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Winter Hunting

Winter Hunting – Drones for Effective Deer Recovery Efforts

Autumn and winter are good times for hunting large wild animals. The introduction of drones will bring greater opportunities to hunters. The high-altitude reconnaissance capabilities of drones can help hunters monitor and track hunting objects.

Drone hunting relies on drone aerial photography to obtain the location and movement trajectory of the hunted object. Fishing drones do not affect the fishing industry, but the use of drones for deer reconnaissance and hunting requires compliance with corresponding laws and regulations.

Winter Drone hunting

During the fall and winter hunting seasons, activities such as drone hunting and drone deer recovery will be strictly regulated. Here, we’ll explain the legalities of winter hunting drones and the role of drones in hunting.

Many states aspire to a world where people abide by the law and natural development, do not rely excessively on external forces, and maintain a spirit of fair chase and widely accepted hunting ethics.

As of October 31, 2023, 45 of the 50 U.S. states have laws restricting the use of drones for hunting. The only states without specific laws explicitly banning drone recovery are Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware (not in state wildlife areas), Oklahoma, and South Carolina (except for game birds).

Rules to follow when drone hunting in autumn and winter

Drone scouting for hunting locations has brought huge changes to hunters' hunting games. Whether drones can be used for hunting games has always been a controversial topic, but the use of drones for hunting is still in its early stages. But we still need to abide by the corresponding hunting rules.

Rule 1: No same-day hunting

Many states in the United States have strict controls on drone hunting and drone surveillance of hunting locations. After drone surveillance of a hunting location, you cannot continue hunting on the same day.

Rule 2: Hunters may not use drones while in the field

Drone use is not allowed when other hunters are present as it notifies hunters of the location of game. Many hunters consider this a misuse of technology and unethical hunting.

Rule 3: Don’t harass animals with drones

A classic example of unethical hunting is the use of drones to swoop in and scare deer or their neighbors. One of the reasons why drones should not be used for hunting is that it takes the sport away from hunting and is considered unethical. If you've done push hunting or drive hunting, you can attest to the stark difference between people pushing deer versus drone hunting.

Drone Deer Restoration (DDR) and other professional services

Drone Deer Rescue (DDR) has become a unique service offering over the past few years, with professionals using drones to locate and retrieve hunted deer. Advanced drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras and advanced GPS technology make it easier to locate downed prey in challenging terrain.

But you need to make sure you're in one of the five states that allow the use of drones for deer rescue.

Drone Deer Recovery Advice

DJI Matrice 30T (Thermal Imaging): A drone equipped with thermal imaging, perfect for locating deer. $9637

Autel EVO II 640T V3 (thermal imaging): Dual-camera high-definition thermal imaging drone, suitable for deer monitoring and positioning. $4799

Drone Deer Recovery Thermal Capture


Drones can help hunters improve hunting efficiency, safety and accuracy during winter hunting, but at the same time drone surveillance and drone winter hunting need to be carried out within the scope permitted by law, comply with the law, respect nature and protect the ecological environment of wild animals.

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