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Town considers licenses for 'drone hunting'

Deer Trail, Colo., is looking at passing an ordinance that would provide for licenses and bounties for "legal" hunting of federal government drones.

Could this be the key to small town tourism? Or a sign of the battle to come?
KMGH-TV screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

I never thought it would happen this quickly, but one town in my home state is looking to fire the first shot in the war against the drones.

Actually, it's a little more political than the old "Terminator"-style man vs. machines scenario. The town of Deer Trail, Colo., is looking to begin offering "drone hunting licenses" and actually paying rewards to anyone who presents proof that they were able to bring down an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the United States federal government, according to reporting by Denver TV station KMGH.

Phillip Steel, the man who drafted the ordinance, as well as other supporters, say it will provide a new source of revenue for the town, but Steel concedes that it's not exactly like Deer Trail has a drone problem. In fact, he's never seen one over the town.

"This is a very symbolic ordinance," he told KMGH. "Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way."

While Steel seems to be dead serious about taking up arms against his own government, others in the tiny town see his novel move as a tongue-in-cheek way to drum up a little publicity and maybe some tourism and perhaps even a drone-hunting festival of some sort.

That little bump of revenue could be nice, but I have to wonder if it will offset the various federal monies the town could stand to lose if Washington, D.C., gets wind of a place that's put out a bounty on federal property.

I grew up about an hour from Deer Trail and have passed it literally dozens of times on the highway. It's really easy to miss it, actually. But if next time, I find myself dodging stray buckshot while heading down Interstate 70, it's likely to make it a much more memorable place.

That said, if it turns out that Cylons have infiltrated the federal government, I know where I'm headed next to join the resistance. Watch the full report below and let us know in the comments what you think about the notion of drone hunting as a new 21st century sport.