Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New turkey/deer tagging procedures have recording wiggle room

Ohio’s turkey and deer hunters will face a new bend in the learning curve while completing their required harvest paperwork.

Beginning with this year’s spring wild turkey-hunting season, successful hunters will field the obligation of writing their own temporary tag.

The next required step will include adding the 18-digit confirmation number provided by the Ohio Division of Wildlife via the Internet or by dialing a toll-free telephone number.

And while this hand-made tag is vital so is the actual spring turkey hunting permit, the $24 paper document that most participants are required to buy as well as their $19 general hunting license.

Yet though officials with the Wildlife Division say the actual hand-written tag required for attachment to the turkey (or this fall, a deer) can “be made of any material (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.)” a photocopy of the purchased permit is also legal tender so long as it contains all of required notations.

That twist being acceptable, according to the Wildlife Division’s law enforcement section following a query on the subject.

Importantly also, says these law enforcement agents, both the tag and the permit must include the hunter’s name, date, time and county of the kill.

In addition, following the placement of the tag – regardless of its origin or how it is made – at the point of kill, the hunter must acquire and properly record the 18-digit confirmation number. This, before delivering the bird or animal carcass to a game processor, taxidermist, or one’s freezer.

Obviously if portions of the kill are in more than one place than more than one tag is required.

Such an example would be if a buck rack or a wild turkey skin is in the hands of a taxidermist while the meat or venison is in an at-home freezer.

Thus, a copy of the tag is required for each location.

Likewise, says the Wildlife Division, the actual purchased permit should have the 18-digit confirmation number as well as being in possession of the hunter during any time of the respective hunting season.

The reason for this additional step – a strictly voluntary measure – is to facilitate a more amiable encounter with a Wildlife Division agent should the official encounter the hunter while afield some other time during the turkey- or deer-hunting season, agency officials said during the query.

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

More information, including a pamphlet explaining the process, is available at wildohio.com.

Hunters with questions can also call 800-WILDLIFE (800-945-3543).

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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