O ctober has finally arrived!
Serious deer hunters have been counting down the days. They have checked their favorite tree stand sites and have scouted for months now. They are ready… at least they think they are.
Bow hunters all through Texas hopefully have been out practicing every week. The more practice you can spend time doing, the better shot you will be. You will be consistent with your form. You will also be able to draw your bowstring back to your anchor point and set your target in your sights with one smooth action.
It has now become second nature to you, and that will play a very important role when it comes time to fill your freezer with some fresh venison.
Keeping you, as well as your clothes, as scent free as possible also plays a critical role for bow hunting success. If you have not done so already, then now is the time to clean your camo clothes. Use a scent-free detergent and either place them in a dryer with earth-scented dryer sheets, or simply choose to hang them out in the fresh air to dry.
Before each hunt (not each day you hunt), make sure you shower with a scent free soap and shampoo. Using a scent-free deodorant is also a must. What is the use of washing with a scent free soap, if you decide to use a deodorant that can put you in an Old Spice commercial? Any non-scented deodorant will do.
Whenever we venture away from the pavement and into the quiet habitat of a whitetail, we always have to be aware of our surroundings. Snakes, spiders, mean hogs and whatever else we might run into while hunting with a stick and string; can be dangerous and force us to seek immediate medical help. Now, there is a new danger out there that many of us do not even think about.
These tiny little creatures can find a nice warm home on your body someplace, and you may not even know how serious the danger can be. They can be found in any woodlot of course, but they also linger in any tall grass or scrub in the fields. You could be walking your dog, and you and your dog can come home with these darn bugs and never know it until it’s too late.
Once these critters find their new home, they will bite you and get under your skin. You probably will not even feel the bite itself. If the tick is carrying Lyme disease, it is possible and even probable that you or your dog will be infected.
Ticks are present, not only in Texas, but in all 50 States. In some states, it is now at epidemic proportions.
How can this very real issue be avoided? The short answer is it cannot. However, it can be prevented personally, if we take some easy measures. My wife has tried to convince me that the easiest way to avoid ticks is not to go hunting anymore.
Now “them’s fightin’ words!”
I have found a better solution. Before you go hunting, spray your camo down with Permethrin. You can find this in most stores that carry camping equipment. If you run into any ticks, they soon will die off.
As a matter of fact, most insects that land on your clothes once they have been sprayed with Permethrin are dead in a matter of minutes. Just remember NEVER spray this chemical on your skin, just your clothes.
For the disbelievers out there, google Permethrin and ticks. There, you will be able to actually watch ticks fall off clothing that has been treated with this chemical.
Once dried, Permethrinl is odorless and will not affect your success in the field.
Most ticks will be found on your pants. However, if you tuck the bottoms of your hunting pants in your rubber boots and if you’ve already treated your clothes, the ticks (or any other insect for that matter) will not survive on the treated fabric.
If you are out in the field and are not wearing rubber boots, then it would be a good idea to tape the bottom of your pant legs with some kind of duct tape to help prevent these buggers from getting under your clothes.
This is also a good time to remind everyone who ventures outdoors to visually check your entire body to make sure you are tick-free after every outing. Fishing a riverbank, hiking a trail or walking to your tree stand all can produce these unwanted deer ticks.
The scientific name for deer ticks is Ixodes scapularis. However, most people simply call them “dirty little sons of…” Well, I cannot put it in print, but you get the picture.
The life cycle of a tick is usually only about two years, but they can do a lot of damage in that time. Although a female dies after laying her eggs, she can have 3,000 eggs. They will all be larvae and soon turn into six-legged dirty little sons of… Oops, I mean, ticks!
An adult tick will have eight legs. After reading this very real fact, it is easy to understand how this has turned into an epidemic in some states.
It is difficult to go out in the wild today and not have at least one tick on you. That is why I implore you to use Pemethrin on your hunting clothes. Lyme disease is a real and dangerous thing, especially if left untreated.
If you suspect you have been bitten by a deer tick, the site of the bite will develop a large red circle. Seek medical help immediately. Removing a tick that has already embedded itself in your skin has to be done carefully with tweezers, being extra careful not to puncture the tick and to make sure that the entire tick is removed from your skin.
Having said that… Get out there and enjoy this hunting season.
Seriously, if you are careful and take the time to check for ticks when you get back from hunting, your hunting season should bring just as much fun as every other one.
Have fun and hunt safe out there.
Email Lou Marullo at
Email Lou Marullo at [email protected]