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Remote control hunting

In 2003, while looking at a deer through a webcam, a Texas man came up with the idea of remote control hunting. His idea was to set up a rifle in a blind on his ranch, which could be controlled by the click of a mouse from a computer miles away.

John Lockwood worked quickly to put his plan into action, developing his website – which was removed from the web after Texas banned remote control hunting in 2005 – and giving his friend the chance of being the first to try it out. With one click of a mouse, the friend activated the rifle and shot a hog in the neck. Lockwood, on site, shot it twice again because the first shot had only wounded the animal.

Lockwood’s idea was to give clients the opportunity to shoot and kill wild and exotic animals from the comfort of their home. They would pay an initial fee and the final fee would be based on the animal killed. He believed it would be a way to allow disabled people to enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

A client, after registering, would log on at a scheduled time to target an animal, with a handler on site to control the gun if needed, or to shoot an injured animal if it is not killed with the first shot.

This remote control hunting is unethical, since no hunting skills are necessary for those using their computers for the hunt. It allows for the brutal killing of an animal and is a surreal experience more like a video game than an actual hunt. The concept of the “fair chase” is completely eliminated and the hunter hears no cry of a wounded animal, and sees no blood.

Animal welfare groups, particularly in the United States, were quick to denounce this practice. In 2005 Texas banned remote control hunting, and by July 2006 it was banned in 23 states. So far no one has attempted such a business in Canada.

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