Deer tagging to be voluntary this season

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission suspended the rules requiring mandatory deer tagging for the 2007-08 hunting season at their Sept. 6 meeting.

The commission acted upon a recommendation from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to suspend mandatory tagging in light of the citations some hunters may have received, through no fault of their own, during routine documentation checks by Enforcement Division agents in the field.

Complications arose during the development of the deer-tag delivery program by the license contractor for the upcoming hunting season. Problems resulted when some vendors were not able to issue deer tags to some hunters or some hunters received deer tags with invalid numbers between June 1 and Aug. 10. Some hunters also received tags without problems during this period.

The license contractor has confirmed that the system has been issuing valid deer tags since Aug. 10. For this reason, and in an effort to collect data from hunters with valid tags issued prior to Aug. 10, LDWF is encouraging all deer hunters with tags to follow these steps (that are now voluntary):

1. Attach the appropriate carcass tag to the deer (either an antlered buck tag or an anterless deer tag).

2. Document the date of kill on your license in the Deer Harvest Report Card section.

3. Call the toll-free Harvest Report phone number (866-484-4805) as printed on the hunting license, and report the kill within 72 hours or report through LDWF’s Harvest Report website link within 72 hours. The Harvest Report system phone number and web link are scheduled to be activated by Oct. 15. Hunters taking deer in early October will be allowed extra reporting time.

4. Record the validation number on the license as proof of having reported the kill. Hunters who participate in the tagging, reporting and validation program will assist LDWF in testing the new program and become familiar with the tagging program that will be fully functional and mandatory for the 2008-09 hunting season.

For anyone who does not need to purchase a yearly hunting license, including lifetime-license holders and hunters under 16 years of age, stop by any point-of-sale vendor to obtain tags. Hunters under 16 years of age, and without a valid photo ID, will need to present a Social Security card, and their SS number will validate tags issued.

Please note that possession tags for resident game, printed within the 2007-08 Louisiana Hunting Regulations booklet, will still be required attachments for harvested deer or deer parts transported or stored after each hunt.

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