Attack of the Drones: Washington Begins Aerial Game Surveillance

Just when you thought the woods were the last place you could go and not have surveillance cameras pointed at you, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced they will fly small photographic drones to monitor moose calving during December.

According to a recent WDFW press release, the program is a joint venture with the University of Montana.  Researchers will fly the small, remote-controlled drones in close proximity to radio collared moose cows to observe calving behavior in Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Spokane Counties.

While the WDFW went to great pains to stress the drones will not fly close to people or structures, it is open to conjecture how soon game departments will use such vehicles for law enforcement surveillance purposes.  More and more government agencies see drones as a cost-effective way to accomplish their missions.  Agency drone purchases have grown exponentially, and many experts believe drone use is poised to explode in the next few years.

A some point in the future, video surveillance in the wilderness may become as common as in urban areas.  Someone should tell George Orwell.


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