Oklahoma Online Hunter Check Station Brings New-found Convenience to Checking in Big Game

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Many hunters have already experienced the convenience of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Check Station Web Portal, which allows sportsmen to check in their harvested deer, turkey and elk electronically. It is simple and fast, requiring only a computer or mobile device with Internet access.

Hunters can print a carcass tag from a printer or simply write their confirmation number on the field tag that they made when they harvested the animal.

“Any computer or cell phone with internet access can be a check station,” said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department. “The online method is both convenient and economical.”

According to Holmes, being able to check in a deer 24 hours a day and seven days a week is a value in itself, since not having to transport their animal to a physical check station means they can save on automobile fuel expenses and start cooling the meat from their animal almost immediately. Additionally, a hunter who checks an animal online will not have to worry about his or her personal information, since data entered online goes straight to a secure server. There also is potential for hunters to query the online database and view their past deer, elk, or turkey entries.

The online check system was first implemented during the 2009 deer season, and over 17,000 hunters experienced the ease of the new system. That number almost doubled in 2010 with over 30,000 hunters checking in almost 40,000 deer electronically.

Those without Internet access can still check in their animal at the nearest hunter check station, or have a friend or relative with Internet access check in the animal for them and provide the confirmation number to be used on the field tag.

Not only is the online check station economical and convenient for the hunters, but it also saves the Wildlife Department time and money. Physical check stations require a minimum of five visits by a biologist or technician each year. Department employees spend over 200 man-hours editing check station books by correcting mistakes and illegible handwriting. The instant data provided through the online check system allows biologist and game wardens to quickly access information. The online database also allows for “real-time” analysis of harvest numbers.

The online system also helps the Wildlife Department enforce wildlife laws.

David Clay, game warden stationed in Osage County, was able to make two cases in 2010 using the online system. Two illegal hunters used hunting license numbers other than their own to check in deer they had illegally harvested. Both subjects pled guilty and paid $1,500 in fines and costs.

Current physical check stations can continue providing a service to sportsmen by offering Internet access at their locations, and some have already made the switch.

“It’s great,” said Gloria Bishop from the OC Corner Mart in Keota. “We don’t have to write anything, and I think it is even faster than the old book. Hunters come in to check their deer and they can still get their deer weighed and picture taken if they want to. We’ve found it just easier all around.”

To check in a deer, elk or turkey online, log on to wildlifedepartment.com and follow the link on the homepage to the “Online Check Station.”


Retired2hunt's picture

  Technology is definitely


Technology is definitely providing a more efficient means of completing the check in process for many states.  Kansas has offered the ability to take a picture of your harvest and e-mail it to the state's DOW for providing a tag process.  Ohio has gone to having the ability to call in from the field using your cell phone or going on the internet for checking in your deer and receiving a tag number for your harvest.  Oklahoma and several other states have jumped on the technology bandwagon.  It will only be a matter of time for more states to be doing the same for any check in requirements.  The loser here is the local retailer who offered their location as a check in place for the state's hunters.  With the move towards technology it takes away from the revenue these small retailers enjoyed from the hunters coming in and making purchases while checking in their animals.  I really do look forward to the technology advances we will use in the years ahead.


hunter25's picture

We just read about Kansas I

We just read about Kansas I think it was doing about the same thing as Oklahoma is now getting started. I think this is a win win situation for the state as far as money saved and the added convenience for the hunters instead of having to run the whole animal in. If these programs take off really well I can see more states getting on board. If Colorado started something like this I think they would have a lot better reprting on hunt success and and a better idea of our herds in general. We have no mandatry reprting of any kind at this time except for some of the premium hunting tags like sheep, Goats, and mosse.