Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Discontinuing Game Check Stations

According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, the DWR plans to discontinue game check stations and the distribution of game check books beginning September 1, 2021, at the beginning of the 2021-22 hunting season.  All hunters (including those who are not required to purchase a license) who harvest a deer, turkey, bear, bobcat, or elk, will need to check their harvest by calling DWR at (866-GOT-GAME), by logging on to, or by using their mobile app harvest reporting  systemGoOutdoorsVa.   The mobile app is free through the app store.

Mandatory game checking, a cornerstone of DWR’s game management program for more than 70 years, will remain vital for game management in Virginia for many years to come.  It is critical that every hunter report their harvest using one of the electronic harvest reporting systems.  Since 2004, DWR has offered some form of electronic harvest reporting, and beginning in 2019, electronic harvest reporting options were available for all game species for which reporting is required. Last hunting season, 86% of all deer/elk, 93% of fall turkeys, 100% of spring turkeys, 100% of bobcats, and 58% of all bears were reported through an electronic harvest reporting system.

DWR recognizes the values and traditions associated with game check stations and is exceptionally grateful to check station operators for their decades of service to collecting harvest data that have supported restoration of our deer, bear, and turkey populations, but factors such as hunter convenience, efficiency of capturing data, and cost of distribution and collection of check books, have driven the shift to electronic harvest reporting.

If you have questions or need additional information, email

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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