Mandatory Game Check Rule in effect beginning Fall of 2016

Journal - 2016

August 22, 2016 at 10:25 am

GAME CHECK - Mandatory effective Fall of 2016

Following completion of the harvest record, hunters are required to report all deer harvests within 48 hours through Game Check using the Outdoor Alabama app for iPhone and Droid smartphones, online, or telephone (1-800-888-7690).

There are 3 ways to report:

  1. Click here to check a deer or turkey

  2. Check a deer using the Outdoor Alabama App

  3. Call 1-800-888-7690

Data collection is an extremely important part of any deer management program and should be the primary item affecting deer management decisions. Data collection allows managers to monitor trends in the deer population’s physical condition, deer population numbers, deer harvest numbers, hunter success rates, and many other measures of a deer management program and effectiveness.  Not collecting the right types or amounts of deer-related data often adds many unnecessary challenges to an already difficult task. This is true for deer on a small private property or across an entire state.  Game Check can be viewed online.

Statewide Voluntary Game Check information for the past years:

  • For the 2015-16 season:     15,138 deer  -  1,996 turkeys           
  • For the 2014-15 season:     16,266 deer  -  1,174 turkeys      
  • For the 2013-14 season:     19,903 deer  -  2,012 turkeys         

WFF biologists and administrators examine the agency’s data collection efforts each and every year to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of the deer management program. One area where data collection efforts have been lacking is an understanding of how the state’s deer harvest is distributed across the state and throughout the season. While the number of deer currently reported through the Voluntary Game Check is only a small percentage of the total statewide harvest (<10%), these data will provide valuable trend data in years to come. In the future, a larger percentage of the annual harvest will be captured through Mandatory Game Check and as more people become comfortable with the new system and see the value of the data gathered through the system. Knowing when and where people are killing deer, as well as when and where people are not killing deer, will be indispensable when evaluating the effects of the timing and length of the various types of deer seasons (e.g., archery, muzzleloader, either-sex, etc.) on the deer harvest on a county and regional basis, rather than a statewide basis only.

Managing Alabama’s deer population and its deer hunters is a unique and challenging process. WFF strives to be proactive in its management strategies and to keep the best interests of the deer populations and deer hunters at the forefront of the decision making process. As data collection efforts improve and WFF gain a clearer understanding of the desires of the state’s deer hunters and the status of its deer herd, changes to the length and timing of Alabama’s deer season, bag limits, and other aspects of deer hunting in Alabama are likely in upcoming years.