Volunteers will be looking over harvested deer for ticks at 3 southern Vermont check stations this weekend
October 20, 2023 | Montpelier, VT - The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) are teaming up in a cooperative effort with Vermont hunters to search harvested deer for ticks this Fall. Volunteers at multiple southern Vermont check stations will be collecting any ticks found on deer and bringing them back to the state laboratory in Randolph for species identification.
Volunteers will staff several reporting stations during Youth Hunting Season this weekend and during the regular deer hunting season November 11th and 12th. Inspections of harvested deer will only occur if hunters give their permission for volunteers to do so. After inspection and collection of any ticks, which should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes, information will be collected on the harvested deer and the location in which it was harvested. The businesses and reporting stations that have agreed to host this activity this weekend are:
- Guilford Country Store, Guilford
- Buck Stop Mini Mart, Bennington
- Buxton’s Country Store, Orwell
- Rack N Reel, New Haven
- Crossman's General Store, Middletown Springs
- Keith’s Country Store in Pittsford
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Environmental Surveillance Program tracks mosquito and tick populations around the state and works in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health to help prevent vector-borne diseases in humans and livestock. This cooperative effort with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is important to identify if the Asian Long-Horned Tick has made its way to the southern and western parts of the state, because these ticks can become serious pests to livestock and wildlife, capable of transmitting disease to livestock. There is no known risk associated with eating harvested deer that host Asian Long-Horned or other ticks and no additional concern or actions are warranted.
As with all outdoor activity in Vermont, hunters should be vigilant in taking precautions against being bitten by any ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants with pants tucked into socks, use an EPA-approved insect repellant, and do daily tick checks. When possible, shower as soon as you get home to wash off any crawling ticks and toss your field clothes in the dryer on high for 20 minutes to kill any ticks that may have hitchhiked on your clothes.
“This is a voluntary program, and we greatly appreciate your allowing us to check for ticks at the deer checking stations. Good luck hunters” said Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts.
For more information about the VAAFM Tick Survey Program, please visit: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/public-health-agricultural-resource-management-division/plant-health-and-pest-management/ticks/tick
For more information on active tick surveillance activities of VAAFM, please view this video.
For questions, please contact: Patti Casey | VAAFM Environmental Surveillance Program Manager | 802-522-6858 | Patti.Casey@Vermont.gov