The world famous International Wood Tick Race is held annually, in May, at the Oxbo Resort, in Oxbo, Wisconsin where hundreds of contestants vie for a money prize, champion trophy and the biggest honor of all — the title of Wood Tick Racing Champion.
More than 30 years ago, in the bar of the Oxbo Resort, a man named Dick Kuhnert pulled a tick off of his arm, put it on the bar and watched as it scuttled around. Maybe Dick had spent too much time in the Northwoods, but the idea of a Wood Tick Race was born.
Over the years, the rules of the Wood Tick Race have evolved to the following: Two wood ticks are put in a bulls eye target, the first tick to wander out of the target’s outer circle is the winner of the heat. The loser is then smashed with a gavel. Racing two ticks at a time, the elimination heats continue until only two ticks remain for the championship round.
The most challenging aspect of the race is actually keeping the ticks alive between heats. Some contestants place the ticks on parts of their body, to keep the ticks warm. Other contestants keep the ticks in plastic bags breathing fresh air on the little buggers to keep them alive.
While Dick Kuhnert is no longer with us, his legacy and tick judging gavel have been passed down to his son, Randy Kuhnert. Randy is the “official” Race Official each year.
[Image: Courtesy of Youtube user MsCheshiecat]