FAQ's about Game Check and Harvest Records for deer and turkey.
What is Game Check?
Game Check is a program designed to track deer and turkey harvest information on a county-by-county basis. Game Check requires that all hunters, regardless of age or license requirements, report deer and turkey harvests within 48 hours of the harvest.
Why did Alabama implement Game Check?
Game Check is a tool that will allow improved management of Alabama’s deer and turkey populations. Over time, this valuable information can be used by WFF biologists to see harvest trends and set seasons and bag limits. Prior to implementation, Alabama was one of just three states without any mandatory harvest reporting requirement.
Are Game Check and Harvest Record the same thing?
They are not. Regulation 220-2-.146 has two parts: a Reporting portion and a Recording portion. While they work together in many ways, they are two different regulations / requirements that pertain to hunting deer and/or turkeys in Alabama.
Recording: Harvest Records became mandatory in fall 2013. This regulation requires that all deer and/or turkey hunters have a Harvest Record in their possession (either in paper or app form) while hunting. Any deer or turkey harvested must be recorded on the Harvest Record prior to moving the animal.
Reporting: Game Check became mandatory in fall 2016 (it was voluntary the prior year). This portion of the regulation requires all hunters to report their harvested deer or turkey within 48 hours and record the confirmation number on the Harvest Record (either in paper or app form).
If a hunter has the Outdoor Alabama app downloaded on their phone prior to harvesting an animal, they can fulfill both requirements at once by Game Checking the harvest in the field prior to moving. This step removes the requirement to carry a paper harvest record.
How many deer and turkeys were harvested last year?
Harvests from previous years can be found at https://game.dcnr.alabama.gov/
How can I Game Check my deer and/or turkey?
The most convenient and accurate ways to report your harvest are:
Smartphone - Outdoor AL App is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones. It is the most reliable and convenient way to report your harvest. In addition, using the app will allow you to keep your Harvest Record electronically. NOTE: The Outdoor Alabama Pocket Ranger app is no longer viable. If you have the Pocket Ranger app, please delete and replace it with the new Outdoor AL App.
Online - https://game.dcnr.alabama.gov is the next best way to report and obtain your confirmation number to be recorded on your Harvest Record.
You can also report your harvest by phone at 1-800-888-7690 – many hunters say this reporting method is time-consuming and tedious. In addition, approximately one-half of the data generated through this method is typically incomplete and inaccurate, and it is the only method that costs the department financially for hunters to use.
Why should I use the app?
Using the app is the fastest, most convenient way to combine the use of the Harvest Record and Game Check. Once you record a harvest on the electronic Harvest Record, it automatically completes the Game Check requirement and places the confirmation number on the electronic Harvest Record. (Clicking continue more than once will result in multiple harvest reports.)
If using the app, what happens if I have no cell service while hunting?
You would still record your harvest on the electronic Harvest Record. When you are back in service range, the app will automatically complete the reporting of the harvest and upload the confirmation number on the electronic Harvest Record. Remember, you must have the app downloaded and your profile established prior to hunting in an area with limited cell service for this to work.
My harvest shows more than one confirmation number on my app’s Harvest Record?
Clicking multiple times while recording your harvest in the app could result in multiple reports with different confirmation numbers. If this happens, you can call the Wildlife Section at (334) 242-3469 during normal business hours for assistance.
Can I Game Check someone else’s harvest using my app?
No, the app is specific to one person. All harvests reported using the app will be applied to your harvest record. You would have to go to https://game.dcnr.alabama.gov/ using the phone’s internet browser to report for other hunters.
I have a new phone – how do I see my previous information on the app?
After downloading the app on the new phone, you can sign in and see all your previous harvest data.
Do hunters need a paper Harvest Record even though I’m using the app?
No, the Harvest Record can be either paper OR the app.
How can I get a paper Harvest Record?
It can be found in the Annual Hunting and Fishing Digest that is available at any local license agent or you can download a harvest record.
Are License Exempt Hunters (child under 16, resident landowner or resident 65 and over) required to Game Check their harvest?
All hunters, including those exempts from license purchases, are required to obtain and possess a Harvest Record AND record their deer and/or turkey harvest into the Game Check system.
How does a License Exempted Hunter (child under 16, resident landowner or resident 65 and over) report their harvest in Game Check?
The Game Check system requires either a 16-digit License Number OR a 6-digit Conservation ID Number to maintain a hunter’s profile:
Game Check H.E.L.P# is a no-charge license that is available at any hunting license agent. It provides the 16-digit license number needed to access Game Check. (NOTE: this is not needed if you have a hunting or fishing license – you can use that 16-digit license number.) This license must be obtained on an annual basis to access a hunter’s profile.
Conservation ID# is a new 6-digit permanent ID# that can be obtained in the Game Check system online (if you have never purchased a license, you would need to obtain a Game Check H.E.L.P. initially to create your record). The Conservation ID, once attained, will serve as the hunter’s access number for life.
Do hunters need a Game Check H.E.L.P along with your hunting license, lifetime license, or Conservation ID #?
Not necessarily. You can use any one of these identification items to access the Game Check System.
Do hunters need to report a male deer with antlers that have not yet broken the skin under unantlered or antlered deer?
It would be reported as an unantlered deer category but as a male deer.
Do hunters who are just tagging along and not actually hunting still need a Game Check H.E.L.P number or hunting license?
If they are not participating in the hunt in any way, no license is required. Participating would be calling game, assisting in carrying game, assisting by holding the gun or other equipment, etc. Always be aware – you can receive a ticket if the Conservation Enforcement Officer observes any participation activities.