PETA Drones?

April 8, 2013

OK, I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but this somehow found its way into my email and I couldn’t think of a better place to share…

There are so many things I could say here, but so few of those things are constructive.  So I’ll leave it at face value, unedited and unremarked… for now.

For Immediate Release:

April 8, 2013



Kaitlynn Kelly 202-540-2202;



Group Will Go High-Tech This Fall to Bust Lawbreakers Who Leave Animals to Die and More

Norfolk, Va. — PETA will soon have some impressive new weapons at its disposal to combat those who gun down deer and doves. The group is shopping for one or more drone aircraft with which to monitor those who are out in the woods with death on their minds. PETA aims to collect video footage of any illegal activity, including drinking while in the possession of a firearm, a common complaint from those who live near wooded areas; maiming animals and failing to pursue them so that they die slowly and painfully; and using spotlights, feed lures, and other hunting tricks that are illegal in some areas but remain common practices among hunters. PETA currently has its sights on Australia-based Aerobot and its state-of-the-art remote-controlled CineStar Octocopter.

“The talk is usually about drones being used as killing machines, but PETA drones will be used to save lives,” says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “Slob hunters may need to rethink the idea that they can get away with murder, alone out there in the woods with no one watching.”

Hunters, using high-powered guns and bows and arrows, slaughter and maim millions of animals every year, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many animals illegally. It can take weeks for some animals who are merely wounded to succumb to their injuries. And research shows that for every animal killed by a bow hunter, another is maimed, never to be found again. Furthermore, the slaughtered animals aren’t the only victims, because weak or young family members are left to starve or be attacked by predators.

PETA also intends to fly the drones over factory farms, popular fishing spots, and other venues where animals routinely suffer and die.

For more information, please visit or click here.





10 Responses to “PETA Drones?”

  1. Mike M on April 8th, 2013 21:17

    Ah, I put peta right with other fanatics, they have zero credibility to anyone with any sense, and like other loony fringe groups they have an agenda that goes far beyond their stated aims.

    Ignore them, they are like the religious bozos who feed on criticism, it just reinforces their extreme beliefs.

  2. Phillip on April 9th, 2013 15:58

    Mike, I think you’re dead right. The truth is, I probably did them more good than harm by passing on this press release. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Oh well, it was an interesting source of conjecture and conversation.

  3. fang on April 9th, 2013 17:46

    U R right on ignoring it, they are looking into it doing this is not really news. just trying to scare ppl. Those drones are pretty noisy, with limited range, without a FAA certification the drone needs to be within the line of sight, under 400ft, so they need to follow u into the woods. 🙂

  4. Dylan Skola on April 11th, 2013 12:38

    There’s a fairly obvious weakness to this tactic in that the targets are guaranteed to be equipped with effective countermeasures: drones are highly vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire (including small arms).

    This was graphically demonstrated when an Octocopter piloted by a different animal rights group was shot down in Pennslyvania. Of course, as the DA in that story pointed out, this raises the concern of escalating into a situation that causes bodily harm to someone, which would certainly be a propaganda coup for the activists.

  5. Phillip on April 12th, 2013 08:32

    Dylan, I’ve been posting similar comments on other sites and on Facebook as well, but I hadn’t really brought it to bear here.

    In Pennsylvania (and also in SC, I believe), the drones were shot down and no charges were filed against the shooters. However, that will likely not always be the case and PETA knows it. Those things cost close to $10,000 (with camera and equipment), and wilfull destruction of private property is a crime. An unsympathetic LEO or DA can make it pretty uncomfortable for the individual who decides to shoot up a “drone”… not to mention how bad it would suck for a hunter to have to buy PETA a new one. It’s something to consider.

    Also, by provoking hunters (or fishermen) to violent acts, they perpetuate the stereotype of the hunter as the senselessly violent brute. So far, hunters around the country have shown remarkable restraint in their responses to provocation by anti-hunters, both in the field and in public venues. This is the right path, and I hope we’ll stay on it.

  6. Mike C on April 26th, 2013 16:31

    12 gauge with a choke ack-ack.

    ’nuff said.

  7. Mike C on April 29th, 2013 14:29

    I wasn’t going to say any more about this.

    However: My knee-jerk reaction to the thought of a PETA mini-drone scaring off my quarry during an expensive hunt made my blood boil and makes me want to shoot them out of the sky. Perhaps Philip is right and I shouldn’t.

    Here’s the issue: suppose I’ve paid an outfitter/guide for an expensive hunt (they’re all expensive these days.) Just as I’m about to shoot my trophy, the hunt is deliberately ruined by a remotely piloted drone from afar. To whom do I look to for a remedy? My outfitter will still want his money and despite my legal and ethical hunt I am now out of pocket thousands.

    No doubt PETA will be thrilled that they’ve “saved” an animal from a brute of a hunter, and I am out of pocket.

    I am normally a very sane and rational man, even-tempered and fair.

    This drone stuff is not fair.

  8. Phillip on May 1st, 2013 17:21

    It’s not fair, Mike, but that’s how the game is played. Your legal options are to call in law enforcement, because hunter harassment is illegal in every state… and this is exactly why.

    I totally get the impulse to shoot the damned things. I’ll be absolutely honest, and say that if I were in the midst of a hunt and some jerk flew a octocopter overhead, I’d be sorely tempted to try to swat it. But from a purely technical perspective, that would make me the more egregious lawbreaker. Sort of like punching one of these assmonkeys for disturbing your hunt in person. Sure, he harassed you… but you just busted his jaw.

    Of course that depends on where you are. I’m pretty sure if something like that happened here in Texas, I’d never even be cited. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania, when a drone was shot down over a pigeon shoot a little while back. Local law enforcement was sympathetic to the hunters. But I’m pretty sure you’d see a different result in NY or CA. Better safe than sorry.

    The upshot is, of course, that at $10K a pop, I can guarantee you won’t see many (if any) of these things actually deployed in the real world. If this happens at all (and I’ve become more sceptical that it really will), it will happen in places where the antis are ensured of a sympathetic audience, and it will be done at some fairly high profile hunt where the media is close at hand to record the results.

  9. Dylan on April 29th, 2013 16:13


    When an adversary is driving you crazy with an “unfair” tactic, it usually means its a winning tactic. It’s the kind of thing that shows up in modern / 4th generation warfare all the time (the Afghan insurgents hate our drones, we hate their booby-traps and landmines).

    In this case it seems like these groups have hit on a pretty good one. It pisses hunters off (and can drains their pocketbooks as you mention), such that they are basically being dared to retaliate. Then the retaliation plays into their hands by bringing legal and/or PR complications.

    If this does become a regular occurrence, I see the following variables mitigating against the tactic’s potential success (I don’t know the answer to any of these, they’re just question marks in my mind):

    1. What is the frequency with which retaliating hunters can be identified and charged by LE? In a crowded field it may be pretty tough to ID the actual culprits. On the other hand LE isn’t going to be pleased about adversarial gunplay in their jurisdictions and may come down hard on everybody / close areas, etc.

    2. What is the actual PR fallout likely to be? While it does make hunters look bad to be destroying property (not to mention endangering public safety by firing rifle rounds into the air), how much will the public care and whose side will they take?

    3. How much funding are these groups willing / able to commit? As Phillip mentioned, these things ain’t cheap. Based on the outcome of 1, and 2, it may not be worth the high cost of replacing drones.

    3b. On the other hand, a good counter-counter-tactic would be to use cheap decoy drones to buzz hunters and draw fire to achieve the same benefits at a fraction of the cost.

    Conclusion, physical retaliation is a losing game (and certainly unsafe).

    Better possible responses (that would need a lawyer to determine their feasiblity):

    1. In your hypothetical example, your claim to enjoyment of your purchased hunt was intentionally ruined. Does this constitute an intentional tort? Tortious interference to your right of enjoyment of public land?

    2. This story raises other potential legal remedies that might bear investigaiton, i.e.: citations for intentionally disturbing wildlife and operation of a UAS without proper FAA registration / airworthiness certification (required for all radio-controlled vehicles used for a purpose other than recreation).

    3. Any regulations against motorized equipment where one is hunting?


    An additional advantage of this counter-measure, in addition to taking the moral (and legal) high ground, is that it is very easy for LE to identify the culprit (they’re the ones with all the radio-control equipment).

    Cheers, and stay safe!

  10. Mike C on May 7th, 2013 10:45

    Thank you Phillip and Dylan. I am grateful for your advice.