NH wildlife officials want hunters to stop using urine lures to bag deer
CONCORD - Wildlife officials are urging hunters to stop using urine-based deer lures to keep the state's white-tailed deer safe from chronic wasting disease.
Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disorder that is always fatal to white-tailed deer, moose, mule deer, elk and other exotic cervids (members of deer family).
“While it is good news that New Hampshire remains CWD-free, we are asking hunters to help our herd by not using natural urine-based deer lures when hunting, because these products can potentially spread CWD,” said state deer biologist Dan Bergeron. Fish and Game recommends that hunters instead choose from among the many effective synthetic lures available on the market today.
The heart of the problem is that CWD is transmitted by an abnormal protein (also known as a prion) present in the nervous system and lymphatic tissue of infected animals. These abnormal proteins are very stable and may persist in the environment for several years, posing a risk to animals that come into contact with them. While most hunters use small amounts of these lures, continued application can have cumulative effects over time.
Studies have shown these abnormal proteins are found in nervous system tissue, lymph nodes, saliva, urine, and feces, among other places. Urine for natural lures is collected from captive deer facilities outside of New Hampshire, many of which are located in states where CWD is present. In many cases, urine is collected from animals held in pens over grates which collect a mixture of urine, feces and saliva; the liquid portion is then strained out.
Chronic wasting disease was first identified in 1978 and remained isolated in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska for about a decade. Since then, CWD has been found as far east as New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, bringing the disease far closer to New Hampshire’s borders. To date, CWD has been detected in wild or captive deer in a total of 26 states and provinces.