States consider ban on the use of deer urine in lures

In the meantime, wildlife officials in neighboring states are keeping a wary eye on CWD, knowing it can have potentially devastating impacts to deer numbers.

Last week, biologists of the Pennsylvania Game Commission urged state officials to consider a ban on deer urine and products that use it in an effort to keep CWD out of the state.

Walt Cottrell, the Wildlife Veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said Saskatchewan has already banned urine lures and nine states are considering it - including Vermont and New Hampshire.

While Cottrell said he could not give the likelihood that the disease will spread by the use of the lures, he said a ban would be better than doing nothing.

"CWD is forever," he said. "If you get it, you're going to have it forever."

Pennsylvania Game Commissioner Tom Boop asked if there was a way that the marketers of deer urine could somehow certify a product as being CWD-free.

But Cottrell said it is currently not possible because there is no live-animal test for the disease and it can take up to 18 months for a deer to show signs of being sick.

"It seems, at the least, that we should put out a news release making hunters aware of the potential," for urine to spread CWD, Boop said. "I'm just thinking a lot of people have never even thought about this."

DEC Spokesman David Winchell said state officials have discussed a ban on deer urine in New York but said there is no proposal currently on the table to implement a ban.

John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsmen. You can contact him at johng@denpubs.com or on his blog at www.denpubs.com.

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