Is Hunting Big Business For Checking Stations? - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Is Hunting Big Business For Checking Stations?

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Hunting is big game in West Virginia as it is in many states. Each kill made by a hunter is required by law to be recorded.

Across the state local businesses volunteer time as game checking stations, but is the influx of foot traffic good for business? Some business owners are saying ‘no.'

"What we do appreciate is the patronism of the hunter, and that's kind of changed. Mostly we just see them at times when they need to check their deer in," said Allen Statler of Statler's Country Mart.

Located in Core, Statler's Country Mart is the only game checking station in the western end of Monongalia County.

On Monday, as the season opened the store processed 185 deer. The store said the combination of hunters not buying items, along with long lines and extra employees is bad for business.

"When you're busy on a day like that, when you're checking-in deer, we try to have some extra man power to take care of it, but you know you have people standing there, it's crowded, and you can't even get your local business conducted," said Statler.

Across the county line, the feeling is mutual. Street's Store in Preston County checks deer in at its neighboring auto parts store. Street's said hunters buying less has been a trend for several years.

"It's kind of with the times though, things are changing a bit," said Jonathan Titus of Street's Store in Masontown. "It was a little bit of a downturn when they put the Wal-Mart in Kingwood. I imagine when they put Cabela's in up in Wheeling a few years back has people going up there for their for sporting goods and stuff instead of here."

Despite few economic gains, the stores each said they'll keep supporting their local hunters.

"It brings people in, there's people who didn't even know that Street's Store was a sporting goods store," said Titus.

"We've been doing this for 20-some years, we enjoy working with some of the folks," said Statler. "I think we need to see more consideration from the hunters. This is something we're doing for them. It's a service for them."

A full list of checking stations can be found on the Division of Natural Resources Web Site.