New CWD Test For Deer Urine

buck scrape dripper.jpg compressWildlife Research Center and Tink’s have partnered with CWD Evolution to fund a study on a testing protocol known as RT-QuIC, which is designed to examine deer urine for CWD contamination. This will allow manufacturers of deer and elk scents to test and verify that no CWD is detected in the urine used in their products.

According to Phil Robinson of Tink’s, “We sought out the most recognized authorities regarding CWD transmission via urine to get their opinion. We are 100% confident that our products pose no risk of spreading CWD. This test is just a confirmation of that fact.”

“Our industry is committed to the health of wild cervids and the sport of hunting,” adds Sam Burgeson of Wildlife Research Center (WRC). “This is a break-through for our industry and for all the loyal hunters that use our products.” 

Tink’s and WRC have already begun testing urine in 2019 and other companies will soon follow. Beginning in 2020, bottles of WRC and Tink’s scent will carry the “RT-QuIC Tested” logo on their labels for easy identification.

For the upcoming 2019 deer season check your hunting regulations regarding scents. While you can still carry and use deer urine in most places, 9 states require the use of synthetic scents. Both Wildlife Research Center and Tink’s offer urine-based and synthetic lures. 

 

Virginia To Hold Public Meeting On CWD–All States Should Do The Same

cwd vaThroughout the summer of 2019 the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) has hosted workshops on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in West Tennessee counties where the disease has been documented. Experts from the TWRA and University of Tennessee have been on hand to answer all the complex and confusing questions hunters are sure have, such as:

What exactly is CWD?

How can it impact my hunting?

I hunt the next county over from where CWD has been found, should I be worried?

Can I carry a buck carcass home I shot in another county? 

Can I use deer urine?

Can I eat the meat from a buck I shot in a CWD area?

Is deer meat possibly contaminated—can it hurt my family?

Should I have my deer tested for CWD? How and where do I do that?

When I heard earlier this summer of the TWRA holding these meetings, I applauded those deer managers for having the vision and spending the money to do this, and I asked that all state wildlife agencies do the same in regions where CWD has been documented.

Happy to report that my home state of Virginia is doing it in a new CWD zone before the 2019-20 deer season.

Earlier this year, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) confirmed Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a buck legally harvested in Culpeper County during the November 2018 rut.

CWD had been documented in far northwest Virginia (Frederick and Shenandoah counties) for about 10 years, and hunters in the Northern Piedmont had been holding our collective breath that it would not spread.

But it has. The infected Culpeper buck was shot some 50 miles south, in an area that had never knowingly had a case of CWD before.

In response to the new case of CWD, the DGIF created a Disease Management Area that includes Culpeper, Madison, and Orange counties, and variety of new regulatory changes have been enacted within the area to minimize the spread of the disease.

The CWD public meeting to inform and educate hunters and the general public will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28 in the Culpeper County Administration Building, 302 N. Main St., Culpeper, VA.

I applaud my home state for doing this, and again I implore all states with a CWD problem to do the same. There is a ton of information on CWD out there, and more coming online every week. Much of it is complex and confusing, and hunters need to be educated about CWD and specific regulations for their area.

Hunters and wildlife agencies working together is the best way to fight CWD!

 

South Carolina 9th State to Require Synthetic Deer Lures

synthetic scentIn this day and age of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) South Carolina becomes the 9th state to prohibit the use of natural deer urine, and to require hunters to use synthetic deer lures only. The new regulation takes effect with the start of the 2019-20 whitetail season.

Earlier this summer Tennessee also issued a new regulation that requires the use of synthetic scents.  Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and my home state of Virginia are the other states that have banned natural deer and elk urine.

In a press release, the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources wrote: “the department is following the lead of other states in proactively prohibiting the use of (natural attractants) in order to minimize the potential for CWD introduction into South Carolina.”

In South Carolina and the aforementioned states, it is not only illegal to use natural deer urine, but also to possess it while out in the woods hunting. Remember to remove any natural deer urine/scents leftover in your day pack from last season and replace it with new bottles of synthetic scents.

If you hunt in one of these states and like to use scent products, don’t fret.

I started using man-made scents extensively several years ago, when natural deer urine was banned here in Virginia. I enjoy using synthetics and have noticed no drop off in effectiveness. A good synthetic scent smells like a deer—if a buck is rutting and primed to respond, he will come to a man-made smell just like he might natural urine.

I use the synthetic scents from Wildlife Research Center exclusively, and here’s how.

In the late October pre-rut, when bucks get aggressive and prowl but before does are ready to breed, I set wicks doused with Hot Musk to float the scent of an intruder buck in an area. If a rowdy buck working the area gets a whiff, he might come in to challenge.

Later around Halloween, when I make a lot of mock scrapes, I douse them with Hot Scrape synthetic. 

In early to mid-November I switch to Estrus Gold and Ultimate Buck Lure for my drag lines and wicks around my stand. If a buck cuts a line or smells a wick, and again if he is in love mode and primed to respond, he will come to a synthetic smell as if it were the real thing.

Keep drag lines with hot doe going into the post rut, when bucks are still ready to breed but when far fewer does are responsive. A buck might cut your scent trail yet and follow it close to your stand.

Summer Deer Scouting: Mock Scrapes And Trail Cameras

mock summer scrapeA new regulation this year in Virginia prohibits the use of minerals to attract deer in one of the counties I hunt. Since I’m now forced to give up monitoring mineral licks, I’m making mock scrapes and setting trail cameras beside them.

Several studies have shown that whitetail bucks will visit scrapes with fresh scent year-round, and especially in the summer months. The fake scrapes are good places (not as good as mineral licks, but the next best thing) to get images of bucks that will roam your area this fall.

A mock scrape is not only scent-based, but also a visual sign. Rake out at least a 2 foot by 3 foot area below an overhanging branch.  As you rake, envision a buck. He scrapes with his hooves primarily in one direction, and your raking should be done the same way, leaving the debris on the back side of the scrape.

Make your scrape below a prominent “lick” branch that bucks will most definitely rub with their eyes and racks, and chew on. The branch should be approximately 4 feet high–never touch it!

Use a dripper system with a scrape solution. Notes: 1) Do not use doe in heat or an estrus scent in the summer, but a basic deer smell; 2) Here in Virginia urine-based scents are prohibited, so I use synthetic scent in my drippers—check your regs.

While any dirt will do, the best mock scrapes have soils with real deer scent in them. Once you create a mock scrape in a spot you really like this summer, make it a point to collect urine-soaked soil and droppings from real scrapes later this fall. Rake an existing scrape down to bare soil and trowel 3 to 5 pounds of the deer-scent dirt into a plastic bag.

Carry the dirt to a mock scrape and spread it evenly across the soil. While this urine-scented soil is not necessary, it adds realism and makes for a quicker and a more consistently attended scrape year-round.

Tennessee To Hold CWD Workshops For Hunters, All States Should

tn cwdI have researched, written, blogged about and produced TV shows concerning Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), the biggest potential thread to deer herds and deer hunting to come down the pike in the last 50 years, maybe ever.

I still find myself confused and scratching my head as CWD is documented in new areas, and as wildlife agencies come out with new info and regulations for dealing with the disease in the short and long term.

I can only imagine how confused you, the average hunter who works hard and raises a family and doesn’t have time to research stuff like this, might be.

That’s why I was so glad to see a tweet from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) saying they will host 6 CWD workshops this summer in West Tennessee counties where the disease has been documented.

The first workshop will be in McNairy County July 7. Five more will be held in various locations through late August.

Experts from the TWRA and University of Tennessee will be on hand to answer all your questions, such as:

What exactly is CWD?

How can it impact my hunting?

I hunt the next county over from where CWD has been found, should I be worried?

Can I carry a buck home I shot in another county, or another state?

Can I eat the meat from a buck I shot in a CWD area?

Is deer meat possibly contaminated—can it hurt my family?

Should I have my deer tested for CWD? How and where do I do that?

 

You can read all you want about CWD (you should) and its potential risks and impacts, but there’s nothing like getting answers first-hand from experts and biologists on the ground like you’ll be able to do at these workshops.

I applaud Tennessee deer managers for having the vision and spending the money to do this, and I ask all state wildlife agencies to do the same in regions where CWD has been found.

Hunters and wildlife agencies working together is the best way to combat CWD!