The Department of Conservation now makes available online nearly all of its permits, including those for the upcoming deer and turkey seasons. While this is a great tool for outdoor enthusiasts, it will require a new level of caution.

Spokesman Jim Low says with this online system, an individual could purchase permits in someone else’s name, using that person’s conservation identification information. In the case of deer permits, for example, the fraudulent buyer could then check a deer with those permits.

Low says the rightful owner might not discover any issue until he or she attempts to purchase permits. At that point, he or she is urged to contact the Conservation Department so that it can track down the inappropriate purchase and make sure the right people get to go hunting or fishing.

Many sportsmen will have to be more careful with their permits. Low, himself, says in the past he has stuck his unused deer and turkey permits on the wall of the cabin he hunts from. He now says this is a bad idea, because it leaves his conservation I.D. number out where anyone could copy it and use it to purchase permits in his name.

The theft of a conservation I.D. number is unlike I.D. theft, as it is typically thought of, because large amounts of money are not involved in these transactions, and Low says there is no way for that number to be used to access a holder’s personal finances.

All the Department’s permits are available online except lifetime and commercial permits.

The tagging procedure is different for permits purchased online. Low explains with those, the permit itself is the transport tag. Notches torn in the permit indicate the date and month that the deer or turkey were taken. That is attached to the animal, which is then taken to be checked.

The Department recommends hunters put these permits in plastic sandwich bags with a zippered seal to prevent water from damaging them. The whole process has lead to agents urging sportsmen to “bag it, notch it, tag it, check it,” as a tool to remember each step of the process.

For more information on e-permits, visit that portion of the Department’s website here.

AUDIO:  Hear Mike Lear’s interview with Jim Low about e-permits.  10:30