What is a Toe Tag?

A Toe Tag is a simple tag that is filled out by the hunter to assist him in complying with the Federal Migratory Game Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Does my home state require I tag these birds the way you are recommending?

Maybe. The products offered by Toe Tags L.L.C. are intended to assist hunters in compliance with federal law. All hunters are encouraged to consult laws specific to any states where they are hunting to determine whether additional tagging is required. Remember that even if your state does not require tagging of migratory birds, federal law establishes minimum tagging requirements that are applicable in all fifty states.

I have never heard of this law before and I have been checked without having any tags on my birds. Is this just a law Federal Game Wardens enforce?

The Federal Migratory Game Bird Treaty applies in all fifty states. Tagging requirements are also applicable to hunters traveling across international boundaries in possession of migratory game birds (e.g. hunters traveling back to the United States from hunts in Canada, Mexico, or any other country). Any state is free to impose tagging requirements that are more stringent than those required by federal law, but state requirements cannot be less stringent due to the pre-emption doctrine. Federal tagging requirements may be enforced by both state and federal game wardens.

I don’t see anything in my states regulations book and my local game warden told me they never write anyone for it so should I tag them or not?

There is no requirement for any state to provide rule books for hunters and federally mandated tagging requirements are rarely taught in state hunter safety course. Nevertheless, ignorance of tagging requirements is not a legal excuse for non-compliance; a hunter may face serious charges including fines, terms of confinement to prison, and loss of hunting privileges for failing to properly tag migratory game birds.

Is this a new law or are they just now starting to enforce it?

This law has been in effect for 100 years, but federal criminal court filings indicate that enforcement of this federal law has drastically spiked since 2008.

What is defined as a migratory game bird?

Migratory game birds means those migratory birds included in the terms of conventions between the United States and any foreign country for the protection of migratory birds, for which open seasons are prescribed in this part and belong to the following families: (1) Anatidae (ducks, geese, brant and swans); (2) Columbidae (doves and pigeons); (3) Gruidae (cranes); (4) Rallidae (rails, coots and gallinules); and (5) Scolopacidae (woodcock and snipe)

When do I need to tag my birds?

A migratory game bird must be tagged at any time it is physically located in a place other than the hunter’s personal abode. For the purposes of the law, a hunting lodge, hotel room, motor vehicle, or other temporary residence is not considered to be the hunters “place of abode”. In short, the only time your birds don’t need to be tagged is when you return home – to the place that you normally live – from your hunt.

Am I in violation of the law if I have another person’s untagged birds in my motor vehicle?

Yes, unless that person is riding with you in the motor vehicle at all times and the birds are separated in such a manner so as to permit a layperson to determine which hunter harvested a specific bird. The most common violation of this law is when multiple hunters are riding together in a motor vehicle with all of their birds stored together in a single cooler. However, unless the birds are tagged, it is unlawful to be in possession of migratory game birds belonging to another hunter who is not a passenger in your vehicle. This law applies even if the hunter who harvested those birds is following in the vehicle behind you.

Does every bird require an individual tag?

Not necessarily. If all of an individual hunters birds are stored in a container separate from any hunters birds, the hunter need only fill out one tag listing the birds that are his. Another common practice is to fill out one tag for birds that are tied together with zip ties or some other means. Remember: it is not enough to simply fill out a tag. A game warden must be able to determine which specific birds belong to you without making any verbal inquiries. Remember: tagging every individual bird helps to eliminate the possibility for confusion.

Are Toe Tags L.L.C products waterproof?

Our tags are designed to be resistant to water, however, we cannot warranty that the products are completely waterproof. They also feature a reinforced eye to help ensure that the tag is not inadvertently removed during transportation. Please remember that while our tags are water-resistant, the ink of the pen you use to complete the tags might not be. We recommend the use of a high-quality ballpoint pen that you have personally tested.

Can I gift or transfer a migratory game bird to another person?

Yes. This is a common practice when a hunter takes their birds for processing at a taxidermist. Our gift tags are different from our standard toe tags and are designed to address this contingency. Remember that any type of “sale” of migratory game birds from one person to another is prohibited by federal law (this includes migratory game birds that have been fully processed or have been mounted by a taxidermist). The prohibition against a “sale” includes exchanging migratory game birds for anything of value. A “quid pro quo” is not a gift.

Does Toe Tags L.L.C. guarantee that I will not receive a ticket or criminal charges?

No. It is impossible for us to make a guarantee of this nature because we have no control over how our product is used once it leaves our facility. Although this product was made with the assistance of attorneys, we are not attorneys ourselves and nothing contained on this website constitutes legal advice. It is your responsibility to know the law. All products are sold “as is” and with no warranties, expressed or implied.

Are the products offered by Toe Tags L.L.C. sufficient for tagging or gifting species other than migratory game birds?

Maybe. This product was specifically designed to assist hunters of migratory game birds in complying with the Federal Migratory Game Bird Treaty Act of 1918. We do not know the laws of all fifty states and cannot state with any reasonable degree of certainty that our products are sufficient for the tagging requirements of animals other than migratory game birds, or any state-specific requirements which may exist for tagging migratory game birds.