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Shawano entrepreneur provides drone services to Northeast Wisconsin community

Shawano Drone Services services range from search and rescues to roof inspections

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January 9, 2024

SHAWANO – The use of drones for photography has been gaining traction amongst businesses across industries, and interest continues to climb.

Recognizing this boom, Cody Hudson transformed his decade-long hobby into an entrepreneurial venture – officially launching Shawano Drone Service last year.

Drone photography, Hudson said, can not only yield high-quality and professional images, but also show context in a property from various angles, while highlighting large-scale features.

Hudson said he offers clients a range of services, including thermal imaging for search and rescue to roof inspections – providing customers with a birds-eye view.

A new venture takes flight
Hudson said his business background began when he opened Cody Hudson Motorsports, Inc., which offers vehicle repair and truck and trailer transportation.

“I have been doing concrete and auto work and recently had the opportunity to expand into the thermal image drone business,” he said.. “I have owned multiple drones and thought I would make a hobby into a job.”

Hudson said he is committed to helping others and felt a drone service could work to direct that mindset to assist his customers.

“I enjoy it while helping people,” he said. “With my experience with drones, it was an easy transition.”

Shawano Drone Service, Hudson said, offers aerial photographs, before and after photos, farm updates and search and rescue services for people and pets – tailoring services to fit the needs of clients.

“There are so many great services to offer,” he said.

Hudson said the most common service request from customers is thermal images to find missing pets and deer.

For example, Shawano Drone Service can help a hunter who may have gotten the shot, but the animal didn’t go down.

Hudson said his drones could help track down the game.

Cody Hudson started Shawano Drone Service late last year. Submitted Photo

During a recent scan of a local cornfield, Hudson said his thermal camera drone was able to detect an animal from 100 feet in the air, which comes in handy for lost pet searches.

As an FAA-certified drone business, Hudson said Shawano Drone Service provides a variety of services, including:

Thermal search and rescueAnimal recoveryProperty aerialsMarketingRealtor aerialsConstruction projectsLandscapingTower and roof inspectionsBefore and after photos
Tools of the trade
One of the keys to his success, Hudson said, is staying current with the industry’s changing technology.

“I use all DJI Drones, which are top-of-the-line drones,” he said.

DJI Drones, Hudson said, feature two high-quality cameras and are often highly regarded in the music, television and film industries.

Their powerful flight performance and automated obstacle avoidance settings, he said, give him an edge on maneuverability.

The DJI Drone models, Hudson said, also produce stable and clear video transmissions and contain strategically advanced imaging systems. 

“I currently have a DJI Phantom Pro 4, DJI Mini 4 and a DJI Mavic 3T,” he said. “In the spring, I am planning on purchasing a DJI Matrice 30T.”

By continuing to upgrade his equipment, Hudson said he hopes he can create opportunities for business growth.

“Hopefully, things go well, and If I have the experience and the equipment, I can take on more work and handle more calls, especially during deer recovery time,” he said.

Thanks to his current lineup of technology, Hudson said he has been able to service an array of client needs.

Though many people have heard of drones, Hudson said there isn’t much knowledge about their vast capabilities.

“People would be surprised to know we can reduce search times and speed up finding animals or people,” he said.

While he works to continue educating the community about what Shawano Drone Services can offer, Hudson said he is already planning for the future.

“I would like to have multiple drone pilots and be readily available to go help find missing pets or people, if needed,” he said. “I would support and help out the first responders as much as possible as an extra resource.”

Though Shawano wouldn’t likely be considered a large community, Hudson said opening the Shawano Drone Service in his hometown was a no-brainer. 

“Being from Shawano and knowing a lot of people made it easy to decide,” he said.

At a population of a little more than 9,000, Hudson said being amongst such a tightly-knit community has helped him market his business. 

“It is a nice place to live and work,” he said. “I do a lot of stuff with giving back my time here to help out as well.”

Hudson said he hopes to continue to help those in his community and to share his passion for drone work – and he hopes the community will value his service in return.

For more information on Shawano Drone Service, check out its Facebook page.

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