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The Sportsman's Corner

Hunting Seasons Coming Up

Although a couple of less-popular fall hunting seasons have already begun, the major seasons are now only a week away. First up will be the autumn bow/crossbow season that is scheduled to begin on Oct. 5. After that, a variety of small game seasons, a bow/crossbow season for bears, the autumn turkey season, regular bear season, and finally the rifle deer season will draw sportsmen to the woods.

If a sportsman is going to enter the woods this fall, he needs to know when each season begins and ends. Since the game commission "found" that it had many millions of dollars sitting around and was able to print a booklet detailing the upcoming hunts, sportsmen can refer to the booklet to make sure they know the beginning and ending dates for the many seasons, which sometimes can be quite confusing. Some guys joke around about it, saying that they think they'll carry their booklets with them to refer to; but this might not really be such a bad idea if it prevents a game warden from finding you hunting in a place or at a time when a season is closed.

Perhaps the most important thing a hunter needs to consider when preparing for the upcoming seasons is how to protect himself from being attacked by ticks. Most outdoors people have become familiar with the devastating consequences that Lyme disease can have on someone who is bitten by an infected tick. We have been taught to look for a bullseye type rash on our bodies after we have spent time in the woods, especially if we have been walking through high weeds or through brushy cover. We have been advised to check ourselves for ticks when we come home so that a tick has not burrowed under our skin. If we get ticks off ourselves quickly, they are not supposed to be able to have given us Lyme disease.

However, ticks spread other diseases. For instance, ticks can spread Babeosis. I recently read on a fly-fishing website of a man who contracted this disease from a tick bite, and it killed him. He was especially vulnerable because he did not have a spleen.

Experts suggest several ways to prevent ticks from attacking you. One is to spray yourself with an insect spray containing DEET.

What has worked well for me has been spraying my clothing with Sawyer's Insect Repellant containing permethrin. Once the spray dries, it is effective for six weeks.

When you're preparing for the upcoming seasons, remember to protect yourself from ticks.


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