My take is that there has been a noticable increase this year in the number of ticks we've seen on the animals. One large buck I shot a couple of weeks ago had his hind quarters covered in the little beasts. Obviously usual warnings re. Lymes apply (anyone know of a spray product that could be used before butchering?), but I'm interested in why the increase might have happened.. working theories:
1. It hasn't increased, I've just noticed it for some reason more.
2. Weather (though why cold winter should have been beneficial I don't know - I think they are inactive during the winter)
3. Increase in (deer) population density on the block - based on the 1st month alone, I'd guess that numbers are +25% on last year
#3 is my favored theory.