Beginning this fall, all deer, elk and turkeys checked in by hunters must be reported through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's e-check system within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area.
The online check station is available at www.wildlifedepartment.com.
“Any computer or cellphone with Internet access can be a check station,” said Micah Holmes, spokesman for the Wildlife Department.
The number of hunter check stations has declined since the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation began offering electronic checking back in 2009.
In 2008, there were 332 hunter check stations in the state. Last year, there were 253 and fewer are expected this year.
Some local businesses that were hunter check stations will still serve as e-check stations by offering Internet access to hunters at their locations.
When reporting through the e-check system, a number is generated on a carcass tag that can be printed or simply written on a field tag and attached to the harvested animal.
State wildlife officials say the online check station is more convenient for hunters and saves the Wildlife Department time and money.
Physical check stations required a minimum of five visits by a biologist or technician each year, taking up hours on the road and fuel expenses, Holmes said.
In previous years, state wildlife employees spent over 200 man-hours editing check station books by correcting mistakes and illegible handwriting, he said. The instant data provided through the e-check system allows biologist and game wardens to quickly access up-to-date, accurate information, he said.
Last year about 60 percent of the 107,848 deer harvested were reported through e-check.
State wildlife officials say if hunters do not have access to a computer, they can relay the information by phone to a friend who does within 24 hours of leaving the hunt area.
NWTF banquet Saturday in Norman
The Moore Feathered Friends chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its fundraising banquet Saturday at the Belmar Golf Club in Norman.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 per individual or $75 per couple. For more information, call Travis Lorenz at 812-9952.
DU banquet Saturday in Guthrie
The Guthrie Ducks Unlimited chapter will hold a fundraising banquet Saturday at the American Legion building, 123 N. First.