New deer urine regs clarified

Many hunters will utilize deer urine and scents during deer season; I have used scents for many years and have experienced success with them.

Naturally, scents and urine are not a sure way to fill a tag, but they does add more offense to the hunt. Instead of just sitting on a corn pile or food plot, hunters can scout for sign, scrapes, rubs and trails, and then make a set-up.

I usually apply urine to some type of wick or cloth and make a scent station that hangs from a limb, placing these scent stations above and below my stand location, of course utilizing the wind direction. I try to get downwind from the location where I think the deer will appear.

Many hunters may locate scrapes and use these real scrapes as their scent station, pouring the urine on the ground; some hunters may opt to make their own scrapes. Placing scent on a fresh rub is another way to utilize urine and scents. Pouring the urine on the ground or wetting rubs with it is an issue when using real urine. Deer may lick the ground or rub and pick up the CWD prions, and this is what the Louisiana department of Wildlife and Fisheries is trying to avoid with new regulations.

Natural deer urine regulations

CWD is present in the urine of deer that have this disease, thus, LDWF has taken the action to prohibit the use of natural deer urine and scents. However, an exception has been made for deer farmers who have been collecting urine and selling it to manufacturers of deer scents.

If the product is involved in the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Deer Protection Program, the product has been tested using the RT-QuIC Test and no CWD was detected, the product may be used by hunters. Biologists with LDWF pointed this out to hunters who attended the QDMA South Louisiana Branch summer seminar. Products that qualify will carry a label.

A new requirement is that you must carry your scents into the field in order to prove your product is approved. One potential problem is that the 2019-20 regulations guide says it’s legal to use products from manufacturers involved with the ATA program, and that the products have been tested and certified that no detectable levels of CWD are present. But the printed regulations say nothing about the RT-QuIC label that biologists said must be on the bottle.

The required wording

I contacted the LDWF’s legal section and was told that the printed regulations are correct, even though it doesn’t refer to the RC-QuIC test. Products that have been tested for CWD using this specific test — the only one available — should have a lot or batch number on the bottle that identifies the urine as a product that has been properly tested. Wildlife enforcement agents will have these lot numbers with them when checking hunters using deer urine.

I bought a can of Tink’s Trophy Buck Urine mist, and writing on the can said it has been tested for CWD and none was detected, so this product would be legal to use according to the department’s published regulations. However there are many products that are on the shelves that simply say”ATA Deer Protection Program Participant” on the label, and those would not be legal unless there was an approved lot number on the bottle.

This is the label LDWF biologists want to see on urine bottles, but this label with this exact wording is not required according to the regulations.
This is the label LDWF biologists want to see on urine bottles, but this label with this exact wording is not required according to the regulations.

No doubt this will be a learning year for both hunters, wildlife enforcement agents and biologists, so I am sure some discretion will be used when enforcing this new regulation. It would also be advisable for hunters to have the product bottle with them in the field so it will be clear to all that the product being used by the hunter has been tested and no CWD was detected.

As hunters we need to do our part to help keep this disease out of the state.

About David Moreland 246 Articles
David Moreland is a retired wildlife biologist with LDWF, having served as the State Deer Biologist for 13 years and as Chief of the Wildlife Division for three years. He and his wife Prudy live in rural East Feliciana Parish.