I'm not that fond of canned tags, primarily because I think it defeats the purpose of the game, which is to get out and ride! Also, in a state as sparsely populated as ours, placing a tag in Tishmingo State Park from a ride I did 2 months ago, might result in the tag staying there a while.
In other words, if you rode to it in an afternoon just to place a tag, somebody else will likely ride there to get it.
As for the mascot, sure, why not. It will get lost. But we could try and keep up with it.
What does having a mascot do to the "first to post gets the tag" rule?
Just my $0.02
Oh yeah, while I'm contributing I like a 36 hour time limit.