"They're the folks who did Maryland's system, and the folks at the Maryland DNR were exceptionally pleased with the system they got," Taylor said.
Taylor said the gobbler-season rollout of the electronic checking system should give DNR officials a chance to tweak any glitches between then and the 2015 deer seasons.
"One state set up an electronic check system called '1-800-I-GOT-ONE.' The day they rolled it out, usage was high and the system blew up. We don't want to replicate that, so we'll try it during the gobbler season, and if there are any bugs we'll fix them and be ready to roll by the time our deer archery season begins."
West Virginia's system, though far advanced from the current paper system, won't be state-of-the-art, at least not at first. Taylor said early users might be limited to checking kills in via a home computer.
"We'd like for hunters to be able to do it by phone, by computer and through an app on their mobile devices," he explained. "But we may not be able to afford all that."
Hunters will need to key in only a minimal amount of material.
"We'll be asking for less information than we're currently taking on [paper] check tags - name, license number, the species killed, weapon, county and private or public land," Taylor said.
Even with less information, DNR officials believe the electronic system will allow them to make better decisions to manage the state's big-game species.
"Having all this information instantly in our computers will keep us from having to count tags, verify license numbers, send the tags to Elkins and keypunch all the data in. With the paper system, we only get a couple of weeks at the end of January to plan what the next season's regulations should be. With the electronic system, we'll be able to start planning as soon as the shooting stops."