Deadly Deer Pee?

Deadly Deer Pee?
(Jeremy Flinn photo)

The threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD) is something almost every whitetail hunter has heard repeatedly, whether their state has found positive CWD deer or not. The threat is real, and the disease is not only always fatal, but also has the ability to sustain in the soil and plant material around a deer carcass for several years.

The movement of deer or deer body parts (brain and spinal cord) amplifies the risk of spreading CWD. A lot of the blame gets put on the deer farming industry for transporting live whitetail in captive facilities, which absolutely can “move” the disease at unnatural rates. But the same thing can happen when hunters transport harvested deer carcasses inter- and intra-state. That said, what’s in the news most recently is on a whole new level. Effective July 1, 2015, Virginia became the first of the lower 48 states to ban the use of deer scents and lures containing natural deer urine or other bodily fluids.

As crazy as it might seem, there is some justification behind it. The infectious proteins (prions) known to transmit CWD have been discovered in urine and other bodily fluids of CWD-positive deer. Though many claim this is rare, some of the most recent research indicates it may not be as uncommon as originally thought, and states like Virginia are not taking any risks.

Researchers out of Colorado State University recently released results in which they found numbers of concern. One of the issues here is that researchers used [transgenic] mice infused with DNA from cervids (deer family) for the experiment. I know, how can you relate the two? But scientifically this is the best we have to this point. The researchers found that 50 percent of lethal dose (LD50) for infected deer urine was 10 ml. Even though it seems like a lot and highly unlikely that an animal would drink/consume a lethal dose, it is alarming considering the number of times a deer urinates in the woods. It may not be the end all research, but it gives us something to think about. Especially in areas of high deer densities or in years of drought, where the congregation around water holes is intense. Virginia didn’t want to take any chances, and neither did Alaska when it put their ban in place in 2012.


So does this mean the end of urine-based deer lures and scents? I highly doubt it. Though Virginia is taking some extra precautions, I do not see many other states to follow. The pressure will really be on the deer urine companies in the industry to make sure their source is reliable and CWD free. If that quality control is not taken, it could mean bad things for business in the future! But for now, if you plan on hunting Virginia for deer, I’d make sure to find some loaded up oaks that will be dropping acorns during the rut.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Trending Articles

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time. Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a species Catfish

10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Advice can be tough to follow when a whitetail is on the ground. Whitetail

The Shakes: When a 6-Pointer Becomes a 3-Pointer

Jeff Johnston - March 12, 2020

Advice can be tough to follow when a whitetail is on the ground.

Don't let the fast action of November rush you into making a bad decision. Whitetail

Bowhunting: Taking the Perfect Rut Shot

Dr. Todd A. Kuhn

Don't let the fast action of November rush you into making a bad decision.

Hunters have a love-hate relationship with deer decoys. Here's how to get the most out of your next setup. Whitetail

Whitetails: How to Deke a Bruiser

Bob Robb - November 25, 2019

Hunters have a love-hate relationship with deer decoys. Here's how to get the most out of your...

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the track. Whitetail

Aim True, Track Smart: Harvest Recovery

Wayne van Zwoll - December 26, 2019

A shot commits you to finding the animal. Your success depends on how you read the hit and the...

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.