Ask The Biologist

Tick, Tick, Tick

Tick, Tick, Tick

By Bob Humphrey

No, it’s not “60 Minutes,” it’s your deer hide.

QUESTION: Both of the deer I got last year had a ton of ticks on them. Does that have any effect on the meat? And what if I want to keep a hide next time? Is there a good way to kill all the ticks? – George A.

ANSWER: It’s not at all uncommon for deer to have ectoparasites like ticks and lice. Unless the deer is severely infested, neither should have any negative effects on the meat, at least as far as human consumption. A severe infestation could lead to poor health, which is more common with moose and winter ticks. That could reduce an individual deer’s health, and although there might be a little less meat, it’s still safe to eat.

As for your other question, most parasites leave a dead body within 24 hours. If you hang your deer outside or in the skinning shed it should be tick free within a day or so with no ill effects on the hide.

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Copyright 2022 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd