Use of natural deer urine attractants has been banned for the upcoming season for Virginia deer hunters.
Deer hunters in Virginia will have to find other ways to lure in that big buck this season. In response to fears about the spread of chronic wasting disease, the state has banned hunters from using natural deer urine attractants.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries announced the ban, which went into effect on Wednesday. Both possession and use of natural deer urine attractants will be illegal for hunters under the ban.
Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is a nervous system disease that eventually results in brain lesions and death for an infected animal.
The disease is contagious and spreads through deer saliva, urine and feces. There is concern about the possibility of the disease spreading through the use of natural urine attractants.
Affected deer often have a mangy-looking appearance due to weight and hair loss and will lose their natural fear of humans and predators. Fortunately, the disease appears to only afflict deer and elk. So far, Virginia has seen 10 confirmed cases of the deadly disease in the state.
In an interesting twist, state deer project coordinator Nelson Lafon told the Daily-News Record that stores in Virginia will still be allowed to sell attractants made of natural urine because the attractants will still be legal in neighboring states.
There was no comment about how this may or may not complicate the enforcement of the ban.