Republican State Representative Steve Drazkowski has crafted and amended a bill stating that DNR aircraft could not fly below 500 feet for normal hunter surveillance, unless game wardens had probable cause of wrongdoing.
Failure to stick to this threshold would cost the pilot $1,000.
Drazkowski says he has heard from hunters from Wabasha and Winona counties who basically had their hunt ruined by some over-zealous game wardens.
While out on their annual hunt last November, a DNR airplane flew overhead monitoring their every move, for well over an hour. Drazkowski says that alone is not illegal; but according to the hunters, what was troubling was the low level of height at which the airplane was repeatedly flying.
Drazkowski says he fully understands that the DNR needs to enforce hunting laws. But he says hovering an aircraft at 200 feet and scaring the hunting party and every animal in sight in order to spy on hunters makes absolutely no sense.
Drazkowski says that’s why he crafted the bill, which he says was heard in the House environment policy committee and was received favorably by the chair of the group.