Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wildlife Division increases online deer check-in system options

The Ohio Division of Wildlife has tweaked its new online deer check-in system with the intention of assisting computer nerds who also hunt.

Along with the computer updates the Wildlife Division also is suggesting a method using pencil and paper to keep track of the permanent numbers assigned to each harvested deer.

Ohio’s four-month long archery deer hunting season begins Saturday with the various firearms hunts still on the horizon.

Each successful deer hunter must obtain an assigned permanent number that is to be written on the general deer tag form. One copy stays with the meat and the other copy stays with the head and hide. The temporary tag can be discarded or kept for personal recording purposes.

The system was recently updated with a number of improvements that will simplify game-check transaction processing, give hunters access to more self-serve options, and provide customer service personnel with additional tools. These improvements are:

n Text Message Confirmation: Hunters who report their harvest via telephone (IVR process) will be given the option of receiving a text message confirmation. The text message includes the permanent tag number. However, the Wildlife Division does not have the ability to resend the text message confirmation.

n Email Confirmation: If the individual’s email address is on file, an email confirmation will be sent after a hunter successfully completes a game-check transaction. The email is not sent in real time. It could take as long as 8 hours to arrive. Keep in mind that SPAM/security settings can prevent the customer from receiving the email. Again, the Wildlife Division does not have the ability to resend an email confirmation.

n One Permit, One Permanent Tag Number: The WOCRMS system will prevent hunters from using the same permit to check multiple deer/turkey.

Lost/Misplaced Permanent Tag Number: If a hunter loses or misplaces his/her permanent tag number, or is unsure about the status of his game-check transaction, he/she has a number of options:

n Call 1-877-TAGITOH (1-877-824-4864) and enter the permit number. The IVR system will inform the hunter that the permit has already been used and repeat the permanent tag number associated with that permit. (This service is available at all hours of the day, every day.)

n Log on to Click “Wild Ohio Customer Center”, click on “Manage Your Account”. Hunters can access their “Customer Account”, view their game-check history and reprint harvest receipts (permanent tag numbers). This service is available at all hours of the day, evey day.

n Call 1-800-WILDLIFE. Select Wildlife Division employees will have access to the system profiles. WebAdmin users can perform a customer search, click on the “Harvest Tab”, and see all game-check activity for that particular customer. In addition, WebAdmin users can now reprint harvest receipts and/or email the harvest receipt (PDF) to the customer.

n License Agents can not reproduce harvest receipts once the game-check transaction is finished. In other words, as soon as the hunter walks away from the counter, he/she must follow the steps described previously in order to obtain the permanent tag number.

And if a hunter loses his/her permanent tag, then they should still have the temporary tag if they didn’t dispose of it after permanently checking their game, says Jamey Graham, public information specialist for the Wildlife Division’s Northeast Ohio office in Akron.

“A ‘journal’ of tag numbers can be especially helpful too for hunters who take multiple deer and wish to keep track that way as a backup,” Graham said.

Hunters likewise are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure that their hunting licenses and tags are properly protected from the elements. This is particularly true for either the temporary or permanent deer tag after it’s been affixed to the animal.

On a suggestion from a Wildlife Division staffer I purchased a 10-pack of clear employee identification holders. These holders easily can contain a tag and protect it from the elements.

What’s more the holder has two holes which can be used to tie or bind the product and its deer tag to the animal. I like using plastic cable bundle ties.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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