For the next 6 months, between ballgames and vacations and cutting the grass, many of us will slip away to the woods on occasion to work on food plots, set out minerals, hang trail cameras, etc. Times flies and bow season will be here in about 5 months. Late spring and summer is when ticks and snakes are out and active, so heed these precautions.
The first and best thing you can do is to wear knee-high boots, which protect against both snakes and ticks. From May to September, I NEVER go into the woods without wearing tall boots with long pants legs tucked snugly in them.
- Spray your clothes with Permethrin before entering the woods.
- Use Deet or a similar repellent on skin and clothes.
- Walk as much as you can in the middle of a hiking trail or logging road; avoid tall grass and brush as much as possible.
- Soon as you get home from a day in the woods, strip down. Put the clothes you wore in a hot dryer for a 30-minute cycle to kill any ticks that might have hidden on your clothes.
- Take a hot shower and check your body for ticks.
- Remove an attached tick quickly and carefully. Position tweezers as close to your skin as possible and lift up on the tick firmly.
On to snakes, which I totally hate. Some 7,500 venomous snakebites are reported each year in the U.S, but only about 5 people a year die from these bites.
- Watch your step! Obviously look around and be careful where you walk.
- Before pouring out minerals or setting cameras, when your arms and hands are lower to the ground, look and make sure the coast is clear of snakes.
- Be extremely careful around woodpiles, fallen logs, etc. where snakes love to hide. Avoid moving old woods in the summer snake months.
- Your tall snake boots will protect you 99% of the time. But if on the off-chance bitten you’re bitten, get to a clinic or doctor fast as you can.
- Try to remember the size and color pattern of the snake that bit you. If you think or know that the snake was venomous snake, call 911 immediately.
I am so damn scared of snakes that if I get bit, I’ll probably have a heart attack and be down and done. But you should remember these snake-bite tips from the Mayo Clinic:
- While waiting for medical help, remain calm as possible and move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
- Sit or scrunch down, or hold your arm or hand down, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
- Clean the wound, but don’t flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
- Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice. Never cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
- Get medical treatment asap!
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