Mississippi may not have a tagging system for turkey hunters, but it does require an immediate report of harvest before the bird is moved from the site of kill. It’s called Game Check, and it can be done simply through modern telephone technology, or by two other methods.
The reporting process must begin before the turkey is moved. The simplest way is to use the Game Check feature included on the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks app on either your Apple- or Android-based cell phone. This can be done even if you hunt in areas without cellular phone coverage. Open the MDWFP app, click the Report Turkey button and complete and submit the entry as directed. The entry will be automatically transmitted once coverage resumes. Once this process is completed, no other action is required.
Two other methods are available, but both require downloading a season harvest record form that’s available online at MDWFP.com before you go hunting.
After taking a gobbler and before it is moved from harvest site, the kill must be recorded on paper, either on the downloaded form or on a simple piece of paper. It requires recording your name, license number, address, phone number and date of purchase on the paper or form before leaving the site. Later, you will need to measure the beard and spur length and note the county of harvest before completing the report with MDWFP by visiting the agency’s website at mdwfp.com/gamecheck or calling 1-800-BE-SMART.
Upon completion, you will be provided a confirmation number that must be added to your season harvest record.
Mandatory reporting of turkey harvests allows for more precise resource management. According to the MDWFP, the benefits include:
- Monitor populations and harvest data more effectively than an annual hunter survey. The details gathered will improve regulatory decisions and allow for adaptive approaches to management.
- More thoroughly evaluate the impact of season frameworks on turkeys, hunters and hunting success.
- Provide — for the first time — timely and efficient county level harvest data, allowing MDWFP to identify areas with low harvest rates that could be targeted as areas that need to be improved.
- Identify Mississippi’s turkey hunters, which would allow for directed polls and surveys to understand the desires of this hunting group.
- Demonstrate to the hunting community that harvest management and bag limits are important and especially critical to those species that have a season limit.
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