Blogs > Oneida Outdoors

An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adirondacks offer cool places to enjoy summer

A campfire by the lake; the call of loons in the next cove; the sound of coyotes across the lake; paddling a quiet stream while watching a beaver feasting on water lilies; bass fishing in the evening among the shadows of the evergreens. These are only a few of the pleasant memories of the last vacation in the Adirondacks.

The scenes are still vivid in our minds from our past two weeks in the Central Adirondacks. We had great weather, although it hasn’t been so great for lawns, crops or even water supplies, all of which could desperately use rain. We spent a lot of time paddling, fishing, visiting with friends or taking in other attractions.

Fishing in the Adirondacks has suffered, as elsewhere, from the hot dry weather. Although the lower water levels weren’t a factor on the lakes and ponds the warm water temperatures and bright sunny skies meant the bass and trout went deeper seeking cooler temperatures and cover. In most cases the bass fishing was best in the evening hours when the shadows were on the water.

Canoeing or kayaking on streams including the Moose River calls for a bit more caution. Water levels are significantly lower and hazards like rocks or logs that you might normally float over can be a problem. Tickners Moose River Outfitters has discouraged people from using the North Branch downstream from Rondaxe Lake to North St. The rest of the river from North St. down to Old Forge has adequate water for paddling at this point. (315-369-6286 for info.)

Scott Locorini at Adirondack Exposure/Whitewater Challengers said that they are cancelling rafting trips on rivers due to low water levels at this time. However, they are still taking people on guided canoe or kayak trips or fishing. (315-335-1681 for info.)

One of the loons at Nicks Lake had a serious problem. It had entangled one of its legs in a mess of fishing line, leader, bobbers, sinker and who knows what else. The bird was unable to dive and catch fish and was becoming weak. We called my friend Gary Lee, the retired forest ranger, who is active in loon research and conservation. Gary and another friend were planning on capturing it at night and removing the line.

This has always been one of my pet peeves: kids fishing with in appropriate equipment like unnecessary sinkers, etc. and then getting snagged and breaking off many yards of line, hooks, etc. to leave behind. Obviously the kids don’t know any better but adults should! Forget those stupid, unnecessary sinkers; don’t fish in shallow water where people wade and wildlife like ducks, etc are active. If there is a snag, don’t break off the line at the rod to become a hazard to wildlife and people.

We also had a nice visit with Gary and his wife Karen about various things. Gary said that the big bull moose had been seen at Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains around 5–6:30 a.m. for several days but recently has not frequented the area. If you do want to see a moose your best bet is to go to the Moose River Plains and take a trail such as the one to Mitchell Ponds. Don’t expect to see a mature bull standing in the trail but look off to the side at the swales and swamps with binoculars and you might see a cow and calf feeding in the wetlands.

In addition to fishing and paddling, the Central Adirondacks offers plenty of traditional water sports like boating and swimming, hiking and many other attractions including a great art exhibit at View (art center), concerts and many family activities. Check or 1-866-GO-INLET and or 369-6983. You owe it to yourself to spend some serious time there this summer.

NEW DEER HUNTING REGULATIONS: The DEC has adopted rules affecting deer and bear hunting in New York, to implement certain aspects of the state's Five-Year Deer Management Plan. The adopted changes include:

Beginning bowhunting season for the Southern Zone on Oct. 1 and establishing a late bowhunting season concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone. These changes will increase opportunities by several weeks for New York bowhunters.

Adjusting the Northern Zone season dates by opening the Northern Zone regular season for 44 days, beginning on the second Saturday after Columbus Day. This is a slight change from the original proposal to begin the regular season on the fourth Saturday in October. Some hunters were concerned that the original proposal would extend the season too late into December. The adopted season structure results in fewer years when the regular season will extend later than it has in the past.

Allowing Deer Management Permits (DMPs, “doe tags”) to be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone. This change will simplify regulations and increase hunter opportunity and choice. Regular firearms seasons this year will start Oct. 20 in the northern zone and Nov. 17 in the southern zone. We will have more information in next week’s column but in the meantime the full text of the regulations is available at:

VERNON NATIONAL EVENTS: Sunday is the Bust a Clay for Breast Cancer shoot at Vernon Nation Shooting Preserve. Other upcoming events include NRA Youth & Ladies Day (shoot for free) on August 4; Mike Nackley Memorial Shoot on August 11; Gun Safety Class on August 17 and 18; and Clays & Clubs (shooting and golf) on August 29. For more information call 982-7045 or visit:

TOURS OF SENECA ARMY DEPOT THIS FALL: Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD) and Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. (FLTG) will offer public military history tours of the most secure portion of the former Seneca Army Depot during the first three weekends in October.

These tours will visit only the area known as the “Q,” which is located at the northern end of the former Depot. The “Q” was the most secure area of the Depot and reputedly stored nuclear weapons. The “Q” at the Seneca Army Depot has always intrigued the general public and was one of less than two dozen ever built around the world by the United States government.

The tours will last more than one hour and provide plenty of opportunities to photograph formerly secret buildings, the military police compound and the ammo igloos. Actors will portray military police of past decades and explain their duties to protect the secret weapons housed inside the igloos found in the Q area.
Another highlight of the tour will be the opportunity to enter one of the now abandoned storage igloos and see artifacts associated with the Depot.

“The 2012 tours are a continuation of the tremendously successful tours conducted in 2006 and 2009. While the main theme of these tours will be the military history of the Depot and the ‘Q,’ visitors should expect to see deer, mostly brown, but maybe a few white deer, hawks, pheasants and possibly some coyotes,” states Dennis Money, president of SWD.

The tours will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21. Buses will depart each hour from the Varick Volunteer Fire Department, located on NYS Rt. 96A from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is easy to find, and signs will also be strategically located to help people find their way. Directions can be found on the back of the registration form.

Adult tickets are $15, seniors (61 and over) $12, and children ages 12 and younger are $8. Registration information is available by calling Young’s Travel Service at 315-568-4112 or on the SWD web site at:

Friday, July 20, 2012

Smallmouth bass provide great sport

The anglers drift alongside an island fishing with live bait or jigs, enjoying the St. Lawrence River scenery, and engaging in pleasant conversation. Suddenly a line goes taut, the rod bends sharply and the angler reacts by setting the hook and gleefully calling “I’ve got one!” The battle ensues, punctuated by fast, powerful dives, sizzling runs that peel off line and spectacular leaps from the water. After several tries and subsequent dives a chunky smallmouth bass is brought to the net.

This scene is still repeated along the Lake Ontario shoreline and the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers but not as often as it used to be. Smallmouth bass fishing still is a main attraction for anglers in these areas as well as elsewhere. But declining numbers make the experience based on quality rather than quantity these days.

Like the old Indian fable of nine blind men touching an elephant in different areas and giving vastly different descriptions, the assessment of smallmouth bass fishing on the Niagara, St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario areas will vary depending on a person’s perspective. For the tournament angler or the person who wants to some larger bass, the fishing is great. For the average angler who wants lots of action or the fishing guides who wants his clients to catch lots of fish, the fishing is definitely suffering.

Tournament anglers will almost always catch fish, and more of them than the average angler. Of course their key to success and money is to put several large fish in the live well. When they catch four or five big smallmouths they are happy because they will probably score high in the tournament weigh-in.
Guides who know the river, the smallmouth’s preferred locations, and the habits of the fish can also catch fish. A decade or two ago they could usually take a couple clients out and catch 50 fish in a day. Now they have to work hard to catch a dozen. Fishing guides from Niagara Falls to Ogdensburg have told me the same thing.

Creel surveys and general comments of the average angler have said they have similar experiences of declining numbers. This does not count the problems of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) that occurred a few years ago the central area of the Lake Ontario shoreline. Net surveys taken by the DEC each year show much smaller numbers of smallmouth in most areas.

There are several studies and research by the NYS DEC and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources trying to pinpoint the causes of the declining numbers. However some theories make sense and are accepted by a large number of anglers and guides.

In the past couple decades the habitat has changed due to invasive species like zebra mussels. There has been the well known predation on small bass by cormorants, and now the infestation of round gobies (another invasive species).

Gobies are believed to heavily prey on the eggs of smallmouth bass as they spawn. Studies in Ontario and Wisconsin show this. Northern pike and perch are less subject to this problem because they spawn earlier when the gobies are less active.

One study using underwater cameras focused on bass nests. They showed catching, landing and subsequently releasing the male bass who was guarding the nest. In just that short time lapse, gobies rushed in and consumed 40% of the eggs on the nest. This is a main reason why anglers and guides in northern waters are dead set against a pre-season catch and release season.
Those eggs that hatch into small bass face the usual obstacles to survival, but none greater than cormorants. These fish eating birds consumer prodigious amounts of fingerlings and small bass. Studies and examination of the crops of cormorants show that they eat a pound of fish a day, and a great deal of that is small bass.

The small percentage of smallmouth bass that survive have less competition for food. In fact mature bass feed on gobies, thus growing large from the abundant supply. This is why you are likely to catch larger, bragging sized bass these days in the waters of many Lake Ontario bays and the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers.

These factors are not present in other waters like Indian Lake or Oneida Lake yet. Thus the populations in these and other waters are still healthy due to lack of the two main predators – gobies and cormorants. There are cormorants on Oneida Lake but the population of the disgusting birds has been kept under control due to federal programs and volunteer hazing efforts.

What are the implications for the St. Lawrence and other areas? At the very least the business of the guides, etc. has been affected. Some guides report less bookings as the word gets out. Visitors from other areas who used to make it a ritual to fish the St. Lawrence or areas of the Golden Crescent on Lake Ontario on opening week have declined. Two people that I know used to come from Ohio every year to fish the Thousand Islands. Now they have decided it is not worth it.

Most of us will probably still continue because we like the experience and catching quality smallmouths. A few years ago someone asked Gil Tornatore when he was going to start fishing for other species. His reply was “when the St. Lawrence runs out of smallmouths!”


WOOLER MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: The Bill Wooler Fish-On Memorial Tournament will be held on Saturday, August 25 on Oneida Lake. The adult division will be for walleye based on length and pay cash awards while the kids division will have entries for all species of fish. All youngsters will receive a prize and refreshments. This is a family event designed to showcase the Oneida Lake fishery and get youngsters involved.

Weigh-ins will be at Marion Manor from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. Awards and a chicken barbecue will follow. Proceeds will benefit the Wooler Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Sponsors include Lake Ontario Outdoors,, Pirate Charters, Hanifin Tires, Marion Manor Marina, All Seasons Sports and The Oneida Daily Dispatch. Contact Matt White at 315-762-8148 for details.

FISHING REPORTS: For the latest in fishing conditions and tips check out and Up to date reports on Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake and many other popular fishing waters around Central New York will be posted frequently. Check out the news, events and original articles by area experts.
CANOE PADDLES: If you have wooden canoe paddles that see a lot of use during the summer, they will need care. The blade should be coated with spar varnish (which is impossible to obtain in New York State now). Obtain some from a neighboring state or as a last resort use spar polyurethane, which will not last very long.

Do not varnish the long handle or it will become sticky. Coat that part of the paddle with linseed oil.

HANDY LIGHT: Sportsmen, including campers, always need a lot of gadgets and accessories but are reluctant to carry too many things that are heavy or bulky. However a light is something that usually comes in handy many times. Coghlans, the company that supplies many camping accessories, has come up with a light that is small yet effective. The small light fits in the palm of your hand and has a clip that can be connected to key chain or belt loop, etc. It has a bright two LED light that is great for finding items in your boat after dark, finding the lock on your truck door or locating items in a dark tent, etc. Cranking the handle for one minute gives you 30 minutes of light. It is available at most sporting goods or camping stores.

BACKPACKING TIP: Think small. Eye drop bottles can be used to carry small amounts of soap, first aid disinfectant, or even Tabasco sauce. Pop off the topper spout and rinse the bottle with a mild bleach solution before refilling. Mini liquor bottles or film containers can also be used for toothpaste, condiments, meds, or sunscreen, etc. This saves lots of space instead of the original packing.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sportsmen lose in the political arena

Someone, I believe that it was Mark Twain, once said that it is probably a good thing that Americans do not know what goes into their sausage or politics. Today things are a bit more transparent but that doesn’t mean that they are any better.

The most obvious recent example of this was the passage of a crossbow bill in the closing days of the New York State Legislature. The bill was a victory for New York Bowhunters, Inc. (NYB) and a defeat and a major slap in the face to the rest of the sportsmen in New York. The bill essentially extended the current bill for two years but actually added some restrictions.

The bill which also restricts the DEC from developing any youth hunting days except for archery is actually less favorable than the bill that was amended into its meaningless form last year. All of the provisions have the stamp of the agenda of NYB, a well-organized group of 2,000 bowhunters.

Meanwhile the wishes of thousands of sportsmen who wrote and called their legislators, as well as Safari Club International, Conservation Alliance, Farm Bureau, and the NYS Conservation Council which represents more than 300,000 organized sportsmen were ignored. This was primarily the work of Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, a legislator from Long Island, who pushed his own abominable bill through the rules committee in the final days of the legislative session. It was co-sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino, a long time opponent of crossbows, and this was passed instead of the one favored by sportsmen which would allow crossbows in archery season.
Sportsmen who called Sweeney’s office were answered by an arrogant aide who parroted the position and misinformation spread by NYB. Obviously the influence of NYB over Sweeney and Marcellino was strong enough to overcome majority wishes and scientific evidence. Many blatantly false statements about range and advantages of crossbows were used to justify the opposition of Sweeney, Marcellino and NYB.

And their influence was enough to get this sham bill passed by a majority of both houses. Reportedly a majority of the Assembly Committee actually favored the earlier Senate version and this is why it did not come before the committee.

According to the Crossbow Coalition and CFAB representative Dave Corr, all legislators of Region 6 in both parties would have voted for the bill allowing crossbows in the archery season. It probably would have passed the legislature if it reached the floor according to pronouncements of many legislators who said that they were in favor of a meaningful crossbow bill. But two key legislators under the influence of NYB thwarted the wishes of a majority of sportsmen!

It’s not only the NYS Legislature that ignores the voices of the sportsmen. Two years ago there were DEC hearings over the management plan for the Moose River Plains Recreation Area. Sportsmen wrote and spoke at the hearings in favor of keeping it classified as Wild Forest which was open to limited access for sportsmen.

The various Adirondack preservationist groups, commonly referred to as “tree huggers” or ‘eco-fascists” wanted a sizable chunk of it classified as Wilderness, which severely restricts access for sportsmen. These eco-fascists are well organized and have considerable funds at their disposal, in addition to having many affluent and influential members.

An overwhelming majority wanted to keep it Wild Forest so sportsmen could use it. Guess which side won? Yes, the tree huggers got a sizable portion taken away by the DEC and re-classified as Wilderness to “protect” it. No one ever said why, or from whom. Maybe to keep out Somali Pirates?
Of course sportsmen are not blameless. On many, many other issues they sit around the coffee shops and complain and raise the question “what are the clubs, the NYS Conservation Council, the outdoor writers, etc., etc. going to do about it?” Yet they fail to write or show their support.

A good case in point is the issue of archery hunting in Green Lakes State Park a few years ago. There is an overpopulation of deer damaging the ecology of the park and surrounding areas. Archery was a safe and effective method suggested as a way of dealing with the population.

Yet only a handful of letters supporting that idea were written by sportsmen. By contrast the “bunny huggers,” anti-hunters, and people who got their ideas of wildlife management or basic biology from the back of box of Fruit Loops overwhelmed the Parks Dept. with illogical letters against hunting.

And finally as one former DEC Commissioner commented to me, “sportsmen must be terrible poker players. They always show their hand before they play it.” But that is a story for another column.


If you are a NYS resident 62 or older on any weekday (except holidays) you can obtain free vehicle access to state parks and arboreteums. Simply present your current valid NYS Driver’s License. This policy applies both to Office of Parks and Recreation and DEC facilities.

BILLY ALEXANDER JIGS: Many area residents are aware that Bill Alexander of Sylvan Beach is a very successful fisherman. His win in the Team Walleye Tournament held recently on Oneida Lake called attention that he can catch walleyes along with being a very successful fisherman in competitive bass tournaments. Sine 1981 when he started fishing competitively he has either won or finished in the top three in several Bassmaster tournaments.

But what many do not realize is that part of the secret to Bill’s success is the fact that he designs and makes his own jigs. Bill understands bass and walleye habitat, their feeding habits, and other behavior and fine-tunes his lures to take advantage of this. He also believes in using quality components, whether there is money on the line, or just fishing for fun.

Bill also sells his successful line of jigs with a variety of styles. Check his web site The website gives background, illustration, and even tips for using the various types. Of course the name comes from “Made To Order” since all of the lures are individually poured, painted and tied with hair or other material. He has a lot of them, especially the more popular ones, in stock. But otherwise you may have to wait a little bit for customized jigs during the bass fishing season!

Check out the site for useful information and the amazing variety available. Support a local person. And at the same time your fishing success may increase.
THERMACELL: Little things can ruin a summer day or evening. In this case we are talking about disgusting insects like black flies or mosquitoes. The black fly season is over but mosquitoes remain a persistent problem, especially in the evening.

One of the things that I have found that really works is the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. I have used the hand held model successfully for two years and it provides silent, odorless, and long-lasting protection for a 15 foot radius. It utilizes a butane cartridge that heats a pad and gives off a synthetic copy of natural insecticides. Whether it is in the turkey woods, trout fishing, or sitting around the campfire I find it really works.

Now Thermacell has an outdoor lantern that combines the same insect repellent with a lantern using eight LEDs for ambient lighting at your campsite or back deck. It is lightweight, can be hung or set on a stand, and gives you hours of protection. A simple switch lights the butane while another operates the led lights separately. See or check local sporting goods stores.

Wildlife Sports Museum: You should make plans in your summer activities to include a trip to the Wildlife Sports Educational Museum in Vails Mills this summer. Located conveniently at the intersections of main routes 29 and 30 near Johnstown and just south of Great Sacandaga Lake, is this world class museum with an amazing collection of wildlife mounts. Hundreds of lifelike animals, fish, and birds are on display. There are many display cases showing the evolution of sporting equipment in firearms, fishing tackle, decoys, and more. The building is also home to the NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in a separate room.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

OUTDOORS: Central New York provides several ways to enjoy the outdoors

Once, in what was not as long ago as it seems, families used to look forward to a week or two of vacation. Now, for a lot of people thanks to the “new economy” even if they get a vacation, it may be hard to take one since spouses may have different schedules or the economic situation may make it difficult. Sometimes even get-away weekends are tough because of schedules or working a second job.

We don’t have an answer for the economy but there are ways that people can adapt. Sometimes nearby vacations, shorter vacations, or even day trips can help make a fun summer and take advantage of our outdoor resources here in central NY.

One way to provide a “stay-cation” for the family is to have the family camp at a nearby state park like Verona Beach, Delta Lake or others. That way one spouse and the children can enjoy a change of scenery and activities like swimming, hiking, fishing, etc. yet it is close enough for the other spouse to commute to work during the day.

Even for day trips, our state parks provide a great getaway. Most of them are on a body of water that provides swimming, picnic areas and other activities that make for a fun day for the family. Boat launches provide access to fishing areas on that water.
Fishing remains a realistic option for a day activity. Combine that with a picnic, hike or other activities to make a fun day for the family. Remember that youngsters have a shorter attention span and like action that panfish can provide.

Some of the larger streams such as the West Canada Creek, Fish Creek and Mohawk River provide good trout fishing all summer. The Chenango River and Black River offer pike, walleye and bass fishing in addition to panfish. All of these are within an easy drive.

Oneida Lake remains a premier fishery if you have a boat or access to one. But many smaller waters in the area are suitable for fishing from a canoe or car-top boat.

The Madison County reservoirs such as Leland Pond, Lake Moraine and Eatonbrook Reservoir are accessible, scenic and offer a variety of fishing. Also, consider Canadarago Lake, Delta Lake, Redfield Reservoir and Prospect Pond.

Even if conditions are not ideal for fishing or the family isn’t interested, consider that these are great for a canoe trip. Go with friends and plan on dropping off a second vehicle for streams such as the Chenango River or West Canada Creek. Just be sure that you know the conditions ahead of time and avoid dangerous areas such as the Ohio Gorge or Railroad Rapids on the West Canada Creek.

There are lots of places to hike depending on your ambition and the ability of your group. These range from the Erie Canal towpath to the trails of Highland Forest. State forests in northern Oneida County beyond Camden or southern Madison County near Erieville offer truck trails for interesting hiking and there is virtually no traffic in summer. Consider the trails at Stony Pond State Forest or at Rogers Center in Sherburne. Combine a hike with nature exploration and a family picnic.
Check out the Rome Fish Hatchery or the Beaver Lake Nature Center. Visit Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Even though the vegetation makes viewing more difficult in summer, you can still see the eagle and osprey nests and other wildlife. Lakeview Marsh Wildlife Management Area on Lake Ontario north of Sandy Pond offers five ponds, two streams to paddle, fish, view wildlife and a chance to get to the sandy beaches of Lake Ontario.

For short vacations or get-aways within a short distance of central New York, consider the Finger Lakes, Thousand Islands and central Adirondacks. There are state parks and campgrounds, a wide variety of other accommodations and dining. And of course there are a variety of things to do.

What is the longest water ride in the central Adirondacks? It’s the upper Moose River above and below Old Forge with easy access, but you think you are in remote wilderness. Take your canoe or kayaks or rent them from Tickners Outfitters (315-369-6286). Fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and all the traditional water sports are available around the Inlet (1-866-GOINLET) and Old Forge (315-369-6983) region.

These are only some of the main things that come to mind. With a little thought and creativity you can find others. But whatever your situation, make the effort to get out and enjoy the outdoor recreation that we have in our area this summer.


LOO SUMMER ISSUE: The summer issue of Lake Ontario Outdoors is out and available at several area locations. Pick up your free copy at Hanifin Tires, Sweet Temptations Café or Philipsons. Feature articles include targeting the big king salmon summer, guides then and now, summer fishing for muskies, the Oneida Lake walleye hatchery and locations for fishing the Golden Crescent. Other regular departments such as fly tieing, recipes, news and conservation column are included.

VNSP EVENT: Vernon National Shooting Preserve on July 8 will hold a benefit for the Hunt of a Lifetime program. This non-profit organization provides hunting and fishing trips for seriously ill youngsters. Bring your shotgun or bow and support a good cause. Contact Bonny at 982-7045 or for details.

SPEY NATION: The popular “Spey Nation” day featuring the two-handed rods returns to the Pineville Boat Launch on the Salmon River on July 14. It will be 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and feature 15 Spey Rod Manufacturers, over 30 companies on display and a free barbeque.

Spey Nation features a full BBQ, raffles, "On the water" demonstrations and interaction with some of the biggest names in two-handed casting. Anglers have the opportunity to learn techniques from the experts, try specialized equipment on the water and talk with other fishermen.

Proceeds to the raffle will be donated to the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club, an organization dedicated to restoring runs of native Atlantic Salmon to Fish Creek.
FIRE TOWER TRAILS: Common Man Books has just released the latest in its popular series of hiking and guide books. The book “29 Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains” is about the 29 remaining fire towers, all of which are part of the ADK Firetower Challenge. In this book they have included explicit directions from Interstate highways, where to park, what you might see and what the authors found. They also included GPS readings and more than 60 full color photos.

You can ask for this book at your local bookstore or outfitter or order it from the publisher, Common Man Books at: or call them, toll free at: 866-793-0555.

TICK PREVENTION: Summer is prime time to be outdoors but unfortunately it is also the main time for deer ticks which carry Lyme Disease. Experts suggest wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants tucked into your socks. Realistically most people will not do this in the hot humid weather.

The next best thing is to cover all exposed skin with an insect repellent. Remember that Permithrin is effective but it is nasty stuff and should only be used on clothing, never on bare skin.

Try to avoid tall weeds and grass and avoid sitting on stonewalls or wet leaves where ticks love to hide in warm weather. Check when you return home and remove any tick with a tweezer.

BACKPACKING TIP: If you run out of sunscreen on a backpacking camping trip you can use white toothpaste in a emergency. Spread a thin coat to cover crucial areas and prevent burning.