Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has affected many things — including the usage of natural deer urine and scents. Today, many states are outlawing the use of it, and are requiring hunters to use synthetic versions of the vastly popular hunting tool.
“Natural deer/elk urine has been an often-used and heavily touted accessory for hunters for decades,” QDMA said. “However, with the discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in more and more areas, along with knowledge that one way it likely spreads is via deer urine, an increasing number of agencies are prohibiting its use each year. However, you can find these types of products pretty much anywhere, from mom-and-pop operations to big box stores, even in states/provinces that exclude their use.”
“Nationally 85 percent of U.S. states (41 of 48) currently allow natural deer urine, with the Midwest (100 percent) being the least restrictive at 13 of 13 states. The most restrictive region is the West (73 percent, or 8 of 11 states), while some CWD-positive states only prohibit its use within restricted areas (see map). Four of five provinces that responded to our survey allow the use of natural deer/elk urine. If you follow CWD-related news and legislation, the list of locations that do not allow natural urine changes regularly, so check with your agency before buying some in the future to ensure you don’t receive an unwanted visit from a conservation officer.”
States where deer urine are still allowed include: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. That said, Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota do not allow them to be used in CWD areas. South Carolina, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Rhode Island do not allow the use of natural scents and urines.
Some don’t believe banning urines will decrease the spread of CWD, though. As some research suggests other methods of transmission, such as saliva, are more likely to spread the disease. The QDMA says there is still a risk.
“One option for hunters who enjoy using deer/elk urine while hunting is to reconsider use of natural deer urine products as research suggests a risk of CWD transmission, albeit very low,” QDMA said. “As an alternative, use synthetic deer urine products. If synthetics are unavailable and the legality of use remains open where you hunt, buy only products with the ATA blue check mark. This is the Archery Trade Association’s Deer Protection Program, which requires urine producers to adhere to more stringent measures intended to prevent the spread of CWD through infected urine.”
Whitetails make the hunting world go round. Josh Honeycutt, deer hunting editor and "Brow Tines and Backstrap" blogger, knows a fair bit about killing mature deer. He was raised up hunting the river bottoms of Kentucky. And he still hunts there—among other places—to this day.
Follow along as he shares his adventures, experiences and knowledge of the white-tailed deer.