CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. – With more than 4,200 hunters over four days, the Camp Ripley Open Archery Hunt is one of the largest organized hunts in the United States.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Oct. 18-19 and 27-28 they issued 5,003 archery tags that harvested a total of 428 deer over the four-day event at Camp Ripley.
An important piece of the hunt is the collection of deer ticks on the 53,000-acre installation. These ticks are collected by organizations such as the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Army Public Health Command who remove the tick from the deer and take them to a lab. The ticks are tested for diseases like: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis.
“Tick-borne disease is a major worry to the military and civilian organizations training at Camp Ripley,” says Camp Ripley Environmental Supervisor Jay Brezinka. “Lyme disease itself can cause chronic fatigue and debilitating physical wear on the human body. These tests give us baselines to use preventive measures and awareness to mitigate the spread of disease.”
Past testing has shown that more than 50 percent of deer ticks on Camp Ripley carry Lyme disease and other diseases. It normally takes an attached tick more than 24 hours to transfer a disease.
Ensuring that military and civilians training downrange spray permethrin on their clothes and check for ticks numerous times per day are simple preventative measures that will vastly reduce the likeliness of contracting tick-borne diseases said Brezinka.
For more information on Tick-borne disease and ways to prevent it, contact the Center for Disease Control at 1-800-232-4636 or visit http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases.