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Mississippi’s NEW Game Check System for Turkey Harvests

Heath Wood

turkey hunter

Attention Turkey Hunters - Beginning in the spring of 2019, The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) will make it mandatory for all turkey hunters to report their harvests by 10:00 PM on the day of the harvest using the NEW Game Check System. Any hunter who successfully harvests a gobbler in the state of Mississippi can use one of three ways to report their harvest. 

Turkey hunting is a sport that hunters all over the world enjoy each spring. As with most things in today’s world, modern technology is incorporated into many things that we use on a day-to-day basis, in order to make our lives easier. Modern science is showing up in big ways in the outdoor industry as well. Not only has technology influenced the way in which we shoot our archery equipment and firearms, but it has also influenced the way that we prepare ourselves before and after the hunt. Current technology is also being used to preserve hunting, as well as support many much-needed conservation efforts in order to assure that hunting will always be something that we can enjoy, and this is where using an app like the one from MDWFP comes in to play.

The Magnolia State is one of the most desired hunting regions for turkey hunters. With over a quarter of a million birds, Mississippi has consistently produced one of the largest turkey populations in the country. By hunters reporting their turkey harvest with the NEW Game Check System, they will aid in the future of wild turkey conservation. 

In the 1950s natural resource professionals began to trap wild turkeys in specific locations that still had populations of wild turkeys and began relocating them to different regions of the state. The movement and replacement of this amazing bird took place due to the fact that turkeys had nearly become extinct in Mississippi, mostly because of the lack of game laws, neglect of conservation, and year-round hunting from both locals and market hunters. However, thanks to concerned conservationists over the ensuing decades, the turkey population exploded with its peak being in the late 1980s and it is still going strong today. These efforts are why the southeastern United States has become known as one of the greatest conservation stories in history. 

Mississippi turkey huntingThe MDWFP continues to provide valuable information each year that is easily accessible to turkey hunters. As part of the NEW Game Check System, hunters can now download the MDWFP app, which is a great tool not only for turkey hunters, but also anglers and outdoor enthusiasts that can benefit from it as well. This app features a digital license display, rules and regulations, season dates, bag limits, feeding times, and most importantly a wild turkey game check so that hunters can easily use the NEW Game Check to record the harvest to the MDWFP.

Here are a few things to remember when using the Game Check System.

Before The Hunt

Before doing anything else, the hunter must first obtain a hunting license (unless exempt) and harvest record. There are two types of harvest records that are acceptable, a digital record or a printed form. Digital records may be done through the Game Check feature that is found on the MDWFP app. Register in the app and it will be an official harvest record. If one prefers a printed form, it can be downloaded on the MDWFP website

What To Do After Harvesting A Turkey

After a successful hunt on a spring morning, it is sure that the hunter’s adrenaline will be rushing. It is crucial to remember not to let those emotions make us forget to report the harvest. It is important to remember that the reporting process must begin BEFORE the hunter moves the turkey from the harvest location. Using the Game Check feature on the app, simply click on the REPORT TURKEY button and complete and submit an entry. If there is no cellular coverage, the app will automatically upload your harvest when coverage resumes. Once this is done, the celebration of a successful harvest can continue for many days to come.

After The Hunt

When using the Game Check feature, the hunter has no additional requirements. However, if using the printed form, the hunter must report the harvest through the MDWFP website or by calling 1-800-BE-SMART before 10:00 PM on the day of the harvest. Once the hunter has completed the harvest reporting process, the hunter will then receive a confirmation number which will need to be documented on the harvest record.
It is important to remember that harvest reporting is mandatory for ALL turkey hunters in Mississippi. 

Many years of hard work and dedication to conservation is the reason that turkey hunting is at the level it is today. With efforts put in to place such as the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks NEW Game Check, hunters will see that it will further aid in being able to continue these great conservation efforts, while at the same time, provide hunters with information that can be used to make a more successful hunt this spring.

For more information on Game Check visit

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