In Illinois, it used to be that when you harvested a deer you went to the check station. Now when you harvest an animal, you either pick up the phone or get on the computer.

The check station was a time for the deer to be aged, and other information gathered to help get a better understanding of the deer herd and other wildlife. Hunters would show up at the check station not just to turn in their deer, but to see what other hunters had, and to swap stories.

Those days are a thing of the past. Should they be?

I’ve had my opinion on this matter for some time now, and Deer & Deer Hunting editor Dan Schmitt seems to agree.

I’ll say it here and now: Dumping in-person check stations will go down as one of the worst deer management decisions ever made. Well, that and the dumping of deer management units. DMUs were specific topographical zones based on deer population distribution. The invaluable histories of DMUs allowed state wildlife biologists to make precise harvest recommendations for, again, more than a half century… [continued]

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