Summer scouting is an excellent method to locate potential targets for this fall, but when the temperature pushes the mercury…and you….to the limits, be sure you take enough precautions to keep yourself safe!!
Well folks, it’s getting closer. As I watched a couple hunting shows this morning, one program was highlighting a rut hunt in Iowa. The skies were overcast, and there were no leaves on the trees. Boy, was I excited. But then, I looked out the window with a big frown on my face….the temperature is already over 90 degrees, with a high today pushing 104. The midwest is currently experiencing the
worst drought since the 1950s, and I can’t ever remember it being this hot, for this long. As a deer hunter, I know one of the most important things to do this time of year is scout velvet bucks, and maybe hang a stand or ten. This blog entry is about staying safe in your summer scouting adventures. Let’s get to it.
Water – Your Best Friend
The best tip I can give you when spending your time outdoors this time of year is to have plenty of water on hand. I carry multiple bottles of water with me when I’m outside doing anything deer related this time of year. I also like sports drinks such as Powerade or Gatorade, as they replace electrolytes that I lose, ones that water simply cannot replace. Be sure to have them close by, and drink them even when you’re not thirsty. Stay hydrated, and you’ve taken the biggest step to staying healthy in hot weather.
Keeping yourself hydrated is the single most important thing you can do when you’re outside. Water and popular sports drinks are ideal!!
Crawling/Flying Critters – Watch Out
Let’s face it: There is a mind boggling amount of insects and arachnids out there waiting to make your life miserable, namely mosquitos, biting flies/gnats, and ticks. Be sure to wear appropriate repellants. Permethrin-based repellants are BY FAR the best, as you spray them on your clothes, and not your skin. Let them air dry, and their effectiveness is amazing. Mosquitoes can carry multiple diseases and sicknesses, including the West Nile Virus. Be careful. Ticks are also a big problem. This time of year, these little blood suckers are laying their eggs and they’re hatching into tiny larval ticks. About as large as a flake of pepper, these ticks are very hard to distinguish when they’re on your skin. I have had hundreds of these little guys stuck on my ankles at one time before. Be sure to wear light-colored clothes that allow you to see these critters, tuck your pant legs into your socks, and tuck your shirt into your waist. Also, check yourself for ticks often, and pull them off as necessary.
Summer Treestand Safety
Some of us spend late summer hanging treestands. I try to hang mine in the spring as often as possible, but I never seem to have the time to get them all hung during that time; therefore, I always have a few I need to hang during the summer months. If you must do this in the heat, pay particular attention to the tips above, and hang those stands in the morning hours before it gets hot outside. Also, I highly suggest enlisting the help of a friend to share some of the work. Hanging stands by yourself when it’s warm is NOT safe at all.
When it comes right down to it, the summer months can be quite a challenge for anyone who spends considerable time outside. To battle the elements effectively, one needs to keep hydrated and use some common sense. By doing so, you will stay healthy and enjoy what the summer months have to offer….and remember this: Every day that passes is one day closer toward those crisp, frosty November mornings.