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Tagging & Checking

Deer & turkey tagging and checking instructions

Before moving each deer or turkey from the place of kill*, the hunter must:

  1. Complete the Maryland Deer and Turkey Field Tag (example below) in ink and attach it to the animal. The Field Tag must be attached to the head of the deer or leg of the turkey. These tags are available in this 2015–2016 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland or a tag with the appropriate information can be made by the hunter.
    * Place of kill is the location where the animal expired and was first recovered.

  2. Fill out a block on the Maryland Big Game Harvest Record (example at right) in ink. Record the species, date, county, sex, and weapon class (Confirmation Number will be provided later). The Big Game Harvest Record is included on the Hunting License.
  3. After completing Steps 1 and 2, the deer or turkey can legally be moved from the place of kill.
  • Hunters then have until 24 hours after the kill is field tagged to check in their game using the Internet check-in site OR the Maryland Big Game Registration Phone Line 1-888-800-0121 OR DNR’s official moble app (AccessDNR) to complete the check-in process. 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.
  • Hunters should use their DNRid number when checking in a deer or turkey via the Internet, Maryland Big Game Registration Phone Line, or mobile app. The DNRid number is printed on all hunting licenses. Landowners hunting without a license need to obtain a free DNRid number (see ‘Notes’ on Licenses, Stamps & Permits).
  • Important: At the end of the check-in process, a Confirmation Number will be issued which must be recorded in the Confirmation Number space on the Big Game Harvest Record.
  • 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 checked in and the confirmation number recorded on the Big Game Harvest Record.
  • Each deer and turkey harvested must be checked via the Internet, telephone, or mobile app and each will have its own Confirmation Number that must be recorded on the Big Game Harvest Record. It is possible to receive the same Confirmation Number for multiple animals. Please do not recheck a deer or turkey you have already checked. If you have a question or need to retrieve a Confirmation Number, call your local Wildlife & Heritage Service office.
  • Hunters will be required to furnish the Confirmation Number to taxidermists and or processors/butchers before they can leave their deer or turkey. Hunters should also complete a Butcher/Taxidermy Tag (example below) to give to the Butcher/Taxidermist for their record keeping. These tags are provided in this 2015–2016 Guide to Hunting & Trapping in Maryland or one can be made by the hunter. For deer, the Field Tag must remain on the head and should not be removed at the butcher shop. Hunters who plan to have their deer mounted should attach the tag to the antler and not through a hole cut in the ear.

  • The completed Big Game Harvest Record with associated Confirmation Numbers serves as the hunter’s possession tag and must remain in the hunter’s possession. If the hunter harvests more than 4 animals (combination of deer and turkeys), he/she can obtain another Big Game Harvest Record free-of-charge from a Maryland Sport License agent or via the online COMPASS portal at
  • In cases where the hunter is not required to have a Hunting License, the hunter must complete the tagging procedure. Field Tags can be made by using other paper and providing the information as described above or by using the Field Tags provided in the Guide to Hunting & Trapping In Maryland. Hunters not required to have a license must still obtain a free DNRid number and a free Maryland Big Game Harvest Record to check in deer or turkeys they harvest. These items may be obtained from a DNR Sport License agent or online at 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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