Ohio’s game check procedure updated for deer and turkey hunting

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to educate themselves about Ohio’s new game tagging and checking procedure for the 2013-2014 hunting seasons.

These changes provide a more consistent tagging process between exempt landowners and those using a permit. The new game check process applies to spring turkey, fall turkey and white-tailed deer hunting seasons.

A new feature this year is that hunters will need to make their own game tag to attach to the turkey or deer. Game tags can be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.) as long as it contains the hunter’s name, date, time and county of kill.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife has a blank game tag available at wildohio.com, which is suitable for the tagging and checking process.

Steps to follow

Follow these steps when tagging wildlife during the upcoming spring hunting seasons: Protect permits and game tags from the elements by placing them in a plastic bag or protective pouch before hunting.

Landowners and permit holders must complete a game tag immediately upon harvest and prior to moving the animal. The game tag must include the hunter’s full name, date, time and county of kill.

Hunters need to make their own tag from any material they choose, and write legibly with an ink pen or permanent marker.

Attach the game tag to the animal immediately upon harvest and prior to moving it. Permit holders must complete the spring turkey permit with the date, time and county of kill. Those exempt from purchasing a permit can ignore this step. Permit holders must record this number on the permit.

The 18-digit confirmation number must also be attached to the animal. Hunters may also choose to write the number on the game tag.

All hunters must report their turkey harvest using the automated game check system. Hunters have three options to complete the game check: online at wildohio.com or ohiogamecheck.com; by telephone at 877-TAG-ITOH 877-824-4864.

This option is only available to those who are required to have a permit to hunt turkeys; and at all license agents. A list of these agents can be found at wildohio.com.

Checking in

Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week including holidays. License agents’ locations will be available for turkey check-in during normal business hours. Hunters can call the license agent for specific hours of operation

All turkeys must be checked in by 11:30 p.m. the day of the kill.

Landowners exempt from purchasing a turkey permit, and any other person not required to purchase a turkey permit, cannot use the phone-in option.

More information, including a pamphlet explaining the process, is available at wildohio.com. Hunters with questions can also call 800-WILDLIFE 800-945-3543.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at ohiodnr. Gov.

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