The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

September 27, 2013

State drops mandatory reporting for hunters

MONTGOMERY — The state is dropping a rule that requires hunters to report all the deer and turkey they kill beginning next month.

The state wildlife agency said today the reporting will now be voluntary, not mandatory.

The change came after a Republican legislator said he would block the rules if the Conservation Department didn't make major changes in the program, called "Game Check."

State biologists say they need detailed information about animals to manage Alabama wildlife, so the agency implemented a reporting program set to start Oct. 15. They say the system could also provide valuable information for hunters about what's going on in the woods.

But critics questioned how the mandatory reporting rules would work.

As many as 250,000 licensed hunters could have been affected by the rule.

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