Deer Lures Targeted In CWD Spread?

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors


Oct. 7, 2009


Deer Lures Targeted In CWD Spread?
The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s chief veterinarian this week recommended the
statewide prohibition of scents and attractants utilizing deer urine in an
effort to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease to The Keystone State.
You’ll also read about the continuing surge in U.S. firearms sales, and a new
hunting promotion from an NFL team, and more!

States To Ban Deer Urine Use By Hunters?
Walt Cottrell, PGC chief veterinarian, told the Pennsylvania Game Commission
during its regular October meeting that nine states are presently considering
banning deer urine use by hunters because of its potential to spread chronic
wasting disease.

Recent scientific findings indicate that CWD can be spread by excreted
prions (proteins) found in the waste of infected animals, long before the
disease is manifested in cervids such as deer and elk.


J.R. Absher

First identified in Colorado in 1967, CWD has been found in Colorado,
Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the Canadian
provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. No cases of CWD have been identified in
Pennsylvania.

The disease is spread from one deer to another through saliva and other
bodily fluids, along with food that has grown in CWD-contaminated soil. The
proteins that carry CWD are excreted in both feces and urine, and once they
reach the soil, according to Cottrell, become 700 times more infectious.

In his presentation to the Commission, Cottrell said he would recommend and
support an immediate ban on the use of deer urine, as well as the feeding of deer
with food that may have been grown in CWD-contaminated soil from other states.

The Commission did not act upon Cottrell’s recommendations.

FBI Background Checks Continue Surge
Data released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System
(NICS) this week indicates that the sale of new and used firearms are remaining
strong and continuing the surge that began in November 2008.

NICS reported 1,093,230 checks in September 2009, which represents a 12.4
percent increase from the 973,003 reported in September 2008. The figures were
nearly identical to those from August, when a total of 1,074,757 checks were
reported, up from 956,872 in August 2008 — a 12.3-percent increase.

FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals
purchasing either newly manufactured or used firearms from federally licensed
retailers. As such, the checks serve as a gauge of sales but do not reflect the
actual number of firearms produced or sold.

According to the most recent Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collection
Report, firearm and ammunition manufacturers paid more than $109.8 million in
the first calendar quarter of 2009, up 43 percent over the same time period in
2008. This dramatic increase follows a 31.3 percent increase in excise taxes
from the previous quarter (4Q, 2008).

NFL’s Packers Team With Hunters
There may be some argument among National Football League faithful, but
probably no pro football fan base includes more hunters, anglers and shooters
than the Green Bay Packers. After all, where else but Lambeau Field is as much
camouflage and blaze orange garb seen on a Sunday afternoon?

This week the Packers announced a "Hunting Down Hunger" campaign
to raise money and encourage venison donations for state food pantries.

To that end, the Packers are promoting a special line of hunter orange and
camouflage hats emblazoned with the team’s trademark "G." Five
dollars from the sale of each hat will be contributed to state food pantries
and other hunger relief efforts.

In addition, Cheesehead hunters will again give their excess and unwanted
deer to the Wisconsin Deer Donation program, which has provided more than 3.1
million pounds of ground venison for needy state residents.

Supreme Court To Hear Chicago Firearms Case
The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case challenging the city
of Chicago’s long-running ban on individual handgun ownership.

At issue is whether the constitutional right to bear arms equally applies to
states and cities. A ruling is expected by summer 2010.

The appeal of McDonald v. City of Chicago to the nation’s highest court was
brought about when the National Rifle Association and a group of firearms
owners in Chicago challenged Chicago’s ordinance that essentially bans the
private ownership of firearms in the city. A lower federal appeals court ruled
earlier that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states and
municipalities, allowing Chicago’s ban on firearms to stand.

In its landmark Heller decision in 2008, the Supreme Court struck down
Washington, D.C.’s long-standing handgun ban that was substantially similar to
Chicago’s ordinance, ruling that Second Amendment protects the right of
individuals to keep and bear arms and rejecting arguments that the amendment
applies only to state militias. In Heller, because the District of Columbia is
a federal entity and not one of the 50 states, the Supreme Court did not reach
the question of whether the Second Amendment is a fundamental right that
applies to the states and local governments. With the appeal of McDonald v.
City of Chicago, that question is now fully before the high court.

"The firearms industry welcomes the opportunity for the Supreme Court
to rule that the Second Amendment is a fundamental individual right that has
existed even before the founding of our Republic and that cannot be ignored,
trampled upon or disregarded by state and local governments," said
Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National
Shooting Sports Foundation, the leading trade association for the firearms
industry.

Quote Of The Week
"I don’t regard nature as a spectator sport. If I were to leave the gun
home, or to bring it without the intention of using it, I’d be in that marsh as
a spectator, or a peeping tom, or a bystander. But nature to all animals,
including the human, is essentially one big food chain. And when I go into the
marsh with a gun, prepared to kill ducks and take them home and eat them, I’m
there as a predator, as part of the food chain, with as much right to be there
as the hunting marsh hawk or the skunk.
-Ed Zern
"I Am a Hunter,"
“Audubon,” January 1972


J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear
in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the
outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at
jrabsher@outdoorpressroom.com.

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