A new law seeks to help manage Alabama's wildlife. Starting this fall, hunters who kill a turkey or deer must report it within 24 hours or face a $500 fine.
Under the new "Game Check" program, hunters must alert the Department of Conservation by phone, online or through a new smart phone app. Opponents say the law places additional burdens on hunters and is an attempt for the state to gain more revenue.
"It is obvious the Department of Conservation is hell bent on raising revenues, not merely counting the number of animals harvested. Currently there are many biologists that research and report herd data on Alabama's Deer and Turkey population," said Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) in a written statement.
Sanford went on to say he has asked the conservation department to try a voluntary reporting system first. He says the Game Check system is trying to address a "fabricated problem"
Chuck Sykes, director of Alabama's Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, does not agree with Sanford.
"This is not just some bureaucratic piece of red tape that Montgomery is putting out. This is a way for us to get information better," said Sykes. "The bottom line is this is a response to what the public asked for."
The new law takes effect at the start of bow season, October 15.
According to the Department of Conservation's website, www.OutdoorAlabama.com, these are the ways hunters can report their kills within 24 hours:
-Through the Outdoor Alabama app, which can be downloaded at http://www.outdooralabama.com/oaapp.cfm
-Online at www.outdooralabama.com/gamecheck
-By calling 1-800-888-7690
Find out more from Outdoor Alabama's Game Check Handout.
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