December 16, 2018

Feedback Beginning to Come in on Maine’s New Game Tagging System

It was announced a few days ago that Maine was entering the techno-zombie world of electronic game registration. This new system went into effect with the onset of the black bear hunting season. We are also in one of those “Expanded” seasons for deer with archery hunting.

I saw a first comment about the new system of registration from a person who shot and registered a deer taken in the Expanded season.

Essentially, he said the new program was easy to use and mostly begged that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) would begin to allow field registration so tagging could be done in the field with a smartphone.

I hope not.

Field tagging, while appearing convenient to some, presents a myriad of problems as I see it. I’ll present one.

Registering of game serves more than one purpose. It provides game managers a location where they can go and physically inspect the game, take samples, and collect all kinds of data. It is this data that should make Maine wildlife managers better at doing their jobs. Consider what might happen if this data was no longer collected.

Maine is one of those states that is not overrun with deer for example. Because of this, more importance is put on responsible and effective deer management. Data is vital to accomplishing this.

Let’s not be greedy. I’m still in a bit of shock over this announcement of MDIFW moving to a more modern form of game registration. We should be thankful for that. We should also be eager to be a part of game management by understanding the need to visit a registration center to tag our haul.

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