By Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
One of the most anticipated time of the year for West Virginians is big game hunting season. So many of our family members, friends and neighbors enjoy picking up a bow, rifle, musket or, beginning this year, a crossbow, and heading out into the woods and fields in search of white-tailed deer, black bear or wild turkey.
Leading up to hunting season, its important hunters in the Mountain State take the proper steps to pass the Division of Natural Resources’ Hunter Education Course, buy the proper license and stamps, and new this year – get a personal DNR identification number to check in your big kill with the new electronic game checking system.
It’s easy to do! If you buy your license each year, your DNR ID number is printed right on your license. If you have a lifetime license, hunt on your own property or are otherwise excused from purchasing a license, you can get your DNR ID at any license agent, DNR district office or online at wvhunt.com. You only have to register once, and your number is valid for life. Once you have your code in hand, you’re all set for the new checking system.
You no longer have to physically bring the animal to a game checking station, although you can if you want. Now you can check it in by calling 1-844-WVCHECK and using your ID number, or you can do it from your smartphone or computer at wvhunt.com. It’s easy and takes only a few minutes.
When you check in your animal, you will be given a 13-digit confirmation number to be written on the back of a field tag an attached to the animal until it is processed for consumption. Detailed information about the process can be found in the 2015-2016 Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure available at all license agents, DNR offices and online at wvdnr.gov.
Not only is the system easier and more convenient for our state’s hunters, but it also makes important information available more quickly to DNR staff, who use it to make better wildlife management decisions for the benefit of hunters and wildlife watchers alike.
I encourage all hunters to learn more about this new system and to be prepared to use it in the field this year. Good luck, and happy hunting!