February 01, 2005
Internet hunting under the gun

Remember the point-and-shoot hunting website? It's under fire from two different sources.

State wildlife regulators last week introduced a rules change that would ban remote-controlled hunting for all game animals and game birds native to Texas. The proposed rule is part of a package of new regulations to govern hunting and fishing in the state.

David Sinclair, Parks and Wildlife Department's chief of wildlife enforcement, said his agency's main concern is the inability to uphold Texas hunting laws when a hunter may not be physically present in the state.

"We wanted to stop this before it happened because it's going to be hard to enforce a hunting license requirement for somebody that's in, say, New York City," said Sinclair, who is based in Austin.

"Even though they might be registered and they've got a hunting license number," he said, "there's no way to prove that it's that person that's operating the mouse."


But the Parks and Wildlife rule would not pertain to John Lockwood, a San Antonio body shop estimator and creator of Live-Shot, because Lockwood's idea for Web-based hunting on a ranch in Edwards County would focus on non-native species such as blackbuck antelope, Corsican sheep and fallow deer.

A bill filed in January by Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, would prohibit remote-controlled hunting for any animal.

Like Sinclair, Smith used the image of someone carrying out a big-game hunt from the Big Apple as rationale for his bill.

"I saw (Lockwood's idea) on the news and I said, 'That's ridiculous,' " he said from Austin. "The notion of businesspeople in New York skyscrapers killing Texas muledeer by clicking a computer mouse at their desk is difficult for me to take."

Not sure which part of it so offends Rep. Smith, but never mind. I wonder where the traditional gun and hunting lobbies stand on this.

UPDATE: Sarah in the comments points to this piece, which pretty clearly indicates that regular hunters don't think much of this practice, and would apparently support its banning.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 01, 2005 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

It's my understanding that most hunting groups find this patently offensive. See this ESPN Outdoors article for some feeback on hunter's impressions:


Posted by: sarah on February 1, 2005 9:49 AM

I moved to Texas from Alaska where I did a bit of hunting and a lot more fishing. And I grew up in Oregon hunting with my Dad. And I can't think of a SINGLE person, hunter or non-hunter, who would not be offended by this sort of idiocy.

For me and most of my friends, hunting was mostly about getting out into the wilderness. Looking for deer or moose just gave the hike purpose and a goal. In fact, most of the time I went hunting with friends in Juneau I was just along for the ride and had no intention of taking anything. Still carried a rifle, but that was mostly for bear protection. I was single then and had absolutely no use or interest in butchering an entire deer much less an entire moose.

Here in Texas I no longer hunt because I really don't have any good friends here who are into it. And also because I'm married now and my wife who grew up in the big city would not be thrilled about any aspect of hunting.

But I can't imagine a single legitimate hunting or gun organization who would support this sort of nonsense.

Posted by: Kent on February 1, 2005 3:44 PM