Robot Deer Used To Catch Poachers

Photo Provided by Florida Fish and Wildlife of Robot Deer

SALT LAKE CITY — Nighttime deer poachers beware – that shadowy creature on the side of the road may just be remote-controlled.

State wildlife officials across the country have for several decades been rolling out roadside robot decoys to nab unscrupulous hunters, and the effort has paid off with hundreds of citations.

A robotic deer decoy used in Georgia had to be replaced in 2006 after being shot more than 1,000 times.

“It’s a time of year when some Utahns can’t resist the sight of a big buck on the side of the road – even if shooting hours are over for the day,” said Amy Canning, a spokeswoman for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Utah’s five DWR regions now each have their own robot decoys, which are deployed in various spots along roadways where deer often gather or where poachers have been a problem in the past.

Hunting is not allowed at night in Utah, starting a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise, but authorities say the sight of a big deer on the side of a road can just be too tempting for some.

Once a plan is in place, authorities put the mechanical deer near a road where it can be seen by passing cars. Then they hide nearby and keep watch, waiting for someone to take the bait, occasionally using the remote control to move the decoy’s head and tail “to make it look as realistic as possible,” said Utah DWR Sgt. Matt Briggs.

“We try to mimic some of the movement that takes place in the field,” he said.

Hunters will generally use headlights to illuminate the deer, then take their shot. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bow and arrow or a rifle – if it’s at night, it’s illegal without special permission, Briggs said.

The shooters in Utah are issued a class B misdemeanor citation, punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Authorities also seize their weapons.

Briggs said he’s seen it all, from bow hunters shooting multiple arrows at the inanimate robot deer, amazed that it’s not going down, to shooters with rifles repeatedly firing shots at the mechanical beast.

“I’ve seen an individual shoot it with a 30-06 (rifle) and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t go down after he hit it five or six times,” Briggs said. “It can be really entertaining.”

Elsewhere, poachers are catching on, and have become wary of shooting from the road not only for fear of arrest, but of the embarrassment that comes along with it, said Lt. Bill Bruce of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. His state’s decoy was effective for about 10 years, but wasn’t deployed last year after it became less useful.

“If somebody gets caught shooting the deer from the road, it ruins their reputation as a hunter,” Bruce said. “Their name goes up on the wall of shame among local hunters.”

Florida officers have also used a robotic deer in all six wildlife regions, said state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Katie Purcell.

“It’s been successful at catching poachers,” Purcell said. “It’s a tool that officers can take to where the violation is actually happening.”

Josh Loftin Huffington Post

You can email Protection 4 Animals by clicking here

Related articles


Police and USPCA Rescue Hunt Stags

A Man Has Been Arrested After The ULSTER SOCIETY of PREVENTION of CRUELTY to ANIMALS (USPCA) and the POLICE SERVICE of NORTHERN IRELAND (PSNI) Seized a Vehicle and Trailer Containing Two Red Deer Stags Which, It Is Thought, Were About To Be Hunted.

The practice known as ‘Carting’ is Illegal and the Hunting Community has long maintained that it doesn’t exist.

PSNI and USPCA Rescue County Down Hunt Stags

The USPCA and PSNI Seized The Vehicle and Trailer

The trailer was registered to the County Down, Northern Ireland Hunt, but the Hunt Master said he “knew nothing about the events”. Although the animals’ antlers had been removed, a vet confirmed they were Red Deer Stags. The vet also said “they were tagged, indicating they had been reared on a farm”. However, the number which might identify exactly who had reared them had been scraped off the tag.

While it is Illegal to Breed Stags for Hunting, it is not Illegal to Hunt Stags in Northern Ireland. However, the practice is banned in the rest of the UK. Stag Hunting was recently outlawed in the Republic of Ireland. Stephen Philpott from the USPCA said “the County Down operation had confirmed the charity’s long-held suspicions”.

“The people that do it pretend that they don’t. They would have you believe that the Red Deer Stags they Hunt they have come across while out riding and that they are actually Wild Animals,” he said.

“We have believed for the last ten years that the animals aren’t wild, but were being bred somewhere and then being brought solely and purposefully to be hunted by dogs and men on horseback and unfortunately it looks as though we were right.”


For over a year the USPCA had been monitoring a group of people they believed were organising stag hunts in County Down. That surveillance led them to conclude that a hunt would start on Tuesday outside Loughbrickland.

Several 4×4 vehicles, horseboxes and horse lorries were observed arriving at the location where the hunt was believed to be starting from and then leaving.

It is believed the stags were to be hunted by dogs and horse riders

It Is Believed The Stags Were To Be Hunted By Dogs and Horse Riders

A woman approached the USPCA Inspector and asked him if he was there for the Hunt.

She then told him that her husband was a Master For The Hunt and that she had received a phone call to say that the Hunt was cancelled and that people should leave the area.

Mr Philpott said he believed that there had been a conspiracy to commit an Offence Under The Welfare of Animals Act.

“How can anyone else call it anything else other than cruelty,” he said.

  • “First of all there’s the stress they suffered in the back of that box, it was pitiful. 
  • “And then to put them through another 20 miles of stress being chased by dogs horses and people. It needs to be put an end to.”

The stags were later released into the wild.

More on This Story

Organised Stag Hunt foiled by PSNI

The USPCA and PSNI have seized a vehicle and trailer containing Two Stags which the USPCA believes were about to be released for Hunting.

The practice, known as ‘Carting‘ is Illegal and the Hunting community has long maintained that it doesn’t exist.

Source: BBC NI.                                                                                                                                                                    

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals Worldwide

Protection 4 Animals supports the total banning of the Fur Trade. Currently while officially Dog and Cat Fur is banned in many countries, this does not apply to the Raccoon Dogs being Skinned Alive for their Fur.

Make no mistake this is a Barbaric process carried out by Brutal Chinese workers, that Beat the Dogs with Iron Bars, Kick Stomp, Slam them against concrete walls/floors to stop them struggling. 

Then the Fur is Slowly Torn from their bodies in the most agonising and sickening way. They are then thrown to one side where they suffer the most horrendous deaths, that can last up to 3 hours.

Please Sign Our Petition To Stop Raccoon Dogs Being Skinned Alive and Suffering a Slow, Sickening, Horrendous Deaths. 
Click Here To Sign Our Petition These poor animals need your support, tell all your friends and family, thank you.

You can Email Protection 4 Animals by Clicking Here.

Related Articles