HELENA – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing on May 13, at 9 a.m., to consider the proposed adoption and amendments of three new rules pertaining to the use of deer or elk urine to mask human odor. The purpose of the new rules is to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, which can be present in the urine and glandular scents of infected deer and elk.
The hearing will be conducted via Zoom. Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person hearing. For information on participating in the hearing, visit the Fish and Wildlife Commission page on fwp.mt.gov.
The first new rule identifies states and provinces with documented occurrences of chronic wasting disease. These include the following: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming; and the following Canadian provinces: Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
The second new rule defines the process for identifying facilities in the U.S and Canada that produce urine allowed for the purpose of masking human odor. Urine from any facility approved by the Archery Trade Association and Responsible Hunting Scent Association is allowed, so long as the ATA/RHSA requirements continue to meet the standards identified in Montana statute. Products meeting requirements must display a mark indicating ATA/RHSA approval on the product packaging for identification by the consumer.
The third new rule identifies the requirements used by the commission for approval of urine-based and natural glandular scents for the purposes of attracting game animals and game birds. The scents must:
- originate from a state or province not listed in the first rule, or
- originate from a facility that is approved by the commission under the second rule and display the required marks on the product packaging.
According to the Montana Administrative Register, artificial scents and RHSA-approved natural glandular scents may be used by hunters to attract game animals, except black bears, by spraying or pouring the scent on the ground or other objects.
Public comment will be accepted during the hearing. Written comment can be submitted to: Wildlife Division, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comment must be received no later than May 14.