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Caution - Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy in Early Spring  

Most of you probably think about turkey season, green grass, and fishing as the winter turns to spring.   I think about Poison Ivy!  I was reminded of it this past weekend as my son and I walked through the woods behind my house. 

As Riley and I cruised through the mature oak hollow I soon realized that we had managed to walk into a maze of tiny red leaflets.  This new growth seemed to pop from the earth and surround us just for spite.  I picked up Riley and he got a free ride out of the woods.  The bad part was that there was nothing free about my journey through this maze of poisonous plants.  You?ve probably heard others say, ?If I look at poison ivy I get it?.  Well, that saying seems to apply to me.  You would think that after years of dousing calamine on my skin I would learn, but it seems that this pesky plant always gets the best of me. 

After maneuvering through the woods I thought it would be a good time to teach Riley about poison ivy.  The one thing my Dad always told me that seemed to stick was, ?Leaves of three, Let it be?.  Others that I?ve heard are, ?One, Two, Three, Don?t touch me?, and ?Red leaflets in the spring, it?s a dangerous thing?.  These mnemonics are a neat way to teach kids about the outdoors. 

As we enter springtime and make plans to chase turkeys through the countryside these plants are often hidden and harder to spot.  Check out the video below and see how it's hard to see in early spring.  These are the times that it usually gets me.  I?m pretty conscious of it in the late spring and summer when the leaves are broad and green and cover the edges of the timber, but I often forget about the early spring when it's hard to see.  Believe me when I tell you it's not any less potent in early spring.  I?ve found that washing the areas of the skin that have contacted the plant as soon as possible helps.  One tip would be to make sure you take off your watch when washing your arms.  I have made the mistake of not doing this in the past and paid the price.  I haven?t really found a cost effective remedy as I?d almost rather go to the doctor to get rid of it. 

Does anyone have a good remedy to share? 

How does this pesky plant affect your hunts?  I have buddies that get on me about how aware I am of it.  They seem to be able to sit in the middle of it with no consequence.  I have learned to respect it on the other hand. 

SCDNR has some good info on poison ivy.  A couple tidbits I picked up from reading their website is that only 70% of the U.S. population is allergic to poison ivy.  That means that 30% of the population is very very lucky.  Also, I didn't realize that poison ivy produces a fruit that is popular with wildllife.  Maybe it is not so bad after all.  Scratch that last statement.  Caution - Poison Ivy is bad!


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