David Rainer of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) is cautioning hunters, shoreline anglers, campers and others spending time outdoors this spring to be especially aware of tick bites. Rainer said that the tiny insects have been proven to carry a number of diseases in Alabama including Lyme disease, a chronic illness once limited to New England states.
Best defense, says Rainer, is a permethrin based spray used on hats, collars, beltlines, shirt and pants cuffs and socks and boots. The product, unlike DEET repellent, is not made for direct contact with the skin and can cause serious rashes in some people. However, it’s highly effective at keeping ticks of all species from getting under your clothing and latching on. They rarely attach to hands or face–keeping them out from under the clothing usually prevents a bite.
Rainer said turkey hunters are particularly vulnerable to ticks because they often sit motionless for some time in tick country. Anytime air temperature is 50 or above the ticks are active, so the last weeks of the turkey season are prime time, as are the first weeks of bow season in fall.
Rainer said current medical advice for those with a tick attached is to get it off as soon as possible–the longer it’s in place, the more likely it is to transmit a disease. (Many tick bites do not result in a disease, but enough do that precautions are advisable.) He said best way to remove a tick is to grip it as near the head as possible with tweezers and slowly pull it away from the skin. The old remedies of burning with a cigarette or smothering it in nail polish are less effective, he said. Dab the bite with antibiotic or rubbing alcohol after removing the tick.
Eric Greene of Mobile, Ala., is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a pair of wood ducks. The winning artwork will be used as the design of the 2019-20 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required for licensed hunters when pursuing waterfowl in Alabama.
Barbara Keel Lunsford of Auburn, Ala., took second place with her painting of a pair of wood ducks. Third place went to Ralph Taylor of Phenix City, Ala., who also painted wood ducks.
The ADCNR Marine Resources Division is hosting several public meetings in Baldwin and Mobile counties and a Facebook live session on the 2018 red snapper season.
The topics to be covered include:
- Specific dates for the season.
- Mandatory reporting requirement and use of reported data to monitor season harvests.
- Where state-licensed charter captains can fish for red snapper during chartered trips.
The meetings are open to the public and free of charge. The meeting times and locations are:
Monday, April 23: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Gulf Shores Adult Activity Center, 260 Clubhouse Dr., Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Tuesday, April 24: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Tillman’s Corner Community Center, 5055 Carol Plantation Rd., Mobile, AL 36619
Monday, April 30: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the 5 Rivers Tensaw Theatre, 30945 5 Rivers Blvd, Spanish Fort, AL 36527
Tuesday, May 1: 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the Saraland Civic Center, 716 Mae St., Saraland, AL 36571
For those who are unable to attend any of the meetings, a Facebook live session will be held Tuesday, May 8 from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. on the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources-Marine Resources Division’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AlabamaMarineResourcesDivision).