WASHINGTON COUNTY - It was the first day of rifle season, and the parking lot was almost empty at Keystone Country Store in Hagerstown.
"Normally, this lot would have been completely full," shop owner Tim Stahl said.
The change, Stahl said, came two years ago, when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources updated the procedure for hunters checking in their kills.
Deer that once had to be taken to a certified checking station, usually a small store such as Keystone, now can be registered online or over the phone.
The result has been both a decline in sales and the loss of a tradition at small country shops that once served as gathering places for hunters and others to marvel at the day's best kills.