Online checking to get test drive

Columbus – The DNR Division of Wildlife is planning to “test
drive” its new Internet-based license sales and game check system
this fall at a handful of locations around the state.

Approximately 75 sales agents will pilot the licensing portion
of the Wild Ohio Customer Relationship Management System (WOCRMS).
An (as yet) undetermined number will test the game-check aspect,
beginning with deer-archery season on Sept. 25, according to Vicki
Ervin, communications manager for the division.

Official statewide implementation of WOCRMS’s licensing is
slated for Feb. 15, 2011, while the game-check portion will be
fully operative in time for the start of spring turkey hunting on
April 18, 2011, Ervin said.

WOCRMS replaces Ohio’s current hunting, fishing and trapping
license point-of-sale system and is aimed at strengthening wildlife
management and law enforcement practices statewide.

Anglers and hunters will still have two ways to purchase
licenses and permits: online at wildohio.com or an authorized license
sales outlet. More significantly, hunters can check game via the
Internet at wildohio.com, over
the phone at 1-877-TAG-ITOH, or wherever hunting licenses are
sold.

The wildlife division plans to select a handful of traditional
check stations this fall to gather hunter input on the new system.
Once a hunter checks a deer via the traditional method at one of
these stations, he or she will be asked to re-check their kill,
using WOCRMS. Division staff will then survey the hunter on the new
process, asking if it was understandable, easy to use and
convenient.

“We would like to know if there are any confusing parts … prior
to implementation,” Ervin said. “The feedback from hunters will be
very valuable.”

Once it is fully operational, WOCRMS will allow sportsmen to
purchase licenses or permits and check deer or turkey 24 hours a
day, seven days a week via the Internet. The division promises it
will be more convenient, cost-efficient and user friendly than
transporting game to a local check station. Hunters will be able to
spend more time afield, the division says.

Customers will manage their individual purchase and checking
“profiles” on WOCRMS, using a secure access.

While the new system will save hunters and anglers time, fuel
and effort, it does constitute change. And that’s a difficult
concept for some people to grasp, Ervin acknowledged.

Some current license vendors may not choose to participate in
the new system since it requires the purchase of a
division-specified computer and printer. Other, previously
non-participating businesses may elect to join the new system –
especially if they already have the required computer and printer
on hand. That’s one major change.

WOCRMS promises to reduce waiting time for those buying licenses
and permits and will automatically block purchases by people under
suspension or revocation.

The online game check will allow wildlife biologists to monitor
harvest data electronically as seasons progress. It will also allow
more efficient enforcement of Ohio’s hunting regulations.

Landowner hunters who are not required to buy licenses are still
required to check deer and turkey at a check station or at wildohio.com. The WOCRMS phone-in method
will not be available to those checking game harvested on their own
property.

The Active Network Inc. is building and implementing WOCRMS for
the wildlife division. The company is either maintaining or
developing automated hunting and fishing license sales systems for
26 states.

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