After careful consideration, Conservation Commissioner N Gunter Guy, Jr., with the full support of the Conservation Advisory Board (CAB), has decided to withdraw the mandatory Game Check regulation and implement voluntary compliance. The Game Check system will still be effective Oct. 15, 2013, for the first day of archery season. CAB Chairman Dan Moultrie said, “We are confident that the hunters in Alabama will comply with the Game Check reporting system on a voluntary basis this first year because they know the importance of the information gained through this process.”

The biological data gained through harvest reporting will provide the Conservation Department with invaluable information on a county-by-county basis. “As a biologist, I know we must have harvest data in order to make accurate season and bag limit recommendations,” said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes. “After traveling the state for the past nine months and talking to hunters at town hall style meetings, I am confident that the hunters of the state understand that the motives of Game Check are pure. Once hunters understand that the data gained through Game Check will be available in almost real time to them as well as the Department, they get excited about the possibilities.”

All the organizations that supported the Department and the Game Check program (National Wild Turkey Federation, Alabama Wildlife Federation, Buckmasters, Alabama Dog Hunters Association, Alabama Bow Hunters Association, Alabama Bass Trail, Alabama Black Belt Land Brokers Association, Alabama Deer Association and the ALFA Wildlife Board) are anxiously awaiting the data generated during the first year of Game Check. “It is impossible to make informed decisions about the management of game populations without accurate and up-to-date information. Every important decision we make in our life is based on data. If the sportsmen and sportswomen of Alabama want to have the best decisions made concerning the management of the states deer and turkey, they need the Game Check information,” said Dr. Steve Ditchkoff, Ireland professor, Auburn University, and one of the nation’s leading white-tailed deer experts.

Commissioner Guy indicated through his research that approximately 35 other states have similar reporting systems. “I’ve looked at all 50 states in regards to their harvest reporting systems.” Guy said. “We know our hunters want the Department to have the best information available to make management decisions and Game Check is going to be a valuable piece to the puzzle. Those other states may have gotten a head start on the reporting system, but we are catching up quickly.”

The Conservation Department urges hunters to voluntarily report deer and turkey harvests through the Game Check reporting system. Hunters have three ways to report their harvests: an Outdoor Alabama app for iPhone and Droid smart phones, online at, or by phone at 1-800-888-7690.

Logo courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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3 thoughts on “Alabama Game Check System Now Voluntary

  1. Hunters will do the right thing.
    This should have been done long ago.
    Law abiding people obey the law because it is the right
    thing to do, not because it is the law.

  2. Never going to happen, about a month in deer season around November I spoke with approximately 20 hunters and they said their not reporting what they harvest. So I asked everybody I knew in hunting community how many deer they and their friends (if they are not planning to report) harvested and that came to 43 all together bucks and does. I went to game check site to see totals and wasn’t surprised how low the number of harvest reported. If this program goes mandatory next year everyone will see. I hunt mostly on public land and believe me these people that hunt there could careless about reporting anything, they will shoot anything including fawns(seen it this year in October). People I talk to that hunt on family land and private clubs don’t even log harvest on hunting license, if I meet 1 or 2 responsible and ethical hunters a year I’m lucky, most just don’t care. One more thing, about 2 more years of full season doe harvest will probably put an end to deer hunting around here I have to make four hunting trips just to see deer and five years ago I saw a few deer every time I went in woods, so say what you want but I’m not buying this overpopulation of doe garbage. Buck harvest per season needs to be 4-point or better and have tag system, give 2 free and charge for each additional tag, four maximum. Someone needs to put politics aside and get serious about this or kids will simply not be interest in hunting if they go and see nothing enough times. Sorry so long I’m just concerned and tired of not seeing deer, IMO.

  3. A mandatory Call-In system is being considered by Alabama’s DCNR. I understand the science behind a call-in system but let me share with you a little real life history of Alabama’s turkey populations. Back in about 1972 we started a club here in Munford called the “Munford Sportsman Club”. I organized it and was the president of it for it’s complete lifetime. It was made up mostly of local hunters with a few from Talladega and some from Calhoun County. It was a proactive group and numbered about 50 members. We raised enough money with dove and skeet shoots to build the very first wildlife openings on our National Forest. When the NWTF was in their infancy, Rob Keck called me one day and said he needed a state chapter of the NWTF in Alabama and wanted our Sportsman Club to be it. I agreed and for about a year we were the 1st state chapter of the NWTF in AL. At that time the estimated population of turkeys in Alabama was about 400k. Texas was the only state to sport a larger population at 500k. Texas soon realized their numbers were bogus so an extensive studies were done and now they realized they really have about 1 million. Alabama’s estimate is still at 400k. They are still using the same numbers today. They depend on hear-say and what their rich buddies tell them. This new study that Auburn is doing will not be very dependable simply because they will have students doing it and their funding and time is severely limited. I am currently looking into the specs of that very study. In the 70s a line across Alabama from east to west almost exactly where I-20 is, was the line between having turkeys and not having turkeys. Used to be when I was working in counties north of that line, I never saw any turkeys. Now they are everywhere from B’ham to the TN River Valley and beyond, remember our estimated populations are still at 400k, a 50 year old number. My question is this: What good are great dead call-in numbers if you don’t have good live numbers to compare with?

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