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Drones for deer recovery??


Staff member
So this one has clearly been making the rounds. Looks amazing!!!!!

1) this guy said his set up was $20k-ish. Does anyone know what some models are you feel would be awesome and is $20k a realistic figure? See a lot of “nice ones” for $5-8k. Thoughts?
2) I assume legal?
3) effective & any other thoughts? Seems, from first seeing this, may be the most effective way to find a deer that needs a hard core tracking job

I haven’t wounded a buck with my bow in a long time. Probably over a decade. But- we all know it can happen. With kids getting into hunting- I wouldn’t mind being proactive on having one & knowing how to use it vs freaking out after a long unsuccessful blood trail ;). DJI offers stuff like model 30T for $13k. Then lower cost models. Or cameras that mount on drones for $4-6k.
Clearly at those kinda costs- even at the $5k mark all the way to $20k…. Dunno what a guy should buy and clearly this is “a lot of $!!!” My side note to that…. Almost need to go in on one with a handful of trusting good friends or family. In those cases, I know it’s a chunk of $ but wouldn’t use much but I bet that group would be super thankful when it was actually needed. Yes, I get it, pile of $.

What y’all think of them as a top notch recovery tool? Models & realistic cost to get a really good one?

Side note: For a younger guy….. after the investment - this absolutely could be a “low cost small business” that could make a lot of $. I personally would never wanna mess with it but maybe a guy that isn’t an insane passionate deer hunter that has time after dark in fall…. Good $ maker I bet!!! Not why I’m personally interested but worth a thought

Chime in!!!!! Anyone actually use one for recovery btw?!?!


Well-Known Member
With a thermal camera, it would be an awesome tool for scoping out hunting area just prior to choosing what stand to sit. Way better than cellular cameras...

As for recovery, I guess if $ is no object, sure.

Personally though, I've about had my fill of integrating sofisticated modern technology into deer hunting.


Super Moderator
I don’t see a problem with recovery, can’t see how there would be legality in that unless you were flying around over neighbors property.

I do know that many states have put laws into place about actively moving deer with them, I think most are illegal.

Could be a nice little money maker if you could really make it work.



Staff member
Ya- this would be totally limited to recovering a deer. Clearly integrity & morals involved here. I’m sure there’s a million ways guys could abuse things like anything.
I agree- the technology in hunting can get out of hand. I self limit it simply due to “there’s only so many things I have time for or want to mess with”. The basics keep me plenty busy as it is.
But- any advantage to make a quick & efficient recovery of a deer, I personally am all for it. Whether it’s dogs or drones or an army of guys.


Active Member
I think the problem is- if the deer is still alive it turns into chase, then ticketed is my understanding. A local does it, but he doesn’t seem to care about much of the laws (his dad is a retired CO and he gets away with a lot….


Guy who went on the hog hunt with me this summer had this thermal drone. It was awesome used it to scope out all kinds of animals.


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PMA Member
I've been watching that channel and honestly, it scares the crap out of me. He can basically go up and find any deer, living or dead. The thermal picks them out and then he switches over to the regular cam and zooms in. Day or night you can see exactly what deer it is. He also locates deer on neighboring property without their knowledge.
I'm fine with it for recovery but I can't ignore the possibility here.


PMA Member
I listened to this guy on a podcast. He's trying to do things the right way. He keeps most of the secrets close to the vest and is working with the DNR to set it up to get guys certified and make sure it's legal in certain states. Says to do it right you need the type of rig he's got. He tried going the cheap route and it failed. I'm all for it being used to find dead bucks. But once ya find one that's not dead, and maybe not even fatally wounded what do you do? Go in there thinking it's fatally wounded to put another arrow in it to "put it out of its misery", what if the fatal hit was actually backstraps and then you just used it kill a deer that would've survived. Lines will be pushed.

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Active Member
I think the big legal issue with drones and the FAA is that drones must be kept in sight at all times. They are also limited to 400-500 feet I believe, and if you are a recreation drone pilot then you cannot accept any money for side jobs. If you actually follow those rules, drones are not really worth owning. I am a commercial pilot, and this is what I have heard about drones. I could be wrong.


Well-Known Member
Video was Legit .. Great tool if you can use to use . I cant believe how good it could zoom and see the animal .


PMA Member
Video was Legit .. Great tool if you can use to use . I cant believe how good it could zoom and see the animal .
He touches on in the podcast that he is starting to go to a system where they have to describe to him in detail or show him a pic of the buck they wounded so that he can verify its the right buck before just finding them deer bedded all over the property. The detail on the cam is nuts

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