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This time of year we all get cabin fever and when spring turkey season comes it seems like we’ve been let out of our proverbial winter cages. The weather is warming up, vegetation is greening up, and the time to take on the challenge of hunting a mature long-beard is finally here!

Like any foray into the woods or open country, spring turkey season does have its share of challenges and pitfalls, however. Besides the difficult task of harvesting a mature long-beard in his living room, we have to deal with the onset of spring growing season.

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is dealing with ticks and emerging gnats and mosquitos that have had too much “time off” in the winter and are ready to get to work on sucking the blood out of my system when I’m minding my own business in the new lush green cover that spring has to offer.

You know the drill - as soon as you get home you do the full body search to ensure you didn’t miss any of the creepy-crawlies that became attached to your company in the morning turkey sit and/or stalk. Sometimes I resort to using certain insect repellents but most of the time I just deal with the suffering because I hate putting repellent on and the smell is often overpowering.

For years, we here at Eastmans’ and Wingmen have been using some products that actually treat these annoying bug bites (yes, I said the word “bug”, even though my entomology professor in college would disown me for not using the proper “insect” or “arthropod” terminology) from a company called Tecnu (pronounced ‘tek-new’). The products from Tecnu are no joke and are like a portable miracle-worker you get to take with you in the field. One of their products that works amazingly well after the hunt is called Calagel. It takes away the itching and stinging of bug bites.

Another added bonus of Calagel is that if you happen to be stalking a tom turkey through some fresh spring growth that you later find out was poison ivy, oak, or sumac, it will take away the burning sensation of the rash that is a symptom of dancing with poison plants by mistake. Think you don’t live in an area where poison ivy, oak, or sumac is? Think again! These plants are rampant across our country, especially in waterways and low-lying pastures - right where you tend to find turkeys in the spring! In fact, even in many of the river systems in the dry and arid state of Wyoming where people are spring turkey hunting or fishing are full of poison oak.

The moral of the story is this: we always have to deal with challenges in the field, or after being in the field, and thank the good Lord above that companies like Tecnu exist to keep you from suffering for doing what you love to do. You can see their full line of products at

Get prepared. Stay prepared. Hunt hard!


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