I recently caught a fox and it was loaded with deer ticks.
I was wondering what was the best method/practice to remove them. I pulled off the larger ones but now there are alot of tiny ones(pin head sized) crawling over the hide.
If you want, you can just set it outside somewhere for a day or two, and they will crawl off on ther own. No blood circulating means no food for them, so they will move on. The freezer is good though, as it will keep the hide cold and there will be no chance of spoilage.
roll it up, put it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer. That is the advice my taxidermist gave me.
I do this with all of mine then at the end of the season start putting them up. Kills them and this way they don't get on another one.
FYI Freezing them doesnt kill ticks. If that were the case they would die throught the winter as we surely have periods where freezing temperatures would kill them off. Burning ticks is the only way to kill them besides using chemicals like sprays.
The trouble is that when they leave the dead host, if they are not engorged, they are going to be actively searching for a new host. You, your kids, your dogs, whatever.....
There has been way too many cases of Lyme's disease popping up around here lately to let any tick get a Get-outta-jail-Free card from my garage.
As long as they have 48 hours of that 30 day life cycle remaining, you're taking a gamble by letting them go free.