Big game checking to transition next year

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) plans to fully transition big game checking to electronic and telephone checking as of September 1, 2021, the beginning of the 2021-22 hunting season.
All hunters (including those who are not required to purchase a license) who harvest a deer, turkey, bear, bobcat, or elk, will need to check their harvest by calling DWR (866-GOT-GAME), logging on to gooutdoorsvirginia.com, or by using their mobile app harvest reporting system, GoOutdoorsVa (free through the app store).
Since 2004, the agency has offered some form of electronic harvest reporting, and beginning in 2019, electronic harvest reporting options were available for all game species for which reporting is required. Last hunting season, 86% of all deer, 93% of fall turkeys, 100% of spring turkeys, 100% of bobcats, and 58% of all bears were reported through an electronic harvest reporting system. Mandatory game checking, a cornerstone of DWRs game management program for more than 70 years, will remain vital for game management in Virginia for many years to come. Thus, it is critical that every hunter report their harvest using the electronic or telephone harvest reporting systems.
The department recognizes the traditions associated with paper checking and game check stations and is exceptionally grateful to check station operators for their decades of service collecting the harvest data that has supported restoration of our deer, bear, and turkey populations. While moving to an electronic/telephonic check system will no longer necessitate official “check stations”, those operators who wish to continue offering this service to hunters may do so by assisting with electronic or telephonic checking.
DWR remains committed to a harvest reporting system that is convenient to hunters, obtains reliable data, and maintains the public’s trust in information that is of critical importance to sound wildlife management.
For questions or additional information, email gamecheck@dwr.virginia.gov.
For more information on the change, consult the Electronic Game Harvesting FAQ.

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