Columbus, OH – While successful deer and turkey hunters must still report their harvests, they are no longer required to take their game to a check station for physical inspection and tagging, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

Hunters have three options to complete the new automated game check:

  • On the Internet at wildohio.com or ohiogamecheck.com
  • By telephone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH (1-877-824-4864). This option is only available to those who are required to have a deer or turkey permit.
  • At all license agent locations (find agent locations at wildohio.com)

Internet and telephone game-check is available seven days a week and during holidays. License agents’ locations are available for deer and turkey check-in during normal business hours. Please call the license agent for specific hours of operation. All deer and turkeys must be checked in by 11:30 p.m. on the day of kill.

“Ohio’s game-check system performed well during the spring turkey season, the Division of Wildlife,” said Korey Brown, license manager for the Division of Wildlife. “We will continue to monitor the game check and licensing systems and make changes as needed for customer convenience.”

Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a deer or fall turkey permit must use the Internet or an authorized license agent to check their game. Hunters who tag their game as a landowner harvest cannot use the phone-in method.

Immediately upon harvest, the hunter must detach the temporary tag from the permit, fill in the necessary information using a pen, and attach it to the animal. Landowner hunters must create their own temporary tag and attach it to the deer or turkey immediately upon harvest. The game can be legally transported once the temporary tag is attached. It is recommended that hunters use a plastic bag or license holder to protect their temporary tag in the field.

Hunters who choose to use the phone to check their game are encouraged to complete the process in a quiet, sheltered area. Hunters will need to be able to hear the permanent tag number provided over the phone and be ready to write that number on the permanent tag.

When a hunter checks in a deer or turkey on the Internet or by an agent, they will receive a game-check receipt with a permanent tag number printed on it. Landowner hunters will receive their permanent tag at this time. Hunters using the phone-in method will receive the number over the phone. This number must be written on the permanent tag by all hunters, including landowners, which is attached to the deer or turkey permit. Hunters must then fill in the date and time of kill and sign the permanent tag. Next, the permanent tag is detached from the permit and attached to the animal. The temporary tag can be discarded after a permanent tag is attached to the animal.

The permanent paper tag must stay with the deer or turkey as long as any part of the animal is held. The permanent paper tag replaces the metal tag of years past. Hunters should also be aware that the license and permit paper is not waterproof and should be protected in a plastic bag or license holder. Carry an empty plastic bag or protective pouch to be used upon harvest of the deer or turkey. Hunters must tie the temporary tag to the animal and make sure it is secured and protected from the elements during transport.

When purchased at a license agent location, licenses and permits will appear on the green, left hand side of the document, and the remaining space will be printed with information relevant to the license or permit purchased. Cut along the vertical dotted line and then fold down to credit card size for easy carrying.

Those hunters purchasing over the Internet may print their licenses and permits on plain white or other color of paper. Licenses and permits purchased on the Internet may be cut along the solid black line and folded on the dotted lines for easy carrying.

A customer identification number will be assigned to everyone using the Division of Wildlife’s automated license sales and game check system. This number will be issued to the hunter after they provide the required information for a customer account and will be printed on the top of his or her license and permits. This number will be the hunter’s unique customer identification number for as long as he or she obtains licenses, permits, stamps, or Wild Ohio magazine, or applies for a controlled hunt or fishing lottery. Hunters can print and laminate a customer card with their name and customer ID number for future use by logging onto wildohio.com and choosing the “Manage Your Customer Account” link.

Hunting and trapping season dates and rules can be found at wildohio.com.

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