The fact remains, however, that similar technology could be used to track down and kill any number of big-game species, particularly those active at night. Colorado's Parks and Wildlife commissioners appear to realize that, and are working to stay a step ahead of the technology curve.
The curve hasn't registered yet with West Virginia officials.
"It's not even on our radar screen," said Paul Johansen, assistant wildlife chief for the state Division of Natural Resources. He added, however, that it's something agency officials might need to address sometime in the future.
"Anytime you are dealing with high-tech equipment, there's a question whether it's a legitimate way to harvest game, or if it falls on the other side of fair chase. It's our job to find the balance point.
"If we examine a new technology and see it as violating the spirit of fair chase, then we would draft regulations to deal with it."
Johansen said the Louisiana drones are examples of how the technology could be used for a beneficial purpose, to rid the countryside of destructive feral swine.
"But there's a big difference between animal control and a hunting situation," he added.
Drones certainly have beneficial uses. In a hostage situation, for example, police might use small drones to figure out who the bad guys and the hostages are and where they're located.
Remotely controlled aircraft using thermal imaging could even help wildlife officials determine how many deer are located on a given tract of land. Before drones were available, DNR officials used similar technology mounted on manned helicopters to see how many deer were present at Canaan Valley State Park. A drone survey would have been just as effective, and probably would have cost much less money.
As Johansen said, the key appears to be finding the balancing point between drone use and misuse, and drawing the line right there.