AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Successful Maine hunters will notice a difference at tagging stations this year. Information about their deer, moose or bear will be entered into a computer system and shared in real time with officials in Augusta.
"We are going to get instant data so we can tell how many deer and how many moose have been killed in a more timely manner," said Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spokesperson Mark Latti.
Until now, tagging stations filled out books which were sent to Augusta after the season. The department then had to collate the information. This created a lag in precise information on a particular wildlife species.
Occasionally, some books were not returned making the information more of an estimate than a precise measurement.
"It's way more efficient and it's also way cool," said Judy Camuso who heads the department's wildlife division. Under her are 50 biologists who want the latest information on how hunting is affecting wildlife populations, especially deer, bear, and moose.
The system was used on an experimental basis with five tagging stations during this spring's turkey hunt. There are still some glitches, but the information is now flowing.
For example, 114 moose were tagged by four o'clock on the opening day of the moose season. In past years, biologists guessed at such numbers by calling various tagging stations. This was impossible with large populations such as deer because there are hundreds of tagging stations
There have been 2892 bear and 458 deer taken thus far in 2018.