Oregon Deer Urine Ban

Oregon's Urine-Based Scent Ban Goes into Effect for Hunters Jan. 1, Here's What You Should Know

Hunters in Oregon should pay attention to the new regulations, and specifically how to dispose of urine-based scents before next year.

The Oregon legislature approved a measure to ban both the use and possession of urine-based deer and elk attractants starting on January 1, 2020.

It's House Bill 2294 that made the ban official, and it was sponsored by Rep. Witt (D-Clatskanie) and Rep. Brock Smith (R-Port Orford).

The move was in response to the threat of Chronic Wasting Disease on the state's wild deer, elk, and moose herds. Deer urine scents are typically used to attract breeding males with the smell of a female during the yearly rut, or mating season. The bill and eventual law was influenced by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), which has long recommended the end of urine scent lures to help curb the spread of CWD.

Under the new law, anything that contains or is derived by cervid urine is banned, but the exact punishments for those caught in possession after Jan. 1 has yet to be made public. Similar bans have already made the books in states like Alaska and Louisiana.

If hunters in Oregon have deer or elk urine-based attractants and are looking to get rid of them to comply with the regulation, there is a specific way they must be disposed of.

Urine products need to be incinerated in an 1,800-degree oven, a temperature high enough to kill the prion that causes CWD. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests hunters or businesses bring urine scent products to an ODFW district office, where they'll be collected and properly taken care of.

"It's important that these products are not poured down a drain or on the ground when they are discarded," said Colin Gillin, ODFW wildlife veterinarian. "We want to limit the prion that causes the disease from being deposited on the landscape."

CWD has yet to be detected in Oregon, but the deer hunting community has been on watch since its prevalence over the course of the last decade. The state has proactively banned the import of any deer, elk, caribou, or moose part containing central nervous system tissue where the prions exist (such as whole heads or spinal columns) into Oregon.

The state's deer hunting season runs from the end of August to the end of November.