Colorado town to consider drone-hunting licenses, bounty

Dylan Stableford

A small town in Colorado is considering an ordinance that would create licenses and bounties for hunters to shoot down drones.

"We do not want drones in town," Phillip Steel, the Deer Trail, Colo., resident who drafted the ordinance, told Denver's ABC 7 affiliate. "They fly in town, they get shot down."

Steel's proposal, recently submitted to the town board, calls for $25 drone hunting licenses, and outlines "rules of engagement" for hunters looking to shoot down the unmanned aerial devices:

The Town of Deer Trail shall issue a reward of $100 to any shooter who presents a valid hunting license and the following identifiable parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle whose markings and configuration are consistent with those used on any similar craft known to be owned or operated by the United States federal government.

Steel said that while he's never seen a drone flying in Deer Trail, the ordinance is a "symbolic" one.

"Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society and I believe we are headed that way," he said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Deer Trail's population was 559 in 2011.

"They'll sell like hot cakes," Steel said of the proposed drone licenses. "It could be a huge moneymaker for the town."

David Boyd, one of the Deer Field's seven board members, supports the drone ordinance.

"Even if a tiny percentage of people get online (for a) drone license, that's cool," Boyd said. That's a lot of money to a small town like us. Could be known for it as well, which probably might be a mixed blessing, but what the heck."

There's even talk of the town—which claims to be home to "the world's first rodeo"—hosting the world's first drone hunt. "A skeet, fun-filled festival," town clerk Kim Oldfield said.

The board will consider the drone hunting ordinance on Aug. 6.