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ODNR making good strides to stay on top in 2010

With 2.1 million hunting and fishing licenses sold annually and about 1,300 licensing agents statewide, Ohio is an established hotbed for hunting and fishing.

Ohio values its natural resources, and for over a decade the Ohio Division of Wildlife has been implementing code to maintain the highest quality and service in hunting, trapping and angling.

In an effort to keep up with developing technology, ODNR is working to install a new licensing system to replace the current “Point of Sale” (POS) system, which is being outdated.

The POS system was the Division’s first step in electronic products and services that automated the hunting and fishing licenses on the Internet.

The current POS system was implanted in 1999 with a life expectancy of 5-7 years. Now, 11 years later, this software system is failing and becoming increasingly unreliable and Ohio is beginning to feel the negative effect of the expiring system.

Currently, when a license is purchased in a store or online, the purchase generally does not register for as many as two weeks.

During those two weeks, it becomes a hassle for both you and a game warden if asked to verify proof that you’ve purchased a license.

The Wild Ohio Customer Relationship Management System (WOCRMS) is the next step in providing Ohio’s sportsmen and women with updated services that make the outdoors as accessible, fair and user-friendly as possible.

The WOCRMS integrates nine different business areas into one single database so that the 21st century conveniences are delivered to you, the customers.

With this new technology in place, all transactions (license sales, game checks, etc.) will occur in real time, as the entire system will be Internet-based.

There is no anticipated increase in license fees with the implementation of this new system, and customer service will improve immensely.

The new system will allow for license sales and game-check transactions to be performed in real time and will be available during the holidays when many sales outlets are closed. Additionally, biologists and law enforcement will be able to electronically gather data to manage wildlife and enforce Ohio’s hunting regulations.

Hunters and anglers will save on fuel costs, time and frustrations with closed license outlets/check stations, which equates to more time in the field.

The goal of the ODNR is to have this WOCRMS system completely phased-in on March 1, 2011. If you have further questions regarding WOCRMS, or any other wildlife concerns, you may contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife at 2045 Morse Rd., Building G, and Columbus, OH 43229-6693. You can also reach the Division of Wildlife by calling toll-free to 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Clyde Evans represents Ohio and part of Lawrence County in the Ohio House of Representative’s 87th District. He can be reached at (614) 466-1366 or by writing to Clyde Evans, at 77 S. High St., 13th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.