Idaho Drone Laws (2017)


NOTICE: This article is for information purposes only!  This article is ONLY for state laws that are DRONE specific. Local laws and “aircraft” related laws could potentially apply and were outside of the focus of this article. It might NOT be up to date. You should seek out a competent attorney licensed in the state you are interested in before operating.

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 Current as of February 21, 2017

Idaho State Statute 21-213.  RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS — DEFINITION — VIOLATION — CAUSE OF ACTION AND DAMAGES. 

(1)  
(a) For the purposes of this section, the term “unmanned aircraft system” (UAS) means an unmanned aircraft vehicle, drone, remotely piloted vehicle, remotely piloted aircraft or remotely operated aircraft that is a powered aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, can fly autonomously or remotely and can be expendable or recoverable.
(b)  Unmanned aircraft system does not include:
(i)   Model flying airplanes or rockets including, but not necessarily limited to, those that are radio controlled or otherwise remotely controlled and that are used purely for sport or recreational purposes; and
(ii)  An unmanned aircraft system used in mapping or resource management.
(2) 
(a) Absent a warrant, and except for emergency response for safety, search and rescue or controlled substance investigations, no person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to intentionally conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record specifically targeted persons or specifically targeted private property including, but not limited to:
(i)   An individual or a dwelling owned by an individual and such dwelling’s curtilage, without such individual’s written consent;
(ii)  A farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry without the written consent of the owner of such farm, dairy, ranch or other agricultural industry.
(b)  No person, entity or state agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to photograph or otherwise record an individual, without such individual’s written consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating such photograph or recording.
(3)  Any person who is the subject of prohibited conduct under subsection (2) of this section shall:
(a)  Have a civil cause of action against the person, entity or state agency for such prohibited conduct; and
(b)  Be entitled to recover from any such person, entity or state agency damages in the amount of the greater of one thousand dollars ($1,000) or actual and general damages, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.
(4)  An owner of facilities located on lands owned by another under a valid easement, permit, license or other right of occupancy is not prohibited in this section from using an unmanned aircraft system to aerially inspect such facilities.

Idaho State Statute 36-1101 TAKING OF WILDLIFE UNLAWFUL EXCEPT BY STATUTE OR COMMISSION RULE OR PROCLAMATION — METHODS PROHIBITED — EXCEPTIONS.

(a) It is unlawful, except as may be otherwise provided by Idaho law, including this title or commission rules or proclamations promulgated pursuant thereto, for any person to take any of the game animals, birds or furbearing animals of this state.
(b)  Except as may be otherwise provided under this title or commission rules or proclamations promulgated pursuant thereto, it is unlawful for any person to:
1.  Hunt from Motorized Vehicles. Hunt any of the game animals or game birds of this state from or by the use of any motorized vehicle, including any unmanned aircraft system, except as provided by commission rule; provided however, that the commission shall promulgate rules which shall allow a physically disabled person to apply for a special permit which would allow the person to hunt from a motorized vehicle which is not in motion. A physically disabled person means a person who has lost the use of one (1) or both lower extremities or both hands, or is unable to walk two hundred (200) feet or more unassisted by another person, or is unable to walk two hundred (200) feet or more without the aid of a walker, cane, crutches, braces, prosthetic device or a wheelchair, or is unable to walk two hundred (200) feet or more without great difficulty or discomfort due to one (1) or more of the following impairments: neurological, orthopedic, respiratory, cardiac, arthritic disorder, blindness, or the loss of function or absence of a limb.
The commission shall specify the form of application for and design of the special permit which shall allow a physically disabled person to hunt from a motorized vehicle which is not in motion. No fee shall be charged for the issuance of the special permit and the issuance of a special permit shall not exempt a person from otherwise properly purchasing or obtaining other necessary licenses, permits and tags in accordance with this title and rules promulgated pursuant thereto. The special permit shall not be transferable and may only be used by the person to whom it is issued. A person who has been issued a special permit which allows a physically disabled person to hunt from a motorized vehicle not in motion shall have that permit prominently displayed on any vehicle the person is utilizing to hunt from and the person shall produce, on demand, the permit and other identification when so requested by a conservation officer of the department of fish and game. A person possessing a special permit shall not discharge any firearm from or across a public highway. In addition to other penalties, any unauthorized use of the special permit shall be grounds for revocation of the permit.
2.  Molest with Motorized Vehicles. Use any motorized vehicle, including any unmanned aircraft system, to molest, stir up, rally or drive in any manner any of the game animals or game birds of this state.
3.  Communicate from Aircraft. Make use of aircraft, including any unmanned aircraft system, in any manner to spot or locate game animals, game birds or furbearing animals of this state from the air and communicate the location or approximate location thereof by any signals whatsoever, whether radio, visual or otherwise, to any person then on the ground.
4.  Hunt from Helicopter. Make use of any helicopter in any manner in the taking of game or loading, transporting, or unloading hunters, game or hunting gear in any manner except when such use is at recognized airports or airplane landing fields, or at heliports which have been previously established on private land or which have been established by a department or agency of the federal, state or local government or when said use is in the course of emergency or search and rescue operations. Provided however, that nothing in this chapter shall limit or prohibit the lawful control of wolves or predatory or unprotected animals through the use of helicopters when such measures are deemed necessary by federal or state agencies in accordance with existing laws or management plans.
5.  Hunt with Aid of Aircraft. Make use of any aircraft, including any unmanned aircraft system, to locate any big game animal for the purpose of hunting those animals during the same calendar day those animals were located from the air. Provided however, that nothing in this chapter shall limit or prohibit the lawful control of wolves or predatory or unprotected wildlife through the use of aircraft when such measures are deemed necessary by federal or state agencies in accordance with existing laws or management plans.
6.  Artificial Light. Hunt any animal or bird except raccoon by the aid of a spotlight, flashlight or artificial light of any kind. The act of casting or throwing, after sunset, the beam or rays of any spotlight, headlight or other artificial light capable of utilizing six (6) volts or more of electrical power upon any field, forest or other place by any person while having in his possession or under his control any uncased firearm or contrivance capable of killing any animal or bird, shall be prima facie evidence of hunting with an artificial light. Provided nothing in this subsection shall apply where the headlights of a motor vehicle, operated and proceeding in a normal manner on any highway or roadway, cast a light upon animals or birds on or adjacent to such highway or roadway and there is no intent or attempt to locate such animals or birds. Provided further, nothing in this subsection shall prevent the hunting of unprotected or predatory wildlife with the aid of artificial light when such hunting is for the purpose of protecting property or livestock, is done by landowners or persons authorized in writing by them to do so and is done on property they own, lease or control; and provided further that the hunting and taking of unprotected or predatory wildlife with the aid of artificial light on public lands is authorized after obtaining a permit to do so from the director. The director may, for good cause, refuse to issue such permit.
Other provisions of this subsection notwithstanding, the commission may establish rules allowing the hunting of raccoon with the aid of an artificial light.
7.  Regulation of Dogs.
(A)  No person shall make use of a dog for the purpose of pursuing, taking or killing any of the big game animals of this state except as otherwise provided by rules of the commission.
(B)  Any person who is the owner of, or in possession of, or who harbors any dog found running at large and which is actively tracking, pursuing, harassing or attacking, or which injures or kills deer or any other big game animal within this state shall be guilty as provided in section 36-1401(a)1.(F), Idaho Code. It shall be no defense that such dog or dogs were pursuing said big game animals without the aid or direction of the owner, possessor, or harborer.
(C)  Any dog found running at large and which is actively tracking, pursuing, harassing, attacking or killing deer or any other big game animal may be destroyed without criminal or civil liability by the director, or any peace officer, or other persons authorized to enforce the Idaho fish and game laws.
8.  Attempt to Take Simulated Wildlife.
(A)  Attempt to take, by firearm or any other contrivance capable of killing an animal or bird, simulated wildlife in violation of any of the provisions of this title or commission rules applicable to the taking of the wildlife being simulated, when the simulated wildlife is being used by a conservation officer or other person authorized to enforce Idaho fish and game laws or rules promulgated pursuant thereto. No person shall be found guilty of violating either this subparagraph, or subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, provided that no other law or rule has been violated.
(B)  Any person pleading guilty to, convicted of or found guilty for attempting to take simulated wildlife within this state shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in either subsection (c) or (e) of section 36-1402, Idaho Code, and shall pay restitution in an amount of no less than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the repair or replacement of the simulated wildlife.
9.  Devices Accessed via Internet.
(A)  No person shall shoot at or kill any bird or animal in Idaho, wild or domestic, including domestic cervidae governed under the provisions of chapter 37, title 25, Idaho Code, with any gun or other device accessed and controlled via an internet connection. Accessing, regulating access to, or regulating the control of a device capable of being operated in violation of this paragraph shall be prima facie evidence of an offense under this paragraph.
(B)  Any person pleading guilty to, convicted of or found guilty of a violation of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 36-1402, Idaho Code.

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Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.