|Hunting and Fishing License Now Available On-Line
[August 13, 2002] - Chris Lawrence
Hunters who put off buying
their necessary stamps until the night before opening day will no longer experience the frustration of finding
a store open late that carry's hunting license. Trout anglers will no longer have to travel to five different locations
to hear the phrase, "Sorry we're sold out of trout stamps." Bass fishermen from New York, Pennsylvania,
or North Carolina heading to West Virginia for a week's stay at Stonewall Jackson won't have to worry about the
hassle of figuring out where to buy a fishing license upon arrival. All of these typical scenarios are now solved
with the help of a mouse.
|Sixteen-year-old Ashlee Thompson of St. Albans becomes the first to
use the new on-line license system. Governor Wise and DNR Director Ed Hamrick look on.
Governor Wise and DNR Director Ed Hamrick recently unveiled the agency's new "Go-Wild" program. The program
creates two new websites, www.WVFish.com and www.WVHunt.com. Outdoors enthusiasts can use a credit card to quickly
and efficiently purchase hunting or fishing license directly from the DNR.
"This is phase two." Governor Wise told a group assembled at the state capitol for the announcement.
"Last year we partnered with Bass Pro Shops and GreatLodge.com to provide license service over the Internet
and over the telephone for the first time ever. However, those cost a handling fee. The new goWild system will
carry no handling charges."
The phrase "goWild" is an acronym for West Virginia Internet Licensing Data system. The governor says
the announcement carries the DNR closer to his goal of full-scale interaction over the World Wide Web.
"This new licensing system is a prime example of how state government can employ technology to increase the
convenience of government services to our citizens."
Sixteen-year old Ashlee Thompson of St. Albans joined the governor as the first to purchase a license over the
system. Thompson, who participated in the Governor's Youth in the Outdoors Program earlier this year, purchased
an antlerless deer stamp for Cabell County.
"People my age use the Internet every day." Says Thompson, "Buying a hunting license on-line will
be a great benefit."
No kidding says DNR Director Hamrick.
"There's nothing more frustrating than not being ready the night before a big hunt and you can't find a license
dealer who's either open or has the stamps you need. It can really ruin the whole trip."
Step three of the process will be the completed streaming of instant data from license sales into the DNR's master
database in Charleston.
"We're hoping to eventually move to a 'point-of-sale' system." Says Wise.
Point of Sale systems have a load of potential tools. Installed at the sporting goods counters of those license
retailers wanting to be part of the system, the data when you fill out your hunting or fishing license could be
instantly transferred to the DNR's biologists in Charleston. Such instant and accurate data would be critical in
management decisions. Further automation would include directly wiring the money from a license transaction to
the State Treasurer's office and into the license account instantly. The program could also make for more accurate
data collection on the other side as well. Hamrick says one of the goals will be to use the Point of Sale system
to instantly transfer check station information as well during deer, turkey, or bear season.
"I'm confident the DNR can be the first state agency to complete $1 Million in transactions over the Internet."
Says Governor Wise.