Here’s a way to make ticks go away

April 3, 2012

Faith Outdoors

This year’s early and warm spring is mostly good. But, there is a downside, which I encountered about two weeks ago.

As I was walking around on a property where I got permission to hunt turkey and deer, I picked off a tick. These little buggers came early this year, and I was not pleased to find one so soon. With the Wisconsin youth turkey hunt coming this weekend, it’s time to find a solution.

Fortunately, that part is easy. I merely will put on my ElimTick clothing and not have a worry in the world. The product was developed by a company called Insect Shield, which owns the patent and manufactures clothing that repels ticks and other insects. Gamehide is a brand partner and incorporates the fabric developed by Insect Shield into its camouflage clothing. That makes it perfect for spring turkey hunting, which is when ticks are the worst.

I became aware of ElimiTick two years ago because my friend, Steve Huettl, is Gamehide’s general manager. The company has been selling it for three years, and Steve has been using it himself for four. The first time he tried it, he went out into the woods with another Gamehide employee who also was wearing ElimiTick, plus several others who weren’t. One was a youth who counted 58 ticks he pulled off that day.

I have used it for two full seasons, and only once did a tick get under the clothing and attach itself to my leg. I have been in the  worst places for ticks at the worst times, so I estimate the success rate is well above 90 percent, and actually pretty close to 100. I’ll take that any time. Steve said he has never had a tick bite him while wearing the clothing.

But, there are a few key points to know:

  1. Ticks may crawl onto the surface of the garment at times, but they eventually drop off without biting. Somehow, the tick I discovered last year had crawled underneath the pants and up my leg.
  2. The pants, especially the bottom, are critical. Buying them a little long can be helpful, and be careful whenever you sit down, as the pants can ride up your leg and expose your skin. That’s probably what happened to me, and made me vulnerable to ticks.
  3. You can wash them as often as you want. They are said to be good through 70 washings, but Steve told me the tick repellent will last the life of the garment. In his words, “the garment will fall apart” before the repellent quits working.
  4. It also repels mosquitos.

The good news for turkey hunters is the clothing is easy to find. You can buy it online directing from Gamehide, or check out these local retailers that carry it – Mills Fleet Farm, Joe’s Sporting Goods (St. Paul), Capra’s Sporting Goods (Blaine), Cabin Fever (Victoria) and All Seasons Sports (Delan0).

I just ordered a set for my son, William, who is going out turkey hunting this weekend. I want to know that both of us are protected. Ticks that get attached to your skin are bad enough, but what’s worse is the threat of Lyme Disease. I have talked to a few people recently who have had it, and it’s not something I ever want to get.

That’s why I’ll be wearing ElimiTick on my turkey hunts this spring. Then, instead of being distracted by ticks crawling all over me and trying to pick them off while staying still, I can focus on working a gobbler into shotgun range.

Lord knows, that’s hard enough!

Q: How much of a problem have ticks been for you?

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek