage an obviously manned aerial vehicle,” the draft proposal reads.

Steel said that if the town trustees don’t vote to adopt the ordinance, it will go before voters in a special election.

“Yes, it is tongue-in-cheek, but I’m going to vote for it,” said Dorothy Pisel, one of the town’s trustees. “It could benefit the town with all the publicity.”

Steel acknowledges his idea is symbolic but he hopes it will curtail the use of drones over the 1.1-square mile burg.

“If you don’t want your drone to go down, don’t fly it in town,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration did not immediately have a comment.

Latest Headlines

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP351363760471

A look at some of this week's best moments in sports.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

jameis

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Music

WATCH: Dan Rather interviews Jack White

14-overlay

Sitting down with legendary newsman Dan Rather, the rocker talks about everything from music to being misunderstood.

in Music, Sports

Vince Gill named best golfer in music

vincegill

Gill beat out other country stars Kip Moore and Jake Owen to be named the best on the golf course.

in Music

Slipknot frontman opens up about Joey Jordison’s departure

jordison

Jordison left the band in December, 18 years after he joined the group.