As hunters, we are no stranger to newly-introduced products and gadgets that claim to make our hunts more enjoyable, efficient and comfortable. While most of these products are items such as knives, gear, clothing and calls, we can’t ignore the technological advances our industry is experiencing.
Surveillance cameras, night vision apparatuses, drones and infrared technology make up a large variety of newly-introduced products that, in some cases, blur the lines on fair chase.
At least in the eyes of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission.
“The emergence of some of these evolving technologies can be perceived by the nonhunting public as adding unfair advantage to the hunters, trappers and anglers,” the agency’s lead investigator Bob Thompson mentioned at a May meeting in Grand Junction.
“The future of these activities relies on the analysis of new technologies to determine whether they fall under the concept of fair chase.”
The fair chase concept has been championed by the Boone and Crockett Club since the club’s inception in the 1800’s, but not many on the state level have established these types of policies quite the way Colorado is proposing to.
The policy is flexing the state’s muscle along with their commitment to remaining on top of emerging technologies that might allow either hunters or anglers to take wildlife with little to no effort, when they are not present in the field or that could prevent the escape of wildlife.
“We want to keep the hunt in hunting,” he said.
In addition to technologies such as cameras and remote-operated drones, the agency is also keeping a watchful eye on the changes in ammunition and new weapons such as air bows that are able to shoot an arrow at an extremely deadly velocity.
“There’s just lots and lots of different things that are going on that really we want to try to stay in front of,” CPW spokesman Matt Robbins said.