Any time you go into a heavily wooded area, you need to be prepared to check for ticks. Ticks carry lime disease, so you want to do your best to avoid this pest. In many areas, ticks come out the minute the weather warms up, so it’s quite possible the ticks have been out and about since March or April. While you’re conducting your off-season summer scouting, make sure you’re armed against pesky ticks. You can start by covering up as much skin as possible, avoiding thick brush, and sitting in a chair instead of sitting directly on the ground. Follow these safety precautions and you should be able to scout in the woods without bringing home any unwanted guests.
Avoid Thick Vegetation
Try to walk in the middle of trails whenever possible, avoiding dense brush. Ticks thrive in heavily wooded areas, so the thicker the vegetation, the more chance there is that there are ticks lurking about. Luckily, it’s easier to stay on trails during the off-season when you’re not worried about hiding in the brush to stalk a deer.
We understand scent detection is an issue with insect repellent, so we also understand the concern with using the strong odors while scouting. There are tick repellent sprays on the market that don’t have a scent. Using one of these sprays will allow you to scout out deer and stay protected from ticks without comprising your location. Eucalyptus oil has also been said to prevent ticks without scaring away deer.
Bright colors allow you to detect ticks on your clothing more easily, but when hunting and scouting, that isn’t an option in most cases. The dark camos may make it harder to spot ticks, so be extra vigilant when checking your clothes. Wearing long sleeves and pants will help cover any exposed skin. Since the weather will be warmer, you can opt for hunting gear that has a cooling technology to keep your skin cool even while wearing long sleeves.
Bring a Seat
Bring a seat if you’re going to be scouting on foot and avoid sitting directly on the ground. Ticks live high above your head in the trees, but they can also crawl along the ground. Stay protected from both by wearing something to cover your hair and avoiding direct contact with the ground.
Hopping in the shower right after returning from a trip outdoors can help wash off any unattached ticks. If a tick did manage to attach itself to your body, you’ll be able to catch it more quickly if you notice it when you first get home. Check your entire body in the shower for ticks. Prime locations are: in your hair, under the arms, in the ears, in the belly button, behind the knee, between the legs, and around the waist.
How to Remove
If you do find a tick, you can remove it safely. Clean the area around the tick with rubbing alcohol, use tweezers and get as close to the base as possible. Then, grab the tick and pull up slowly. Once removed, you can clean the area again.
Even though you may only be scouting and mapping out future spots for the fall season, you still need to go into the woods prepared against ticks. Cover up as much skin as possible and shower as soon as you can once you get home. Summer scouting can be a lot of fun if you know how to stay safe.
How do you stay tick-free while scouting in the woods? Let us in on your insider knowledge by commenting below!