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Warden Wire FAQs: Special Edition - 2016 Gun-Deer Season (#2)

Warden Wire Section: Outdoor Recreation published on November 2, 2016

By: DNR Bureaus of Law Enforcement and Wildlife Management

November 2, 2016

Welcome to the second chapter of Warden Wire's feature FAQs: Special Edition - 2016 Gun-Deer Season. These special edition FAQs were taken by the DNR Call Center, the Department of Natural Resources' conservation wardens and the Bureau of Wildlife Management. Today's topics include tagging deer and harvest registration. The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The DNR Call Center staff is happy to help you with any and all of your questions. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

Question 1: I'm confused about tagging. Am I supposed to attach the tag before field dressing the animal or moving it?

Answer: No, the carcass tag only needs to be attached if you leave the carcass.  But, and this is important to remember, you still are required to validate your carcass tag immediately upon harvesting the animal and before field dressing it or moving it. You do this step by writing on the carcass tag instead of marking it with a knife!

Question 2: Is there a specific place or area on the animal where I'm supposed to attach the tag?

Answer:  No, there really isn't a specific carcass tagging spot. However, you do need to make sure the tag is accessible for inspection -- no matter where you end up tagging the carcass. It has to be easy to see and to get to.

Question 3: How do I protect the validated carcass tag?

Answer: You are correct in that you are required to keep the validated carcass tag legible and in good condition. There is no required process as long as your method keeps the validated tag protected and attached. You could try the DNR's suggestion -- which is to put the validated tag in a clear plastic sandwich bag, and use string, plastic ties or even wire to secure the tag to the carcass. 

Question 4: Am I required to attach the tag prior to or immediately after registration? And what if Iím not sure if Iím leaving the carcass. Am I allowed to attach the validated carcass tag before I leave it?

Answer: To your first question, no -- the validated carcass tag only needs to be attached if you leave the carcass. And second, yes, there is no restriction on attaching the validated carcass tag too early.  When in doubt, just attach it.

Question 5: I usually hunt with my buddies. What if I leave the carcass with a friend? Can I just give my buddy the carcass tag?

Answer: No, you can't do that. The validated carcass tag needs to be attached. The legal requirement is based on whether you, as the person providing the validated tag, have left the animal. Leaving the carcass with other people does not change the requirement to attach a validated tag to your animal when you leave it.

Question 6: OK, what if I still can see the carcass but Iím a long distance away from it?

Answer: No, the validated carcass tag needs to be attached. When in doubt, just attach it.

Question 7: When can I remove the tag?

Answer: A validated carcass tag that has been attached only can be removed from the carcass at the time of butchering or when prepared by a taxidermist, but the person who killed or obtained the animal shall retain the tag until the meat is consumed.

Question 8: If a tag is not attached to the animal, how will a conservation warden know if it was legally harvested?

Answer: As in the past, you still are required to show the validated carcass tag to DNR staff upon their request.

Question 9: Will electronic registration (GameReg) continue to be available to all deer hunters?

Answer: Yes. All deer registration is completed electronically, and hunters can register deer harvests by phone, mobile device or computer with Internet access. Here's a tip:  Completing a deer registration online is much faster than deer registration by telephone.

Question 10: How long will a hunter have after harvesting a deer before that deer must be registered?

Answer: All deer must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after the animal is recovered and the carcass tag is validated.

Question 11: Does this registration deadline apply to all deer harvested during the deer seasons?

Answer: Yes. Any deer harvested must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after it was harvested.

Question 12: With the implementation of electronic harvest registration, will the registration requirements for harvested deer change?

Answer: No. All deer harvested during all deer hunting seasons must be registered before being transported from the DMU of harvest or an adjacent DMU. Traditional registration stations will still be open to provide electronic registration services; however, hunters are not required to register their harvest in person. Hunters can find additional information on electronic registration on the DNR website. Visit, keyword ďelectronic registration,Ē for more information.

To learn more about rules, regs, safety and the deer hunt, mark your calendars for the November 10, one-hour LIVE online chat with DNR wardens and wildlife experts. Starts at noon. If you miss it, you can read the transcript at your convenience later. It should be an engaging chat. You can join it at

Next FAQ chapter, more questions and answers on private and public lands. In the meantime, if you're looking for more on hunting, go to and search "deer."

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

Last Revised: Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Warden Wire