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Tag Validation & Checking Requirements

Harvest Reporting for Bear*, Deer, Elk, Turkey and Bobcat




Fall Turkey

Spring Turkey


All Other Species

Telephone Harvest Reporting System
(866) GOT-GAME or (866) 468-4263; touch-tone phone only
(Available during all open seasons)

Are not required to be reported

Internet Harvest Reporting System; click Internet Harvest Reporting
(Available during all open seasons)

GoOutdoorsVA Mobile App (eNotch)
(Available during all open seasons)

The Department has transitioned completely to electronic reporting . Former check stations that desire to do so can continue to offer electronic reporting services to hunters. All hunters (including those who are not required to purchase a license) who harvest a deer, turkey, bear, bobcat, or elk, must report their harvest using one of the automated systems listed in the table above. Mandatory reporting will remain vital for wildlife management in Virginia, so it is critical that every hunter continue to report their harvest.

Tagging at Location of Harvest

  • All hunters (unless license exempt) killing a bear, deer, elk, or turkey are required to validate an appropriate tag on their bear license, deer/turkey license, bonus deer permit, or special deer permit (DCAP, DMAP, or DPOP) prior to moving the animal in any way.
  • To validate a tag:
    • Electronic license tag validation (eNotch): Requires use of the Department’s free Go Outdoors Virginia mobile app. Available for deer/turkey license tags, bonus deer permit tags, and bear tag. When viewing the mobile app, select eNotch, then select the license tab at the top of the screen, then select the proper license, and touch the designated notch area of the appropriate license tag.
    • Paper license tag validation: Available for all paper license tags (bear license, deer/turkey license, bonus deer permit, or special deer permit (DCAP, DMAP, or DPOP). Hunters must completely remove the designated notch area from the appropriate paper license or permit tag.
  • It is unlawful for any person to validate (notch) a tag from any license or special permit prior to the killing of an animal. A paper tag that is mistakenly validated (notched) prior to the killing of an animal must be voided immediately by the licensee or permittee by writing, in ink, the word “VOID” on the line provided on the tag.

General Information

  • All bear, deer, elk, and turkeys must be reported by all hunters, including license exempt hunters, upon vehicle transport of the carcass or at the conclusion of legal hunting hours, whichever occurs first and without unnecessary delay.
  • It is unlawful to destroy the identity (sex) of any animal until it is reported. After the appropriate tag is validated, the hunter may dismember the carcass to pack it out as long as all parts of the carcass (excluding internal organs) are present when the animal is reported.

Internet or Telephone Harvest Reporting

Got Game: (866) 468-4263

Before using these electronic systems, you will need a pen and paper to write down your confirmation number on your paper license or permit or to create a personal check card.

  • A confirmation number will be provided at the end of your internet or telephone session.
  • Confirmation numbers contain 8 digits.
  • If your session is cut off prior to receiving a confirmation number, start the session again and repeat until a complete confirmation number is obtained.
  • Upon reporting, hunters using a paper license tag shall immediately write the confirmation number (provided by the telephone or internet reporting system) in ink on the line labeled “confirmation number” of the tag that was validated at the place of kill.
  • If a paper license was not required, then the hunter must create a personal check card.
  • Hunters have the option of printing a check card at the end of the Internet reporting session.

Carcass Transferred or Unattended

  • If the carcass is left unattended or transferred to another individual a personal check card is required.
  • The personal check card should be kept in possession with the carcass until it is processed.
  • If possession of the carcass is transferred to another individual, the personal check card should be given to that individual.
  • If the carcass is left unattended, the personal check card should be securely attached to the carcass.
  • After the carcass of a game animal has been processed (disassembled), its parts may be legally transported; however, upon request of a law enforcement officer, sufficient verbal or written information must be furnished to establish legal possession.

Bear Tooth Submission

To report a bear, a hunter must have a customer account through GoOutdoorsVirginia to ensure you receive the materials you will need to submit a premolar bear tooth. It is free and easy to set up your account at If you have any problems, please call 804-367-1000.

  • You will need an official envelope to record basic information and secure a tooth from your bear. The Department will mail the envelope to the address associated with your GoOutdoors customer account. If you do not receive this mailing within 2 weeks after reporting the bear, please call (804) 367-1000.
  • For instructions on removing and submitting the premolar tooth, please see the diagram on Bear Hunting and/or the video at:
  • A pre-paid mailing label will be generated when you report the bear. The label will be sent as an attachment to the email address on your GoOutdoors account; if no email is provided, you can obtain the mailing label online from your GoOutdoors account (go to “Harvest History” and “Detail”). Please affix this label to the shipping envelope that is mailed to you.
  • You do not have to use the pre-paid mailing label but please use the tooth envelopes mailed to you. You can mail the envelope with premolar tooth to the following address: Bear Tooth Submission, P.O Box 28840, Henrico, VA 23228-8840.
  • To comply with the law, the premolar and accompanying information must be mailed or delivered to the Department no later than 14 days after the close of the bear season in January.

Bobcat Reporting

  • Any hunter or trapper who kills a bobcat during an open hunting or trapping season, including license exempt hunters and trappers, must report the bobcat within 24 hours of the time of kill.
  • Bobcats legally killed by landowners outside the hunting and trapping seasons are not required to be reported.
  • After reporting a bobcat, hunters and trappers shall immediately record the confirmation number in a location where it can later be retrieved to prove compliance with reporting requirements or to request a CITES seal.
  • Any bobcat received by a taxidermist for mounting or tanning shall have written documentation securely attached to the carcass that includes the full name of the hunter or trapper, date of kill, and the harvest confirmation number. For bobcats that do not require reporting, the same information must be attached (except for the confirmation number) with a description of how the bobcat was legally obtained.

Elk – Collection of Biological Samples

Hunters harvesting an elk are required to validate an appropriate tag on their deer/turkey license or bonus deer permit, report the animal as an elk, and must contact the Department at (804) 367-0044 to schedule an inspection of the carcass and the site of kill for the collection of biological samples.

License-Exempt Hunters

  • License-exempt hunters are required to report all bear, deer, elk, turkeys, and bobcats.
  • In order to use the internet or telephone harvest reporting systems to report a deer, elk, turkey, or bobcat, license-exempt hunters will need:
    • To select “exempt hunter” when prompted to enter his/her license type.
    • To enter his/her date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY) and last four digits of his/her social security number and 5-digit home zip (telephone) or last name (Internet).
    • To create a personal check card.
  • License-exempt hunters reporting a bear electronically are required by law to submit a premolar for each bear harvested (see Tag Validation & Checking Requirements). To provide the necessary information, a free customer account will be required to report a bear electronically.

Personal Check Card

A personal check card may be written on any type of paper using a pen and must include the hunter’s full name, date of kill, and confirmation number.