Hunters shoot down Mikrokopter used by animal rights group to film pigeon shoot

From the Times and Democrat newspaper in South Carolina:

A remote-controlled aircraft owned by an animal rights group was reportedly shot down near Broxton Bridge Plantation Sunday.

Steve Hindi, president of SHARK (SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness), said his group was preparing to launch its Mikrokopter drone to video what he called a live pigeon shoot on Sunday when law enforcement officers and an attorney claiming to represent the privately-owned plantation near Ehrhardt tried to stop the aircraft from flying.

"It didn't work; what SHARK was doing was perfectly legal," Hindi said in a news release. "Once they knew nothing was going to stop us, the shooting stopped and the cars lined up to leave."

He said the animal rights group decided to send the drone up anyway.

"Seconds after it hit the air, numerous shots rang out," Hindi said in the release. "As an act of revenge for us shutting down the pigeon slaughter, they had shot down our copter."

He claimed the shooters were "in tree cover" and "fled the scene on small motorized vehicles."

"It is important to note how dangerous this was, as they were shooting toward and into a well-travelled highway," Hindi stated in the release. He said someone from SHARK called the Colleton County Sheriff's Department, which took a report of the incident.

The Colleton County Sheriff's Department filed a malicious damage to property incident report.

The incident report went on to state that "once shot, the helicopter lost lift and crash landed on the roadway of U.S. 601."According to the report, Hindi told the responding deputy the group's remote-controlled aircraft "was hovering over U.S. 601 when he heard a shot come from the wood line. The shot sounded to him that it was of small caliber."

The deputy noted in the report that he was unable to speak to anyone at Broxton Bridge Plantation following the incident.

Hindi estimated damage to the drone at around $200 to $300.

Hindi said he will seek charges against those who shot down the drone.

"This was SHARK's first encounter with the Broxton Bridge Plantation, but it will certainly not be the last," Hindi said in the release. "We are already making plans for a considerably upscaled action in 2013."

Views: 6680

Comment by Brett Horton on February 15, 2012 at 8:54am

You might be a redneck if........

Comment by Rana on February 15, 2012 at 9:14am

Link is not working.

Comment by Justin Stiltner on February 15, 2012 at 10:00am

That does not sound like hobby / recreational to me, sure sounds like they should have had a COA

Comment by bernienepper on February 15, 2012 at 10:05am

Expensive 'clay pigeon'

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on February 15, 2012 at 10:18am

So, what's the deal here?  Instead of launching clay pigeons as targets, were they going to release real pigeons as targets to shoot just for sport?  Or was this a pigeon hunt?

Comment by Brandin Sloms on February 15, 2012 at 10:18am

in my opinion, if your flying an aircraft where pigeons are getting shot by rednecks, expect to get shot at lol

Comment by Matthew Schroyer on February 15, 2012 at 10:24am
Comment by Brent on February 15, 2012 at 10:24am

Seems the objective of stopping the legal hunt was accomplished by their own admission prior to the decision to "launch" the MK anyway. If something like this ends up in court which it undoubtedly will, the outcome will most likely not be favorable towards the use of SUAS vehicles filming over private property without the owners consent.Then again activist groups generally are not concerned with law if it stands in the way of their agenda, but of course responsible operators will be burdened with the outcome. Look for more of these unfriendly encounters in the future.

They also might re-think the choice of camera platform, say something not so slow and easy to hit? Just can't help but get a chuckle out this. BTW, harassment of legal hunting activities is illegal in most U.S states.

Comment by Mark Colwell on February 15, 2012 at 10:41am

As a hunter, I agree harassment of legal hunting activities is wrong.  I would not shoot live Pigeons for practice,  dove hunting would be better!

I don't think a COA is needed, as video is freely given?  

How about using a camera on a pole, it would be legal and get the same results.

I doubt some some would shoot at a pole in a humans hands ? maybe not.

This poor attempt at political action hurts our hobby.

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 15, 2012 at 10:44am

Well, I don't think it's illegal to shoot live pigeons, is it? So, this Hindi, was just trying to interfere with a law abiding shooting event.  Not that I would ever want to shoot anything live myself, it's too messy.  Basically, he ruined some people's fun, and they ruined his.


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