SPRINGFIELD – The use of unmanned aircraft, or drones, for any aspect of hunting or recovery of wildlife is unlawful, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding the public.

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“Not only is drone use for hunting unlawful in Illinois, it goes against the spirit of fair chase and widely accepted hunting ethics,” said Jed Whitchurch, director of the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “Illinois Conservation Police officers will be monitoring for drone use during the fall and winter hunting seasons. We encourage all hunters to familiarize themselves with the Wildlife Code, abide by the law, and have a safe and successful hunting season.”

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The fall hunting season kicks into gear on Sunday, Oct. 1 with the opening of archery deer and turkey seasons throughout Illinois.

IDNR and Illinois Conservation Police have received several inquiries from the public about the use of drones for scouting and tracking animals. The unlawful use of drones for hunting could result in enforcement action, including but not limited to the seizure and forfeiture of unlawfully used equipment.

Hunters are advised to review all requirements of the Illinois Wildlife Code, which regulates the taking of wildlife and the use of unmanned aircraft in these situations (520 ILCS 5/2.33(i) and 520 ILCS 5/1.2o).

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