Field Herping with a Drone

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Zach_Lim
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Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Zach_Lim »

Interesting video that I stumbled upon while Youtube herping haha


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Scott Waters
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Scott Waters »

Welcome to the future of field herping. Very cool stuff.

scott

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by chris_mcmartin »

Playing devil's advocate:

With videos like this, coupled with one I saw from a mountain-biking forum wondering what the strangely-placed plywood was doing in the middle of nowhere, I wonder how long it is before either the board lines themselves start disappearing, or worse, "snake haters" start flipping the boards to kill whatever they find underneath.

To a lesser extent of be-careful-what-you-wish-for: commercial use of radio-controlled aircraft is prohibited under current FAA regulations. There have been a lot of cool videos posted to YouTube, many of which could result in fines (I think a few already have). Eventually it will become commonplace, but at the moment the FAA is trying to get its arms around how to coordinate what could be an explosion of new users in the national airspace system, with varying levels of training and experience ranging from seasoned pilots all the way down to "I just bought this contraption; let's see what it can do."


All that negativity aside, it was an interesting clip.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Brian Hubbs »

A friend of mine just got a drone helicopter (4 props) and has been flying it around here. He's crashed it 5 times. :lol: I immediately saw the potential for finding board lines and other herp stuff, but it costs too much money, has a limited flight time, and if you crash it you're either out $400 or have to replace parts and rebuild it. Too much money for me...I'm going to stick with the old fashioned method...stumbling around or studying google earth. 8-)

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Carl Brune
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Carl Brune »

I was hoping to see the drone lift the boards...

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by chris_mcmartin »

Carl Brune wrote:I was hoping to see the drone lift the boards...
That's what I anticipated too. :) Then I thought maybe they were going to use it to spot basking lizards--but then again, I think a quadcopter would probably equate to a hawk in the lizards' minds, so they'd scramble for cover.

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klawnskale
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by klawnskale »

That's what I anticipated too. :) Then I thought maybe they were going to use it to spot basking lizards--but then again, I think a quadcopter would probably equate to a hawk in the lizards' minds, so they'd scramble for cover.[/quote]

Speaking of which; when the tides turn to the drone's demise. Go Hawks! :lol: :thumb:


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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by chris_mcmartin »

klawnskale wrote:Speaking of which; when the tides turn to the drone's demise. Go Hawks!
I've been flying radio-controlled aircraft (I hesitate to call these "drones" as that implies more autonomy than these consumer-level aircraft possess) for about 28 years. I've never had a hawk attack one--usually they avoid them in flight, but I've only "soared" with them at higher altitudes. Perhaps the quadcopter was near a nest?

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klawnskale
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by klawnskale »

I've been flying radio-controlled aircraft (I hesitate to call these "drones" as that implies more autonomy than these consumer-level aircraft possess) for about 28 years. I've never had a hawk attack one--usually they avoid them in flight, but I've only "soared" with them at higher altitudes. Perhaps the quadcopter was near a nest?[/quote]

Raptors are very territorial. They will try to drive each other away from self proclaimed territories. For some reason raptors identify the slower, lower flying drones as competing raptors invading their territory. There are several videos on Youtube exhibiting this. Aren't the ones you have worked with in the military significantly larger? These are about the same size as the birds. Size sometimes doesn't even stop birds from displaying aggression. I have observed hummingbirds in flight driving off sharp shinned hawks.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by chris_mcmartin »

klawnskale wrote:Aren't the ones you have worked with in the military significantly larger? These are about the same size as the birds.
My flying is recreational/competitive...raptor/vulture-size craft. When hawks/vultures are thermaling over our flying site, we would sometimes "chase" them. I use that term very loosely because it's next to impossible to do from a practical standpoint, due to human depth-perception limitations (though with first-person video technology now allowing you to get a "cockpit view," some nefarious soul would probably be able to do it). Even if a model plane got close to a bird, and the bird didn't want to be close to the plane (unlike the territorial hawks in the videos), a collision is highly unlikely as the birds can easily outmaneuver the plane.

Sorry to keep drifting further off-topic. To bring it back somewhat, using something like a quadcopter to actually lift the boards isn't outside the realm of possibility. I saw something recently (maybe a TED talk video?) that showed quadcopters programmed to build houses (e.g. lifting and properly placing cinder-block walls). Pretty cool from a housing standpoint, though I don't know what the draw would be to have a quadcopter have the joy of flipping a snake in your stead.

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Noah M
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Noah M »

I'm going to stick with the old fashioned method...stumbling around or studying google earth.
Brian, when did studying google earth become old fashioned?

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Scott Waters
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Scott Waters »

captainjack0000 wrote:
I'm going to stick with the old fashioned method...stumbling around or studying google earth.
Brian, when did studying google earth become old fashioned?
LOL....I was thinking the same thing. Google Earth hasn't been around that long. Old school would be studying topo maps, wouldn't it?

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by chris_mcmartin »

To me, the "sunglasses" icon in Hubbs' response indicated sarcasm.

Actually, the name "Brian Hubbs" itself indicated sarcasm. :P

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Noah M
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Noah M »

Old school would be studying topo maps, wouldn't it?
I think I still have my DeLorme 8-)

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shredsteban
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by shredsteban »

Cool post Zach, thanks for sharing! I was entertained. But I agree, kinda of takes things to a new level. Don't want people finding my boards with drones!

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John Delgado
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by John Delgado »

Zach_Lim wrote:Interesting video that I stumbled upon while Youtube herping haha

Zack -- If you take the s out od https - Your video will be embedded in the OP.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Brian Hubbs »

What I want to know is: when is klawnscale going to learn how to do quotes properly...? :|

And, ZirconJohn, if you type in a darker color than lime green, Zach might even understand your advice...

Helpful Hubbs...I just feel helpful today... :lol:

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by SurfinHerp »

I watched the video and I didn't see the point of using the drone in the way it was used. All it did was give us a higher vantage point, which was too far away to actually identify what was under the boards. The best parts of the video were taken by the small handheld camera.

If I had a drone like that, I'd use it to scour steep hillsides and outcrops for basking Crotes, or perhaps to search a rugged arroyo. Basically, I'd take it to places that I couldn't easily walk right up to with my camera.

I bet a drone could be useful to scout inaccessible ponds for western pond turtles too.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Field Herping with a Drone

Post by Kelly Mc »

Maybe it would only take a drone to film agile saurians pulled out of coolers before being propped up on an outcrop against the beauteous horizon.

Or snakes being tailed over and over and over until they behave for that :beer: shot.

that would be good. Nobody who does those things ever posts that part of the "encounter".

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