There’s a bite in the air, a peaceful solitude that’s hard to describe. It’s early in the morning, you’re outside, in the tree-stand, waiting and watching.
For many of us it’s our favorite time of year—deer season in South Carolina, which begins Thursday, August 15, 2019 in the Lowcountry and Sunday, September 15, 2019 for the rest of the state.
As you prepare for the upcoming season, it’s important to understand that a new regulation has been established for use of natural deer lures and attractants. According to a recent press release issued by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), “it is now illegal to possess or use, for the purpose of hunting or scouting any wild animal in South Carolina, any substance or material that contains any excretion collected from a deer, including urine, feces, blood, gland oil or other bodily fluids. This does not prohibit the use of synthetic products or substances collected by a hunter from deer legally harvested in South Carolina.”
Why the ban? These products contain infectious proteins that are known to cause Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a neurological disease that can be contagious to other animal populations. For example, CWD research conducted in Colorado showed that mule deer were infected with CWD after exposure to the urine of an infected deer. And confusingly, although the products are now banned, you may still buy them in South Carolina because the SCDNR only has the authority to ban their usage in the field for hunting or scouting purposes.
Fortunately, CWD has not been found in South Carolina, and the SCDNR would like to keep it that way. In addition to not using these products as a result of the ban, it’s also important to follow other simple precautions, such as:
- Wear latex gloves when handling a deer carcass.
- Minimize the handling of fluids.
- Always wash your hands when processing is completed.
- If your deer is commercially processed, request that it be handled individually in order to avoid cross-contaminants.
Hunting is an important tool in the preservation of our wildlife populations, but it’s important that it’s done safely and responsibly for both the animal and the hunter.
Blog post by John B. White Jr. Click here to read more about John.