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Old 12-31-2018, 10:42 AM   #1
Napel 210
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Default Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

Alberta


I would like to ask whether it is legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season” (for hunting) in order to Scout for Deer/Moose and other animals and to Scout for landscape video to find good spots to hunt later.
The Drone would not be used during Hunting Season (Sept 1 to Nov 30), but may be used before that, even up to the last day of August.


Reference:
Wildlife Act
Interim Order for Drone Operation (#9?)
Transport Canada
Aviation Regulations
MAAC organization
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:25 AM   #2
Mack10
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

In the Wildlife Act, Section 33 provides that it is an offence to hunt wildlife with an aircraft, and to use an aircraft with intent to harass, injure, or kill wildlife. Section 125 of the Wildlife Regulation also provides that it

[is an offence to communicate the whereabouts or signs of wildlife witnessed during the flight of an aircraft to assist anyone who is hunting.]



THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT IN THE LAW SO DRONES CANNOT BE USED TO HUNT OR ASSIST IN THE HUNT EVEN BEFORE HAND, IN MY OPINION. YOU CAN ALSO CALL THE ALBERTA AUTHORITIES TO DISCUSS.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

...and before you ask yes drones are aircraft IMO and the opinion of at least some Alberta authorities:


The term aircraft is defined in the federal Aeronautics Act under Sec (3) (1) as any machine capable of deriving support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air, and includes a rocket.

In Canada, drones are referenced as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) in legislation.

The Canadian Aviation Regulations Sec 101.01(1) states that unmanned air vehicle means a power-driven aircraft, other than a
model aircraft, that is designed to fly without a human operator on board.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:35 PM   #4
Wenton2
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

It may further help if you also post the text of the regulation (or the proposed reg) here for all to review. Or a direct link to it.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:16 PM   #5
Marvin Bates
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

Hi,

Here are a couple of references:

(1) Canada Wildlife Act:
https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/PDF/W-9.pdf
(from: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/W-9/)

*Note: I could not find any reference to aircraft in this Act, nor could I find Section 33 at all*


(2) Alberta Hunting Regulations, [General Regulations section]:
http://albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/genregs.html
[Found in Sections 2 and 3]:

It is unlawful to
2. harass, injure or kill any wildlife with a vehicle, aircraft or boat.
3. hunt any wildlife with or from an aircraft, or communicate, for the purpose of hunting, the signs or whereabouts of wildlife seen during a flight on an aircraft.


--

Further, at the bottom of the same website, this clarification is also added:
Use of Aircraft
The use of aircraft for the purpose of hunting and hunting after flight is controlled by various regulations which are summarized under the “general” and “big game” prohibitions area within this Guide. For further clarity, it is unlawful to:

1. Use any aircraft for the purpose of hunting wildlife, including unmanned aerial vehicles.
2. Hunt big game within 6 hours* of having disembarked from an aircraft, except for a jet or turbo-propeller driven aircraft (regardless of the purpose of the flight).
3. Communicate, for the purpose of hunting, the whereabouts or signs of wildlife from knowledge gained from a manned or unmanned aircraft flight to anyone at any time during or after the flight.
*NOTE: Hunting big game after the 6 hour timeframe as indicated in #2 above does not negate the potential application of #1 above.


---


I am the OP of this question,

My exact questions were:
(1)
I would like to ask whether it is legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season” (for hunting) in order to Scout for Deer/Moose and other animals and to Scout for landscape video to find good spots to hunt later.
The Drone would not be used during Hunting Season (Sept 1 to Nov 30), but may be used before that, even up to the last day of August.

(2)
What is the criteria for “harassing wildlife” as it pertains to Drone Usage? How can we determine if the wildlife is being harassed?

----
As mentioned by 'Mack10', there is no time limit specified in the Regulations. However the wording of the regulations does not prohibit the "use of" information gained; it only prohibits the communication of that information to somebody else.

Question #2 has not yet been addressed, it would be great if somebody could help weigh in on that, thank you in advance!

Question #1 seems to have been answered, despite the Act itself not having the reference (since the Act is canada-wide, it makes sense since different provinced have different rules). According, however, to the Alberta Hunting Regulations - it's simply not allowed to use an aircraft for the purposes of hunting, which would include scouting. So that seems to be black/white.

I will pose a new Question then, a spin-off of Question #1 now that we almost have it concluded, just to ensure no loose ends:

Question #1b: would I be correct in interpreting the Alberta Regulations (and the lack of reference/prohibition in the Wildlife Act) such that it would be legal to use a Drone for the purposes of exploring natural landscapes during the hunting off-season and for finding access routes into natural landscapes, and to use incidentally gathered information or video of wildlife or wildlife signs during this process, to later choose hunting locations and strategies, provided that the information is "not communicated"?

According to what I am reading, in the purest sense of the law itself, this should be perfectly legal. I am wondering what your thoughts are, do you agree or disagree?

Thank you in advance,
Marvin
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
AFFA
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

I wish to inform you that as word "harass" has not been specifically defined in the Act thus meaning of the word may be derived from legal judgments. In the case of R. v. Breaker, 2000 ABPC 179 (CanLII) meaning of harassment of animal was discussed wherein it was stated "It’s usually undue and unnecessary and unwanted threats to the -- to the animal".

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Old 01-03-2019, 09:11 PM   #7
Marvin Bates
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFFA View Post
I wish to inform you that as word "harass" has not been specifically defined in the Act thus meaning of the word may be derived from legal judgments. In the case of R. v. Breaker, 2000 ABPC 179 (CanLII) meaning of harassment of animal was discussed wherein it was stated "It’s usually undue and unnecessary and unwanted threats to the -- to the animal".

AFF
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:01 PM   #8
Opel55
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

Seems to me the final answer is NO drone use to hunt those poor animals.

Thank God.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:17 PM   #9
dan38476
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

Very helpful comments.
And it is becoming a hot topic now.
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:26 PM   #10
Highwayman
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Default Re: Is it legal for me to operate a quad-copter Drone during the “off-season”

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan38476 View Post
Very helpful comments.
And it is becoming a hot topic now.
This isn't a social media site. Your comments are useless and not appreciated, especially in an old thread.
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