Ticks are a nasty little fact of life for outdoor activities. Aside from being blood sucking parasitic arachnids, they also carry diseases that can be harmful and even deadly to man and man's best friend alike. The most severe of these diseases is Lyme Disease. While there are vaccines and long term preventatives for our furry friends, there's no such luck for us.
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection most commonly caused by the bite of a deer tick. Most people bitten by a tick don't contract the disease. However, if a bullseye rash occurs at the site of the bite SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY!!
Lyme Disease causes severe joint and muscle inflammation, weakness, speech problems and skipped heart beats. If treated immediately, symptoms are mild. Treatment is usually permanent but the long term effects of Lyme Disease is still unknown. There is no cure...those infected remain carriers for life!
Now that we're all thoroughly repulsed and suffering a case of the heeby jeebys, here are a few pointers to help you avoid those nasty buggers!
***USE THESE TIPS TO HELP PREVENT TICK BITES***
-Wear light clothing so ticks on your clothes are easily visible.
-Wear long sleeves and long pants with pant tucked into boots.
-Good news for bow hunters: Tall rubber boots are recommended.
-Walk in the center of trails where possible. Try to avoid walking through dense brush.
-If hunting from the ground, bring along a seat to avoid sitting directly on the ground.
-Conduct tick checks every few hours while in the field. Do a more thorough tick check at the end of the hunt.
-Spray arms and legs with insect repellant. Where scent is an issue, try one of the few scent free repellants. Eucalyptus oil is also supposed to be a great repellant that does not spook deer.