Drones for Ranching

Using your drone for Ranching

Not all ranches are flat or easily accessed by horseback or ATV, a drone can help give you eyes in the sky to help with common ranch tasks.  One common tasks here in Texas is dealing with feral hogs a major nuisance to ranchers.  They cause damage to fields and fences, and are normally in large groups.  The damage is done at night mostly, during the day they hide in tree cover or dense vegetation.  You can use your new drone with a thermal imaging camera to locate the areas they hide in during the day.  It’s much less expensive than hiring a helicopter to locate them.

drone search feral hogs
(wild boar, wild hog, feral pig, feral hog)

Hurt on the Ranch, but work must continue:

DJI Mavic Pro folds down as small as a bottle of water!

What if your injured or disabled and it’s hard to get around the ranch.  You can deploy your drone when you can’t get to where you need to by vehicle or ATV’s.  There are now drones that are very portable, don’t take up much space and can easily be kept with you at all times.

Getting started and FAA Rules

  • Check out our guide to starting a new drone business if you plan on selling services to ranches.
  • See our picking a drone for business use guide.
  • Follow the FAA rules!  This is critically important!  If you are making money with your drone it is no longer a hobby, you must be certified.  Even if your on your own property, if the use of the drone is for the purpose of your Ranch business you may have to follow the FAA rules.  But don’t worry its not that hard or expensive, find more details here.
  • Stay above your property while using your drone. 
  • Make sure your batteries are charged and that you have extras.
  • Clean your camera lens.

Drone Ranch Uses:

  • Locate sick or injured livestock in difficult to access areas.
  • Checking fence lines
  • Filming cutting horses or other livestock for sale. – from a safe distance to not spook the animals
  • Filming for leasing your ranch for grazing.
  • Advertising (selling hay)
  • Selling ranch equipment
  • Monitoring controlled burns
  • Locate hogs or other nuisance animals and plants
  • herd animals
  • map and monitor grass in fields
  • check stock tank levels
  • map invasive plants
  • count livestock

Drone Ranching

Next Step, see our guide to starting a drone business, even if your adding drones to an existing business there are helpful tips to get you going.


Check our resources page for more helpful links and products.


3 thoughts on “Drones for Ranching”

  1. The ranch community I live in has had major issues with feral hogs in the past. When it gets really dry in the summer it’s harder for the hogs to find food because the ground is so hard. They start looking for easier places to dig a night and the nice soft ground around your house is where they will go. They can do thousands of dollars’ damage in a single night, and they will keep come back for days if you don’t stop them. They are also very quiet. When they damaged our property, they were within 10 feet of my master bedroom and you could not hear them at all (about 20 of them).

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