10 Best Drones for Hunting and spotting in 2019 [history, state laws and uav’s for every budget]

Have you ever seen a drone before? No, we’re not referring to honey bees here. We mean those crazy-looking things you see gliding through the sky. And no, we aren’t talking about blimps, either! Rather, we’re going to discuss what are sometimes called “unmanned aerial vehicles.” These devices are essentially what the name implies: they are flying machines that function with no pilot on board. They can be designed in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most recognizable variant is the quadcopter model, which has four rotors around a central unit. The size can range from small enough to fit in your palm to nearly as large as a regular airplane. While there are some drones that can fly 100% autonomously (thanks to the inclusion of computers as part of their hardware), most drones on the market are built to be operated remotely by people. In a sense, they are sort of like the electronic model airplanes that many of us played with as children, but with far more sophisticated capabilities.

Actually, drones were originally developed as a military tool. They are also older than you may think, although it is hard to say exactly when the first “real” drone appeared. The use of balloons in the war of the 1850s is considered by some to be an example of rudimentary unmanned aerial vehicles, and the precursors to today’s cruise missiles are also sometimes categorized this way, too. However, the first instance of a drone as we would recognize it would probably be the DH.82 Queen Bee, which was produced in 1935.  For those of you who weren’t sure why we were talking about bees before, allow us to explain: a “drone,” in the biological sense, is the name for a male bee, whose primary purpose in life is to become one of the queen bee’s 10-20 mates, after which they immediately die. Because the plane was called the Queen Bee, the idea of calling the pilotless version a drone followed that pattern. Since then, unmanned aerial vehicles have been used extensively by the armed forces of numerous countries. Most of the time, they are selected for missions that military personnel has determined are too dangerous to send people into or to complete tasks that do not require human input.

Over time, other industries outside of the military became interested in these devices, and drones are now being used for all kinds of activities. In fact, the majority of drones purchased today are acquired for non-military needs. Unmanned aerial vehicles have become valuable tools for photography, filmmaking, advertising, the transport of goods, assistance in farming, or to fly just for fun!

One newer area where the utility of drones is being explored is the field of hunting. The vehicles are not used to attack animals directly, but to scout them out and help hunters know where they should go. This article will show you 10 of the best drones for hunting that you can purchase right off Amazon today. Where in the past many of us have used field cameras to add some tech to our hunting grounds, drones may well be the next frontier. Not a lot of drones are made for hunting, but many can serve the task nicely.


1. SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Drone

Product

SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Drone with 720P HD Camera, Voice...

  • USER-FRIENDLY SNAPTAIN S5C drone is user-friendly. Simply press...
  • FARTHER & CLEARER The SNAPTAIN S5C provides video transmission...
  • POWERFUL & SAFE Protective Propeller Guards to ensure a safe...
  • STEADY & TRACKABLE Altitude-Hold function ensures a steady hover...
  • GRAVITY CONTROL A built-in G-sensor is designed to allow...

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Details

  • USER-FRIENDLY SNAPTAIN S5C drone is user-friendly. Simply press...
  • FARTHER & CLEARER The SNAPTAIN S5C provides video transmission...
  • POWERFUL & SAFE Protective Propeller Guards to ensure a safe...
  • STEADY & TRACKABLE Altitude-Hold function ensures a steady hover...
  • GRAVITY CONTROL A built-in G-sensor is designed to allow...

The Snaptain S5C is one of Amazon’s bestsellers. One of the most important features it offers is altitude hold, which means that it can stay at the same height for a long time. This provides a real advantage to anyone who is trying to survey an area. This particular model is intended to be suitable for beginners, so it is a little more pared down in terms of the controls; however, all you need to use it is a smartphone. This is also a good choice if you plan to use your drone for non-hunting recreation, too, as it lets you easily record video for social media. This one is low-to-average in price, and its simplicity of use makes it a valuable scouting tool.


2. DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter with Remote Controller

If you feel like splurging, check out the DJI Mavic. This is the same type of drone that is used by the Israeli army, so you know that it’s a high-quality, reliable option. This model offers panoramic cameras, giving you the ability to see in complete 180° vision. Further, it shoots ultra-clear video at 4K resolution, so you’ll be able to make out every detail of the locale. The Mavic is intended to be super portable and can be folded into a more compact package, making it easy to take with you as you track your prey. Be prepared to spend, though; it’s a seriously cool tool and this level of quality demands some investment.


3. DJI Spark with Remote Control Combo (White)

Product

DJI Spark with Remote Control Combo (White)

  • DJI spark remote control Combo includes remote controller and...
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera 12MP Still Photos/ 1080P/30 Video...
  • Flight autonomy with obstacle detection subject tracking from...
  • Top speed of 31 mph in sport mode up to 16 minutes flying time
  • Up to 1. 2 mile control range control, edit, share with DJI go...

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Details

  • DJI spark remote control Combo includes remote controller and...
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera 12MP Still Photos/ 1080P/30 Video...
  • Flight autonomy with obstacle detection subject tracking from...
  • Top speed of 31 mph in sport mode up to 16 minutes flying time
  • Up to 1. 2 mile control range control, edit, share with DJI go...

If you’re not quite ready to invest in the Mavic but you still want to stick with the DJI name, your answer is in the  DJI Spark. It shoots in 1080p and has a stabilized camera to take any photos or videos come out nice and sharp. This drone is well-loved by its user base and has glowing reviews: many people describe it as a great way to buy the DJI name without breaking the bank. Still, this is fairly pricey as far as drones go, but in this market, quality comes with a cost.


4. le-idea IDEA9 FPV RC Drone with 1080p HD Camera

Product

le-idea IDEA9 FPV RC Drone with 1080p HD Camera Live Video...

  • 5GHZ WIFI FPV, FAST SPEED transmits data - We are providing...
  • 125° FOV 1080P HD Camera support SD card - whatever you use the...
  • Easily Pick Up 16 GPS Satellites - it does not only has good wind...
  • One Key Return to Home : Press the "one key return" button when...
  • Follow Me Mode : Click the "follow me " icon and the drone will...
  • Toy

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  • 5GHZ WIFI FPV, FAST SPEED transmits data - We are providing...
  • 125° FOV 1080P HD Camera support SD card - whatever you use the...
  • Easily Pick Up 16 GPS Satellites - it does not only has good wind...
  • One Key Return to Home : Press the "one key return" button when...
  • Follow Me Mode : Click the "follow me " icon and the drone will...
  • Toy

The  IDEA9 by Le-Idea has a unique property: almost the entire model is covered in a camouflage pattern. This will help keep your drone hidden and reduce the chances of potentially alerting any fauna to its presence. When it comes to the functioning of this vehicle, the manufacturer definitely had speed and connectivity in mind. It connects to Wi-Fi through the superfast 5 GHz band and is capable of picking up 16 different GPS satellites. The video quality is HD at 1080p. As a bonus, this item comes with a carrying case, also in camouflage. It’s about average in price, and will certainly get the job done, especially considering that it’s in woodland camo already.


5. Swellpro Waterproof Fishing Drone

Product

Swellpro Waterproof Fishing Drone Splash Drone 3 Fisherman...

  • 100% waterproof and salt water friendly
  • Fishing line release mechanism with HD camera
  • Precise bait dropping with all in one remote controller and live...
  • Long flight range and decent flight time

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  • 100% waterproof and salt water friendly
  • Fishing line release mechanism with HD camera
  • Precise bait dropping with all in one remote controller and live...
  • Long flight range and decent flight time

If you foresee yourself using your drone in damp environments, you should get to know the SwellPRO Splash Drone 3 Fisherman. As it turns out, SwellPRO is just about the only name on the market that is offering water-resistant drones. This vehicle was built with anglers in mind, but may also be a good choice for people who plan to go hunting when it is raining or foggy. The manufacturer says that this drone can continue working in temperatures as low as 14° F, so you could even take it in the snow. This is one of the most expensive options by far but will serve the task at hand in any reasonable conditions you can think of.


6. HELIFAR X1 FPV Drone Mini RC Quadcopter

Product

HELIFAR X1 FPV Drone Mini RC Quadcopter with Camera 2.4GHz...

  • 【Foldable & Portable】 Foldable arms make the quadcopter small...
  • 【Longer Flight Time】 This wifi fpv drone comes with 2pcs...
  • 【Altitude Hold】 When you release the throttle stick and the...
  • 【App Control System】 With Live Video Camera HD, operate your...
  • 【One key taking off and landing】 The mini drone is equipped...
  • Toy

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Details

  • 【Foldable & Portable】 Foldable arms make the quadcopter small...
  • 【Longer Flight Time】 This wifi fpv drone comes with 2pcs...
  • 【Altitude Hold】 When you release the throttle stick and the...
  • 【App Control System】 With Live Video Camera HD, operate your...
  • 【One key taking off and landing】 The mini drone is equipped...
  • Toy

If that last price tag has you feeling traumatized, and you’re really looking to save some cash, the  Helifar X1 is one of the least expensive options out there. Keep in mind that this is a mini drone, so it should not be taken into areas with a lot of wind. You certainly wouldn’t want your vehicle blown into a tree! Also, the video is only going to be at 480p quality. However, the smaller size means that this drone can fly through places that bigger models can’t, and for a fairly low cost, you won’t cry if you put it in a tree.


7. Holy Stone’s HS700 drone

Product

Holy Stone HS700D FPV Drone with 2K HD Camera Live Video and...

  • 2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera with 5G Transmission: The upgraded...
  • GPS Assisted Flight: With GPS location, the drone can hover...
  • 22 Mins Max Flight Time: The High-capacity 2800mAh intelligent...
  • Brushless Motor: It is so quiet but very powerful when running....
  • Simple Control: Quick launch by pressing one key; quick-Release...

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  • 2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera with 5G Transmission: The upgraded...
  • GPS Assisted Flight: With GPS location, the drone can hover...
  • 22 Mins Max Flight Time: The High-capacity 2800mAh intelligent...
  • Brushless Motor: It is so quiet but very powerful when running....
  • Simple Control: Quick launch by pressing one key; quick-Release...

One of the main selling points of Holy Stone’s HS700 drone is that it is very quiet, obviously a desirable trait when you are trying to find animals in an area without scaring them away. The HS700 is also different because, unlike most models which have an internal camera, this drone has a carriage that holds a GoPro camera. That means that, if you are out using your drone and then decide you would like to take some footage by hand as well, you can do so on the very same camera. Convenient, right? This one is a bit above average in price but comes with great features.


8. Anafi drone by Parrot

Product

Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone, Foldable Quadcopter Drone with...

  • This drone with a camera equipped with f/2.4 wide angle ASPH...
  • The ANAFI Parrot Drone can have up to 25 minutes of filmed flight...
  • With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this...
  • Equipped with a Parrot Skycontroller 3 folding remote control,...
  • Software updates can make changes to existing features, further...

Our rating

Details

  • This drone with a camera equipped with f/2.4 wide angle ASPH...
  • The ANAFI Parrot Drone can have up to 25 minutes of filmed flight...
  • With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this...
  • Equipped with a Parrot Skycontroller 3 folding remote control,...
  • Software updates can make changes to existing features, further...

If you’re concerned about flight time – how long your drone can stay in the air before it needs to have its battery recharged or replaced – consider the Anafi drone by Parrot. 20 minutes is generally considered a very good flight time, but Anafi manages to push it just a bit further to 25 minutes. Parrot promises that not only will its battery hold more charge than most others, it’ll also charge 60% faster. This is another model that will capture videos in 4K resolution, so it is a more costly option than some, but the quality is well worth it if your budget allows.


9. ScharkSpark SS41 Drone with 2 Cameras

Product

ScharkSpark SS41 Drone with 2 Cameras - 1080P FPV HD...

  • Dual Cameras: With the 1080p HD front camera and the 720P bottom...
  • Optical Flow Positioning: High-precision orientation sensors...
  • Gesture Control: Simply make specific gestures and the drone can...
  • APP Control: Drone can be perfectly controlled by a smart phone....
  • Modular Battery: 14-16 minutes flight time, extends your flight...
  • Toy

Our rating

Details

  • Dual Cameras: With the 1080p HD front camera and the 720P bottom...
  • Optical Flow Positioning: High-precision orientation sensors...
  • Gesture Control: Simply make specific gestures and the drone can...
  • APP Control: Drone can be perfectly controlled by a smart phone....
  • Modular Battery: 14-16 minutes flight time, extends your flight...
  • Toy

What does the ScharkSpark Beetle have that most other drones don’t? The answer is, two cameras! If you like the idea of being able to see both a front and ground view with your vehicle, then the Beetle might be for you. These aren’t wimpy cameras, either, with the front having 1080p resolution and the bottom one coming in at 720p. The Beetle is also a good choice for those who want to use their drone in their personal lives, too, as it includes software to improve the appearance of human subjects in the images it captures. For a reasonably good drone, the price is definitely fair.


10. GoolRC SG906 GPS RC Drone with 4K

Product

GoolRC SG906 GPS RC Drone with 4K HD Front Camera and 720P...

  • Functions: Up/down, turn left/right, forward/backward, sideward...
  • 4K HD adjustable camera: Through transmitter, the camera can be...
  • Optical flow positioning and GPS positioning dual switch: The...
  • Brushless Devices: 1806 1700KV brushless motor and 30A brushless...
  • Follow Mode: Two following modes optional, GPS transmitter follow...

Our rating

Details

  • Functions: Up/down, turn left/right, forward/backward, sideward...
  • 4K HD adjustable camera: Through transmitter, the camera can be...
  • Optical flow positioning and GPS positioning dual switch: The...
  • Brushless Devices: 1806 1700KV brushless motor and 30A brushless...
  • Follow Mode: Two following modes optional, GPS transmitter follow...

If, after reading through all these options, you have come to the conclusion that you’re not really that into drones, the GoolRC SG906 might be right up your alley. Do you just want something simple that offers a really clear view of the surrounding area, and you don’t care for extra features? Do you only plan to use your drone for hunting? At a moderate price, the SG906 is one of the least expensive options that includes a 4K camera. You can teach the device to recognize hand gestures, but we’re here to track animals, not wave the air around, darn it!


Parting Shots

Now that you have 10 great options to think over, it is important that you also be aware of some legal information when it comes to drones. First, you will need to register yours with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Failing to do so could land you with a hefty fine. Some states also have their own laws when it comes to flying drones, and there are several that actually prohibit (or have many restrictions on) their use when hunting, which is obviously something you would want to know if you were considering using one. You can find out what state laws may apply to you by using this directory. It is also possible that your local area may have ordinances about drones, such as disallowing their use in town parks, so you will want to be aware of these as well. There is some air space that requires prior authorization from the FAA to use, so see to it that you obtain any permits you will need to fly your drone where you wish to.

 

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It isn’t just the law that you need to respect, though. Keep in mind that not all hunters support the use of drones and some feel that they should not be used at all, while some approve of utilizing drones only before the actual hunting season begins. To help create an equitable experience for everyone, it is best to double-check that your vehicle’s flight path will not disturb another person’s space. This may not be easy if there are many other hunters around, so consult your best judgment about whether or not it’s a good day to bring your drone with you when you go out. You should also definitely never use it to harass or tease animals, as that is not its intended purpose and shows disrespect to your fellow hunters and the sport itself. It is your responsibility to operate your drone in a conscientious manner, so please take the time to make sure you are doing so.

Now you know what the best drones are for hunting and where you can get them. Amazon has a superb selection with a huge spectrum of price points, so there is certainly an option that meets both your needs and your budget. We hope you enjoyed this article and that you found this information helpful. Remember to always be safe and have a good time!

By

Chris Frenchak has over 20 years of firearms experience between sporting and responsible concealed carry applications. Chris is a member of multiple pro-second amendment organizations including USCCA, NRA, and just as importantly, his local range. Chris is continuing a legacy of support for our rights by working with his family to increase firearms education and awareness as the lead editor of GunBacker.

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