The Currituck County (North Carolina) Game Commission is an advisory board tasked with managing the leasing of more than 400 public waterfowl hunting blinds in and around Currituck Sound, and ensuring hunters are using and maintaining the blinds they lease.
For decades, the Currituck County Game Commission relied solely on paper applications for leasing the blinds. Every hunting season, past lessees were mailed paper applications. They then had to fill out the paperwork and get them notarized before submitting them, in person, to the Game Commission office.
Once applications were submitted, a Commission administrator then had to manually match the applicant with their requested blinds for the season.
Eventually, the application was made available for download from the Commission website to be printed at home – but it required printing on legal-sized paper and still needed notarizing.
Andrew Shilling, an At-Large Commissioner for the Game Commission and an avid hunter, had personal experience with the long and tedious application process, and knew it could be improved. As a Commissioner, he found the old paper system inefficient and costly.
The solution was clear: the Game Commission needed to digitize and streamline the application process.
How TechArk Delivered
First, we evaluated the needs of the Game Commission:
- A secure online application,
- A secure payment collection system, and
- An easy process to eliminate the need for a notary.
We then found an application to meet their needs, and developed a new online form styled in a similar fashion to the existing Game Commission website. The form, linked from the Commission site, included hunter information and the location of the blind.
In place of a notarization, this new form requires lease applicants to upload copies of their drivers and hunting licenses, and declare under penalty of perjury that the information they have submitted is correct. Then applicants sign their names – using a finger or a mouse – before submitting the application.
Application fees are collected and automatically deposited in the Commission’s bank account.
For hunters and the Commission, the new online application is a huge time saver.
Commissioners no longer need to mail out the paper applications at a considerable cost, nor do they have to manually review and process them when they’re returned.
“TechArk completed the work so fast that we were able to offer a ‘soft opening’ for online applications for the 2022-2023 hunting season,” said Shilling. “I completed my own application online, and what used to take over an hour with the old process took only five minutes online.”
Shilling is confident that the online form will be used for all lease applications for hunting seasons to come. He hopes that the new, pain-free application process will result in more applications, and more revenue for the Commission.
“TechArk did fantastic work,” said Shilling. “They listened to our concerns and understood right away what needed to be done.”