“You Can’t Rattle a Robo-deer, but You Can Be Arrested for Shooting One”

Catching illegal hunters in the act can pose some unique challenges. The solution? Robotic animals that act as irresistible targets for the illegal hunters. According to the story:

Poachers aren’t easy quarry, yet more and more law enforcement officials are nabbing them with a special kind of game that just begs to be shot… something like a young deer with an impressive rack of antlers, standing peacefully along a country road.

After a while, a truck drives by, stops, then backs up. The deer turns its head towards the vehicle, and a rifle barrel emerges from the driver’s window. A shot breaks the silence. As the ricochet dies away, two game wardens leap from the brush, surprising the poacher. “Game warden!” they yell, “Put the gun on the ground, put the gun on the ground!”

The story says that the decoys are cost-effective; the $1,300 cost is made up by fines from arrests. One decoy in Wisconsin single-handedly has been responsible for 15 busts.