Thursday, November 10, 2011

Huge increase in duplicate hunting/fishing license sales explained

With more than 21,000 duplicate hunting and fishing licenses having thus far been sold the numbers far exceed those of any previous year.

For hunting licenses alone the number of duplicate documents issued jumped nearly 236 percent for the eight-month period of February 15 to October 31 this year when compared to last year for the same time frame.

In all, the number of duplicate hunting licenses issued was 9,915. For the same period in 2010 that number was 3,937.

The number of duplicate fishing licenses likewise climbed; in this case by a factor of 97 percent, reports the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

“So far this year we have issued over 21,000 duplicate licenses and permits; a significant increase over last year,” said Korey Brown, the Wildlife Division’s administrator in charge of the agency’s new license-issuing system.

Brown attributes the large volume increase to two major factors. Those being:

n The switch to plain paper license stock which has resulted in more destroyed license documents.

In this case, hunters and anglers are reminded to protect their license documents, Brown says.

“We believe hunters and anglers will eventually adapt to the new license stock which will lead to a decrease in duplicate license issuances,” Brown said.

n The new WOCRMS is a real-time transaction automation system whereas the old license-issuing system was a “store-and-forward system,” Brown said.

Our network of 900-plus license sales agents are still familiarizing themselves with the new system,” Brown said.

“Next year we plan to implement changes to the software that should reduce the number of duplicate license issuances.”

Yet even with these minor glitches, Brown says, the WOCRMS system “puts the Division of Wildlife in a position to deliver products and services via multiple distribution channels with relative ease.” These “multiple distribution channels” include traditional retail sales outlets (license agents), the Internet, the telephone, and eventually smart-phone applications, or “mobile applications.”

“However, before we implement any change as it relates to the issuance of license and permits, we must ensure adherence to Ohio Administrative Code, which dictates the process by which duplicate licenses and permits are issued,” Brown said.

“The Ohio Division of Wildlife will continually review various sections of (Ohio law) and propose changes designed to improve product and service delivery, and take full advantage of an extremely powerful WOCRMS tool.”

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
JFRischkorn@News-Herald.com
Twiter: @Fieldkorn

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