New York State Has A Warning For Hunters About Deadly Urine
As deer hunting season begins, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation is issuing a warning about a dangerous neurological disease. To wipe out this untreatable disease that attacks the brain, the DEC is asking hunters about their urine.
Bowhunting has already started in the Adirondacks and North Country. October 1 is the start of bowhunting in the Southern Zone, which includes the Capital Region and the bottom half of Upstate. Regular hunting in the Northern Zone starts October 22 and in the Southern Zone on November 19.
What Is Chronic Wasting Disease?
Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is an always-fatal, easily-transferred disease spread between deer, elk, and moose that spreads through a protein in urine, tissues, saliva, and waste. This is especially important as some hunters use deer urine to cover their scents and lure other deer.
In 2005, Chronic Wasting Disease was found in an Oneida County deer. After a million-dollar culling, New York is the only state to successfully combat the disease and remove it from the state. Since then, New York DEC and hunters have kept CWD at bay, even as it spreads across the country to neighboring states and Canada.
These are the warning signs of Chronic Wasting Disease:
- Appearing abnormally weak or thin
- Loss of Bodily Functions
- Extreme thirst
If you see a deer exhibiting these traits or find a dead deer that appears emaciated, call the nearest regional DEC wildlife office to make a report. These signs aren’t a guarantee of a CWD infection, but need to be reported.
The DEC's #1 Rule
Cost notwithstanding, obviously any necessary culling by NYDEC would have a significant negative impact on hunting. Instead of natural deer urine that comes from potentially CWD-infected captive deer, the DEC recommends synthetic scents to lure deer.
Also, don’t feed wild deer, as a group of animals grouped and feeding for an extended time increases the likelihood of sharing a disease. Hunters also must follow all proper meat, hide, antler, and taxidermy laws when importing deer killed out of state.