Since the 2005 fall deer and turkey seasons, all hunters are required to check deer and turkey electronically—either by phone or Internet—using the Telecheck system. Telecheck eliminates the requirement that hunters physically present harvested animals at an official check station before processing.
Advantages for hunters
- Telecheck provides hunters with a convenient way to register their harvests. In remote areas, it was often challenging for hunters who took deer late in the day to get to check stations before the facilities closed. Telecheck should allow hunters to spend more time afield and to have a more relaxed hunt because now they can access the system from any location, as long as the call is placed before 10 p.m. on the day the game is harvested.
- People hunting on their own land can save a trip to town and begin processing deer or turkey immediately after checking game from a home computer or a phone.
- Hunters spend an average $6.48 round trip to an in-person check station. Assuming 200,000 trips, this saves hunters $1.3 million and 200,000 gallons of gas.
Advantages for wildlife management and enforcement
- With check stations, wildlife managers had to wait months for harvest data to be compiled. With electronic checking, they will have immediate access to the same harvest information. This will allow them more time to analyze data before the next hunting seasons are set.
- Electronic checking will reduce the hours agents spend on administrative aspects of check stations (which average 40 hours per agent) and increase time available for field enforcement.
- Agents will have up-to-the-minute harvest information. If hunters in a deer camp after 10 p.m. claim they have checked deer but forgot to put the Telecheck confirmation numbers on the tags, the agent can dial up the Telecheck database and check the hunters' story. In the past, the agent would have to drive to the check station and sort through check sheets to verify information.
- Hunters are much less likely to cut corners when they can make one phone call and check deer rather than having to make a trip to the nearest check station.