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Deer Allergies… Can They Kill You?

by Dustin DeCroo 5. July 2010 17:07
Dustin DeCroo

Yes, they absolutely can.  Allergies to deer and other ungulates are fairly rare, but can be quite dangerous for the people that are affected.  A quick google search can provide you with more evidence than would ever seem possible.

At the age of seven years I experienced an allergic reaction that has continued to harass me for more than two decades worth of big game seasons.  A cool fall day, my dad and I were traveling from Laramie to Gillette, Wyoming through Sybil Canyon.  Sybil Canyon was home to (and may still be) a wildlife refuge where animals were kept for a number of reasons.  We passed a couple of big mule deer bucks with swollen necks and dad stopped to allow me to get a better look.  As I walked to the tall fence one of the deer approached me and actually let me rub his nose and the top of his head.  Sporting the biggest grin a toothless seven year old could show, we crawled back into the little Mazda pickup and headed home.  Literally in a matter of minutes my eyes were swollen completely shut, my face and throat were extremely itchy and I became slightly wheezy.  Dad buried the pedal on the four cylinder engine to get to the nearest, well… anything.  We eventually reached a convenience store where I was able to wash my hands and face and almost immediately the swelling, itching and wheeziness subsided.  Since that day, I’ve found that I’m also allergic to antelope, elk, mule deer and whitetails… wild hogs haven’t ever given me a problem.

In 2007 this particular buck gave me a bad reaction, but thanks to Dead Down Wind bar soap I was able to eliminate it fairly quickly. 

Allergy doctors have offered a variety of solutions, but the two that I have personally contacted gave me the one solution that just won’t fly… quit deer hunting.  I have always wondered why I couldn’t be allergic to something like… knitting needles, instead of my favorite activity on the planet.  In the last few years I have met only a few people that suffer from the same allergy and have been able to discuss prevention/treatment tactics for the reactions.  I have found a handful of products and methods that have helped a great deal in preventing the annoyances.

I actually have a small Ziploc in which I carry a few items in my “anti-allergy” kit.  The first thing I pack when it comes to preventing an outbreak is some sort of field dressing gloves.  My personal favorites are the Primos Guttin Gloves, they are a shoulder length glove that come with a regular latex glove so that you still have maneuverability in your fingers.  Shoulder length gloves probably aren’t necessary unless you’re trying to be extremely careful, as you would with an animal that is going on the wall, but that is the main goal of the majority of my hunts.  The second item is a small piece of bar soap.  I usually use Dead Down Wind Bar Soap and I’ll cut off a piece the size of a cheese cube for my kit. The last item in my kit is a standard outdoor wet wipe.  They are biodegradable, have no scent and have a variety of uses.   It goes without saying, but water is extremely important to carry as well.  When I wash my hands and face after field dressing an animal, I generally have very mild if any type of reaction.  A couple of Benadryl tablets always manage to find their place at the bottom of my Ziploc as well.





Primos Guttin Gloves

All these products are available at when you click the ‘Shopping’ tab at


Primos Hunting Light Series - The Perfect Flashlights for Hunters?

by Justin Zarr 26. February 2009 14:36
Justin Zarr

For many years the standard Maglite has ruled the roost for the majority of hunters.  I've owned more D-Cell Maglites and Mini-Maglites than I can even recall, half of them which mysteriously ended up in the black abyss of flashlight oblivion, the other half of which the flashlight gnomes made off with while I slept.  While on the hunt (no pun intended) for a new light I ran across the new Hunting Light Series from Primos.

The first thing that caught my eye on these new lights was their brightness in comparison to their size.  While the standard Maglite does a great job for what it is, carrying around a 4, 5, or 6 cell Maglite can be a real pain.  The largest of the Primos Hunting Lights is the PH-6 which runs on 6 AA batteries and puts out a whopping 220 lumens.  On the brightest setting the PH-6 has a continuous burn time of 10 hours, and 18 hours on the low setting.  By comparison, a 4 D-Cell Maglite with standard Krypton lamp puts out 122 lumens with a run time of 9-10 hours.  So you're looking at nearly twice the brightness with the same continuous run time in a considerably smaller package.  Even the monster 6 cell Maglite with Xenon lamp only puts out 12 more lumens than the PH-6.

Stepping down one size in the Hunting Light Series is the PH-2 which is comparable in size to a Mini Maglite 2 AA model.  The PH-2 uses the same AA batteries and has a 90 lumen rating and 6 hour burn time compared to the Mini Maglite's 15 lumens and 5 hour run time.  One additional feature of the PH-2 that I like over the Mini Maglite is the push-button on/off switch located on the back of  the light.  I know from using my Mini Maglite all season that it can be a pain to turn it on or off using the twist switch when you've only got one free hand - especially with gloves on.  The PH-2 also features a rubber "bite guard" which allows you to hold the light in your mouth easily when you need both hands.

The smallest model in the new Primos lineup is the PH-1.  This light uses a single AA battery, has a bright 90 lumen rating, and 3 hour burn time.  The coolest feature about this light is that it comes with a metal hat clip for use when walking in or out of your stands in the dark.  What I like about this is that you can use the light to walk into your stand, then take it off your hat and use it if needed once you get into your stand.  This will really come in handy next fall when we're filming hunts, as setting the camera up in the dark can be a pain in the butt.  While you can always take a traditional headlamp off and use it as a flashlight, having the rubber bite-guard  definitely puts the PH-1 near the top of my list of gear additions for this fall.

The Hunting Light series from Primos should be available in May, and as soon as they are released you can bet we'll have them in stock and ready for sale here at  Suggested retail costs are as follows:

  • PH-6 - $54.99
  • PH-2 - $34.99
  • PH-1 - $29.99

More ATA Products from Primos, ASAT, Sims, and More

by Scott Abbott 12. January 2009 06:32
Scott Abbott

Primos added another call to their line up in the Little Big Roar.  This call is a scaled down version of the original Buck Roar.  This compact call features a wooden barrel rather than rubber, it also lacks the snort wheeze feature of it's larger counter part.  The Buck Roar has been my go-to call for it's ultra realistic deep grunts.  It is one of the few calls I have used where you can get great volume for longer calling without breaking up and sounding terrible.  I look forward to see if the Little Big Roar can live up to the original call's sound.

ASAT camouflage has a new 3D suit out that is identical to the ones from the past except for one feature.....  Snow camo!  The suit looks like it will fill a niche currently lacking in the market, a 3D winter camo outfit.  These suits are made of a mesh base with polyester "leaves" sewn to the mesh.  I have used the standard ASAT leafy suit for years and have always been extremely pleased with it's performance and durability.  Another great tool for those late season hunters.

Sims Vibration Labs is a company who revolutionized the way we look at reducing vibration and noise from our bow setups.  I can still remember when people said they would never put those "ugly mushrooms" on their bows limbs. Look at Sims today, the leader in sound and vibration control.  For this year a product of theirs I took notice of was the redesign of what may be the best selling stabilizer ever, the S-Coil.  They lengthened it, but removed material from four sections of it, now making it look more like a "+".  These "arms" should soak up more vibration than the old style working separately to cancel any oscillation separately rather than as a whole.

A totally new concept in broadheads was released, it's name The Reign.  This broadhead features a very impressive tip that they call the Shatterhead.  It appears that it would have no trouble breaking it's way through bone upon entry / exit.  What makes this broadhead so uniques is the blades actually swivel when they come in contact with bone to increase penetration and to keep your arrow's path true through the animal without it changing course via deflection.  The Swiveltech blades automatically recenter after contact with bone leaving a 1 3/8"s wound channel through the animal.  It is constructed of 100% stainless with a .03" blade thickness.  The two photos to follow show the Swiveltech blades centered and then offset.


Archery Trade Association - 2009 Day 1 Products

by Todd Graf 8. January 2009 15:23
Todd Graf

Its that time of the year when the anticiaption is high of what bowhunting manufacturers will be coming out with this year.  As always I feel like a kid in a candy store looking at all of the new products being released right now in Indy at the largest archery show of the year. I am not going to go into much depth now but here is what I have seen so far. Photos will be uploaded when I get back into town.

Octane introduces the new Bantam Weight Quiver which is a one piece quiver that's super lightweight, compact, and the 4 arrow design keeps your arrows tight to the bow.   This quiver features the same popular quick-detach as the standard Octane quivers and is super lightweight for those of you who thought the magentic-hood quivers were a little on the heavy side.  It is also adjustable in both length and offset to fit just about any bow/arrow combination just right.

Dead Down Wind - this company always seems to come up with cool ideas ever year.  For 2009 here is what I like - a totally odorless oil which can be used on everything from the axles in your bow to your dropaway rests, releases, and even any firearms you may take out after bow season. They also have a new wind checkmate product which uses an average 2 micron particle size that delivers the perfect cloud for monitoring wind currents and ScentPrevent technology. This way no matter what conditions you are hunting in you will know which way the wind is going. They have also increased the size of the bottle to 3-4 times of most of their competitors for the same price. 

Cottonwood Outdoors - I know all of us have a deer stand that needs a new seat. Cottonwood has you covered! They are making replacement treestand seat covers for just about all treestands on the market. Plus these seat covers are lined with Weathershield which is a totally waterproof fabric.  This means not only will your seat be dry, but it won't rot out as easily when left in the field for long periods of time.

Viper Archery - The Barrel. This completley new target is very innovative. Instead of shooting into the layers of a traditional square layered targer, you are shooting into a 360 degree shooting surface. Its innovative wrapped design absorbs energy from high speed arrows, and arrows will stop with minimum penetration and its wrapped with weather resistant vinyl graphics.

Natural Predator Outdoor Products - If you want to make your own carbon suit time and time again now you can. All you have to do is Mix, Dip, Hang & Store. The TRU-Carbon H20 Pellets dissolves instantly in water. You Dip your clothing in and let it hang dry and you're ready to go.  We tried it out on a pair of stinky socks, and sure enough it worked great! 

Primos - the mini bloodhunter plus will help you find your blood trail. This new mini bloodhunter has 95 lumen white LED which serves as a standad light along with two additional red and green LEDs to make blood trailing easily.  It features a burn time of 4 hours on the 2 red/green LEDs,  6 hours on 2 reduced LEDS, and 8 hours the single white LED. Hopefully all of you find your deer within the first hour or so but this little light can sure make a differecne when bloodtrailing gets tough.

Copper John now offers replaceable fiber optic pins for their popular line of sights. So if you happen to break a pin in the field, it's no problem to replace them quickly and easily. This can be done in 60 seconds and you'll be back in hunting in no time.

Cherry Hill Outdoos has a cool product called the Quiet Range Finder Holder.  This product keeps your rangefinder close at hand, is extremely quiet, and has retractable cord to prevent you from dropping or losing your expensive rangefinder.  It can be used for right or left handed users, and can be secured to your binocular straps.

White Knuckle Productions new video for 2009 is called Full Circle and features several awesome hunting stories from the WKP team.  From the fields and forests of the Midwest including Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin you'll see two bucks over 190 inches harvested on this video, 2 over 160 inches, and several more over 130 inches.  This video is 100% bowhunting and features real-world fair-chase, self-guided hunts.  Look for this new DVD to be availble here on in early spring.

If you've read my blog at all you'll know I'm a big fan of the Reconyx trail cameras.  New for this year are the MC65 Solocam IR.  This camera has a 1/5 second trigger speed, 1 photo per second write speed, full HD 1080 photo definition, and is fully concealed in the Mathews Lost camo.  You can bet I'll have one of these out in the field as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Predator Trail cameras has updated their firmware for this year to provide even easier one-touch setup that is super fast and super easy to use.  Their cameras also feature improved battery life and improved cold weather performance as well.  New for this year is an external battery combo that will provide up to 4 months of battery life for extended use.

Mrs. Doe Pee has a pretty cool product, that probably isn't new, but I think it's neat!  It's a wind checking device that contains an estrous scent to lure in bucks during the prime time.  So checking the wind more often could just lure in that buck of a lifetime - like the one Sam Collora shot below.  This buck never ceases to impress me no matter how many times I've seen it.  He's awesome!

One of our top sellers for 2008 was the original Hooyman saw, and new for this year is a 10' version.  Now you can reach even further with this compact extendible saw that folds down to 28" when closed.  You can bet we'll be adding these to our arsenal for this fall as well!

Check back tomorrow for full updates on all the other new products that we find at this year's ATA Show.

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