For years, hunters would gather at local sporting goods stores and gas stations to swap stories and compare hunts and register their kill. Checking stations were an important fabric in the quilt of hunting culture. The information collected helped biologists determine herd health and size as well as track harvest information. But the manual check stations will be no more in Maryland this year.
The state, in an effort to trim expenses from the budget, has decided to automate deer and turkey checks. Though the process will be simplified, many store owners are up in arms at the thought of lost business.
When hunters came to check game they would stay for a while, purchasing food, drinks, gas and other sundries. Businesses fear that revenue stream will be a thing of the past, just like the checking station itself.
The new system involves calling in a kill or clicking a link on the DNR homepage.