The loss of the deer check station was a loss to all hunters

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by virginiashadow, May 28, 2019.

  1. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Yeah I know the convenience of modern day online deer checking methods. Hell I like them. Doesnt change the fact that the removal of the deer checking station and the social atmosphere of that station has hurt the soul of the hunting world.

    Well today I started thinking back to when I first started hunting in 1992. I used to drive by the deer checking stations to see what people killed and looked up to guys I had never met. It took me three full hunting seasons to kill my first deer and the pride I felt in bringing in two bucks (yep killed two real small bucks the same day for my first two deer kills) was unbelievable. Guys I never met said congrats and we spoke about the hunt as little kids listened and watched us with open ears and eyes.

    The social atmosphere of the game check station was phenomenal. The same thing happened at Quantico Marine base. We used to all have to stand in a long line to get our passes. We passed the time with coffee, tobacco, and a sense of brotherhood as we told stories in the freezing cold. Nowadays the pass procedure is all automated and the brotherhood isnt as strong. However, Quantico still has a deer check station and all kinds of people gather for a good old time when a deer is checked in. Lots of "great jobs" and congratulations can be heard toward succesful hunters. It is great. But that military base deer check is a rarity these days as most check ins are automated.

    Sometimes moving a little slower in the hunting world helps pass along the traditions of the woods. Virginia's hunter numbers are down 33% as compared to when I started hunting. Part of the reason is the lack of brotherhood between hunters and the traditions passed down not only between family but between people that have only met at some rinky dink old game check station.

    Long live the game check station.

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  2. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

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    I couldn't agree more. Same for the Turkey check stations. In the years before I retired I used to have to take vacation to hunt for a spring gobbler. It was fun to go to the check station and see what others had gotten, how much they weighed, the spurs and the hunters stories. The elimination of the check stations took away a big part of the hunting package. It always makes me sad when tradition is lost.
     
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  3. pastorjim08

    pastorjim08 Legendary Woodsman

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    You know, I never realized it before but that was a big part of the hunting culture. Now that you bring it up, I do miss those days as well. I've always thought the automated system invites abuse.

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  4. grommel

    grommel Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I really enjoyed your story!! You are 100% correct! Modern day technology is great but also hurts us like you said. Looking back when I started back in 87, I remember looking up to older hunters as well! Really miss those days! Great story, your right Shadow!
     
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  5. John T.

    John T. Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I recall a wildlife officer stating that TN's turkey harvest last year was down. What was the cause? Not a decline in turkey hunters but taking a turkey and not reporting it on the app or computer. Food for thought. Yes, I'm sure that there are instances of any big game taken legally and not reported.
     
  6. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    Before having an app, all I had to do was call it in to a phone number. I have never hunted somewhere that required a game check station. Arkansas only requires it for game taken in the CWD management zone for required testing of the animal. I haven't ever hunted in that part of the state, so I have not experienced it. It does seem like that camaraderie is missing from the hunting community and experience now. Maybe it should make a comeback.
     
  7. Justin

    Justin Administrator

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    I too miss the check stations and looking at the Polaroids on the tack board of all the local bucks that had been brought in that year. However, by no means do I believe that lack of check stations is in any way linked to decline in hunter numbers. Modern society is changing how people live, and hunting is paying the price. Our time is being soaked up by a million things other than hunting. We're all working more hours, kids are in more sports than ever, streaming video consumption is through the roof, video games are recognized as actual sporting events and the list goes on. People simply don't have the time or desire to go hunting anymore - especially when it's darn near impossible to find somewhere to do it in most places.
     
  8. CToutdoorsman

    CToutdoorsman Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I never had the experience of taking my own deer to a check station, I do remember going with my grandfather and I do believe that is where I herd my first cuss words and I attribute that who;e experience to my love for hunting and the outdoors!
     
  9. wildernessninja

    wildernessninja Weekend Warrior

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    Sure do miss those times. Me and my Dad use to get out of the woods during gun season and stop in the check station just to see who got what. Man good times.
     
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  10. Western MA Hunter

    Western MA Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

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    agreed. Massachusetts went to an online checking system for the most part, although, you do have to check any deer harvested during the first week of the 2 week shotgun season in physically. You still have the opportunity to physically check a deer in now, but the station just goes online for you and the place is a ghost town. CT and NY have gone completely electronic.
    I also remember going and being in awe of any deer that was checked in when I was young with my father.
     
  11. OK/Sooner

    OK/Sooner Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Nothing beat going to the check stations when I was growing up. I was always excited to see who was there and what they had harvested. While the E-check is easy and fast I sure wish they were around now so my son could experience them.
     
  12. SharpEyeSam

    SharpEyeSam Legendary Woodsman

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    I Miss the game check stations for the same reasons as well. Technology, as good as it is, does take away a lot of what made hunting what it is to so many of us. Nothing like seeing what other guys kill and hearing them recount the hunt in minute detail. I think this is one of the many reasons I love this Forum so much. A touch of Old School but modern enough to keep up with the changing times.
     
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  13. buckeye

    buckeye Grizzled Veteran

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    Sadly the forums seem to be dying a slow death as well. The rise of social media over the last decade as hurt the hunting forums. I've never done Facebook to avoid the BS that seems to fester there but made an Instagram account where I strictly follow bowhunting related people / things to get my daily fix of archery / hunting.
     
  14. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

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    Good thread. Can't believe I missed it?
    I do miss the check in stations. As a kid/ young man, that was often the highlight of the day.

    I also used to like cruising by the small town taverns. Probably wore out a set or 2 of brake pads stopping and looking in the back of pickup trucks.
     
  15. wildernessninja

    wildernessninja Weekend Warrior

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    I have some of the facebook groups. I do prefer the forums here and archerytalk.
     
  16. Eddie234

    Eddie234 Weekend Warrior

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    Must be different where I’m at, any time I used to go to a check in station I was the only one there. I was in and out it was an inconvenience to drive all ther way into town to check in an animal then drive back home. Most places weren’t even open on Thanksgiving and that was a real pain.


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  17. John T.

    John T. Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I recall check stations many years ago. Like it was stated, you stopped, talked with the officers and others who happened to be there or stop by to chat. I grew up on a dairy farm in central Ohio. I recall a fellow stopped at the farm with a nice deer. Can't remember the number of points but it was the size of a Jersey heifer. Live weight was estimated by the hunter, my father and my uncle to be over 300 pounds. Good area for corn, wheat, oats and hay plus loads of limestone in the soil.
    Good hunting to all!
     
  18. Shocker99

    Shocker99 Grizzled Veteran

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    It’s definitely sad loss of the tradition. As a kid I would catch ride after ride to go back up there. Our check station was 2 miles from our camp so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience. I miss those days
     
  19. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

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    I miss the check stations here in Oklahoma and in Missouri where I grew up. In Oklahoma, for some reason we had to weigh our deer so every check station was a slower process and in waiting you always got to bs with the other hunters. I had a buddy that has since passed that grew up in Missouri as well and when any Okie hunter would ask about his kill he would always start the story with "he came down off the ridge" even though we were hunting in Oklahoma and it's flat. Just an inside joke between us. Checking a deer was always a proud moment and since I never have the time to do my own processing I find that dropping the deer off at the processors has become the new check station. lots of bs'ing, congrats and atta boys can be heard as well as the occasional, he came down off the ridge stories.
     
  20. Mod-it

    Mod-it Weekend Warrior

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    The only "check stations" I've ever seen around here were impromptu ones that the F&G would set up at the exit of a popular hunting area. You would be driving home and come around a corner to see a F&G vehicle with a couple of officers and a sign that stated it was a check station and you must pull over. They would check licenses and any game you had, offer suggestions on where to go if you were unsuccessful, and were generally friendly enough. They are few and far in between anymore, but I did encounter one just a couple of years ago. They were set up in a horrible spot, the area that the road comes out of is all private land and it doesn't get much attention from most until the chase phase is in full swing, which was still 3 weeks out. I told them they'd be lucky to see two other hunters come out of there even if they sat all day, but if they came back in three weeks they'd have quite a bit of action from the road hunters that constantly drive through there hoping to poach a deer from the road on property they don't have permission on.
    Of course I don't ever see them when the rut is in full swing and the road hunters are out in force.
     

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