2-Year Gear Test: ElimiTick Clothing

Because of my job with North American Hunter, friends and acquaintances who share my passion for shooting and hunting often ask me for gear advice. And while I'm flattered that someone thinks I might know a thing or two, I usually don't wholeheartedly promote a product unless I've had a lot of time to use it under real-world conditions.

One such item that has proven itself effective for me over and over again is Gamehide ElimiTick Insect Repellent Clothing.

I know . . . you've probably never heard of it. And that's too bad, because as far as I'm concerned, it's one of the best products that has flown under the radar of most men and women who live the sporting life.

First, let me give you a bit of background. I live in southeast Minnesota, which has a fair number of ticks (both deer ticks and regular ticks), and while I hunt a bit close to home, I spend the vast majority of my time in the woods in western Wisconsin and river-bottoms of eastern South Dakota. I've hunted western Wisconsin for nearly 40 years, and simply stated, it's lousy with ticks, and a very high percentage of them are deer ticks. Thankfully, the land I hunt in eastern South Dakota has fewer ticks than Wisconsin, and it's rare to find a SoDak deer tick.

I bowhunt for deer in WI and SD just about every weekend from mid September until the end of December, and I'm in the turkey woods on these same properties for much of April and May. And when I'm not hunting, I'm usually working on food plots, taking down or placing treestands, checking scouting cams, etc. In other words, hardly a weekend goes by during the entire year that I'm not in the woods doing something tied to deer or turkey hunting.

My family and friends share my outdoor passions, so they, too, are often with me in the field. But I have ElimiTick clothing and they don't.

Let me cut to the chase: For 2 years now, I've been wearing ElimiTick pants and shirts whenever there's a possibility for ticks. I also wear LaCrosse Grange knee-high rubber boots and tuck my pant legs into the boots. I don't spray tick repellent on my boots or clothing.

During this spring's turkey season, I found one tick (regular variety) crawling on me. And because I made it a ritual to check in with my half-dozen buddies who turkey hunted with me (same properties) as to what they were finding for ticks, I know for a fact that in total they found dozens. FYI: They also wore knee-high rubber boots (pants tucked in), so the only significant difference in our gear was my ElimiTick clothing.

Is this scientific proof of the clothing's effectiveness? Of course not. But spring after spring, summer after summer, and fall after fall (for 2 years now), my buddies are finding numerous ticks and I am not. To me, that's evidence enough.

So how does Gamehide's ElimiTick clothing work? It utilizes Insect Shield Repellent Technology to bond a man-made version of a natural repellent to fabric fibers. According to the product label, the active ingredient is so tightly bonded that repellency effectiveness is retained throughout the expected life of the garment (70 washings).

And the deer hunter in me really loves this part: The repellent in the garment is odorless!

Fine print: ElimiTick is the first ever EPA-registered, insect repellent clothing. The United States EPA issues a consumer labeling rating for each product it registers, and Insect Shield repellent products have been rated category IV, which is the most favorable rating. It's been deemed appropriate for use by infants and children of all ages. The rating is determined by the most severe rate of exposure: i.e. oral, dermal, inhalation.