David Petersen wrote: Etter — My apologies if I missed something earlier, but where is this island? From the name and photos (eerily beautiful)it’s obviously the deep South. I believe Blackbeard’s ship was sunk off the Carolina Outer Banks so am guessing that’s the area. Is there an actual history to go with the name? Congrats on your deer. The smallness you speak of is a biological effect called, no surprise, the island effect. Populations stranded on islands with no major predators gradually switch their adaptive evolutionary strategy from Bigger is Better to “more of us can share this place if we’re small and have smaller needs, and since no monsters are chasing and eating us, we can get away with being wee.” The FL Keys deer, smallest deer species on the continent, is the prime example. I doubt smallness makes them any easier to hunt. Certainly the Sonoran Desert Coues whitetail, smallest deer in the interior West, is the most difficult animal I’ve ever hunted and makes an Iowa or Kansas cornfield buster book look like a dummy. Sounds like a fantastic annual adventure for anyone within reach of the place. And maybe you’ll find some buried pirate treasure. 😀
Blackbeard is a barrier island off the coast of south ga. It is in a chain that runs up into south carolina. To go on this hunt, you have to bring your own boat or charter a boat to get you on the 11 mile run to the dock. It is primitive camping but they have showers and a deer cooler. The island is about 5.5 miles long and 1 mile wide at its widest. It’s named Blackbeard Island because the pirate used to hide from the US navy in the treacherous canals and sand bars between the island and the mainland.
It is steeped in natural history. There is an indian burial ground on the place where you can walk through and find pottery, shells, bone shards, etc, as well as a crematorium because the island was used in the late 1800’s to isolate people stricken with yellow fever.
The majority of the island is old growth live oak with a 10-20 foot palmetto understory, but there are also open, grassy savannahs (the deer picture) all over it.
We like the December hunt but there is also a mid October hunt that is very good but leaves you open to more trouble with three types of venemous snakes, alligators, and, worst of all, mosquitos, chiggers, sand gnats, and ticks.