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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Immediately tagging deer a must

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It is easy to remember the rule for putting a tag on that deer you kill.

Do it immediately. Keep in mind the simple phrase, "Bag it, tag it."

You must tag your deer before you move it, before you get with your hunting buddy and ask him to help you get the deer back to the vehicle. You tag the deer before you pull out your cell phone and check it under the new Arkansas Game and Fish Commission checking system. You tag the deer before you pull out a package of cheese crackers and open a can of cola.

If the deer runs a few yards and falls in a creek, tag it right there, then drag it out.

The tag on a deer that is taken by a hunter is a key component in the Arkansas wildlife system. There is no wiggle room, no escape clause for breaking the rule.

Simply put, a wildlife officer who finds a hunter with a deer that does not have a tag will do two things -- write a citation on the spot and confiscate the deer. That citation carries a costly court penalty, and the confiscated deer will go to Hunters Feeding the Hungry or a similar program.

After tagging your deer, don't forget to use the AGFC's new Telecheck system to check your deer. The number is 877-507-4263 and is toll-free. Call it from anywhere when you are ready to check your deer. The new system replaces the check stations that were used for decades.

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I'm 33 years old and havn't ever been deer hunting until this past week-end. I had everything I needed, hunting liscense, tags, zip ties, pen, watch.....Everything I needed to kill a deer and tag it. Well, after sitting in my stand for 1 1/2 hours, a big 6 point buck walked out. I shot him and went and retrieved him. I was beside myself with excitement.....My first deer ever and it was a big buck (about 150 -165 pounds with a nice spread on him). I loaded him up on my 4-wheeler and headed back to camp to show him off. At the end of our camp road, there were 2 trucks sitting there and they flagged me down....I thought they were just a couple of camp members wanting to see what I shot. Well, when I saw that it was game and fish, I just figured they wanted to check my liscense ect. They talked to me about 10 or 15 minutes.....I told them my story about it being my first deer and how excited I was....and they just stood around and shot the shit with me. Then he walked around the back of the 4-wheeler and grabbed the deers head, looked at me and said "We have a bit of a problem here." I looked at him confused (at that point, I still hadn't realized that I did something wrong), and he said that there was no tag on the deer. I thought, well it's a legal deer and they just stood here and heard my whole story, I guess I'll get a warning and they will want me to tag it right then. WRONG. It is a $370 fine....which compared to some fines I've heard about, that's not much....but it's $370 more than what I have. And it was an honest mistake.....It was a legal deer, I was on my way back to camp (not headed to the house to hide it), it hadn't been skinned or anything, I obviously wasn't poaching or anything like that, and in the game wardens words "You seem like an upstanding citizen who obides by the laws" (no fomer convictions, tickets, etc). Would a warning not have been sufficient for a situation like this? Now, I don't know if I should just pay the ticket or go to court and beg for mercy. Any words of advice?

-- Posted by LJORDAN1976 on Fri, Nov 20, 2009, at 1:24 PM

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