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Deer & Turkey Tagging & Checking

Hunting Regulations Icon Maryland Hunting

All deer and turkeys harvested must be field tagged immediately unless the registration process is completed at the place of kill and a confirmation number is received. Deer and turkeys must also be field tagged when giving, putting, or leaving them in possession of another person, or when left unattended. In this case, the tag shall remain attached until the animal is processed by the hunter for consumption, disposed of by a processing facility or left with a taxidermist. Field tags must include hunter name, DNRid, county of harvest, and date of harvest if a confirmation number has not been received. The field tag can include just the confirmation number and the hunter’s name if the deer or turkey has been registered with the Department of Natural Resources. Hunters are required to furnish the Confirmation Number to taxidermists and processors/butchers before they can leave their deer or turkey. Tags are included in this Guide.

Hunters have 24 hours from the time the deer or turkey is recovered to register the harvest via the Internet, telephone, or mobile app and receive a confirmation number. Hunters must keep a record of their confirmation numbers by using the Big Game Harvest Record provided with their license, creating their own record or storing a record electronically on their mobile device. Harvest records, whether in hard copy format or electronic, must be furnished upon request.

All persons, including those who may hunt without a License (Hunting Licenses), must complete the tagging and checking procedure for each deer and turkey. They must obtain a free DNRid number through the COMPASS portal at
compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ OR any Department of Natural Resources Licensing and Registration Service Center (see Addresses & Phone Numbers) OR a Department of Natural Resources Sport License Agent.

Before moving a deer or turkey from the place of kill, hunters must do the following:

  1. Complete a Deer and Turkey Field Tag at the place of kill in ink and attach it to the animal, or
  2. Check-in the animal at the place of kill and receive a confirmation number that can be furnished upon request.

If a confirmation number is obtained at the place of kill, the deer or turkey can be moved/transported untagged. Deer and turkeys cannot be moved or transported untagged if a confirmation number has not been received. Deer and turkeys must also be field tagged when giving, putting, or leaving them in possession of another person, or when left unattended; whether or not a confirmation number has been received.

When needed, the field tag must be attached to the head of the deer or leg of the turkey. Hunters who plan to have their deer mounted should attach the tag to the antler and not through a hole cut in the ear. Field tags are available in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or a tag with the appropriate information (DNRid, county of harvest and date of harvest, or a Confirmation Number with the hunter’s name when the animal has been checked-in) can be made by the hunter.

  • Place of kill is the location where the animal expired and was recovered.

Within 24 hours of recovering a deer or turkey harvest, hunters must:

  1. Register their game with the Department of Natural Resources using one of the following:
    • the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/
    • the Maryland Big Game Registration Phone Line 888-800-0121
    • The Department of Natural Resources official mobile app (AccessDNR)

TTY users, call through the Maryland Relay. For ease of use, deaf and hard of hearing hunters are encouraged to use the internet check-in site or mobile app.

  1. Make a permanent record of their deer or turkey registration by either:
    • Recording the confirmation number on a Big Game Harvest Record or
    • Maintaining an electronic record of the confirmation number on a mobile device

Harvest records, whether recorded electronically or in hard copy format, must be furnished upon request and remain in possession of the hunter.

Please remember:

  • Hunters should indicate the actual hunting device used to take the deer or turkey when checking their animal (not the season in which it is taken).
  • Hunters must use their DNRid number when checking in a deer or turkey. The DNRid number is printed on all hunting licenses.
  • Each deer or turkey checked in will have its own confirmation number. If you have a question or need to retrieve a confirmation number, call your local Wildlife and Heritage Service office (see Addresses & Phone Numbers).
  • A hunter may not remove the head or hide or any part from any deer (except internal organs), or cut the meat into parts, until the deer has been registered and the confirmation number received.
  • Hunters are required to furnish the confirmation number to taxidermists and processors/butchers before they can leave their deer or turkey. Hunters may use the Butcher/Taxidermy Tag that is provided in the Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping (or a tag with the appropriate information can be made by the hunter) for this purpose.
  • If the hunter uses all of the spaces on the Big Game Harvest Record attached to the hunting license, additional Big Game Harvest Records can be created by the hunter or obtained free of charge through the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/ OR any Licensing and Registration Service Center (see Addresses & Phone Numbers) OR a Sport License Agent.

Hunters have until 24 hours after the kill is field tagged to check in their game using one of the following:

  • the COMPASS portal at compass.dnr.maryland.gov/
  • the Maryland Big Game Registration Phone Line 888-800-0121
  • The department’s official mobile app (AccessDNR)