I hadn't realized how bad things have gotten back there in the east. When I lived there over twenty years ago and handled LOTS of deer in my taxidermy business, it was rare to find an animal with ticks in its fur. Unfortunately, they are also fairly common here in Montana.
One thing I used to do with any animal that had critters crawling around on its skin (especially coyotes) was to skin it immediately and as quickly as possible, put the hide in a plastic bag, and freeze it. Then when I wanted to work on the skin, I wouldn't have to worry about those insects.
Anyway, hope you guys stay safe and healthy.