Deer and hogs were hunted with blunderbuss and pistols in November and December on Georgia’s Ossabaw and Cumberland Islands. These regular management hunts are held by the State Dept. of Fish and Game and The National Park Service to help control these species and protect sea turtle eggs from being consumed by feral hogs.
By making advance application to the appropriate State and Federal agencies, anyone can go on these three-day camp-out hunts. Transportation is available from Kilkenny Marina to Ossabaw Island and hunters ride on a public ferry boat that leaves from St. Marys to the hunt camp at Plum Orchard on Cumberland Island. Two application cycles are necessary to be drawn for any of the Ossabaw hunts, but the six hunts on Cumberland Island seldom fill. These are very nearly a sure thing if the application is made soon after the period opens June 1.
Hogs may be harvested without limit on both islands and two deer may be taken which do not count towards the state limit of 12 deer a year. Hunts on each of the islands start with archery only hunts, then primitive weapon hunts (muzzleloaders, crossbows and bows on Ossabaw and muzzleloaders, crossbows, bows and cartridge handguns on Cumberland) which are followed by hunts with conventional guns and hog-only hunts.
The success rate is usually very good for repeat hunters who have learned the island. The temptation is to take a walking tour, rather than hunting; but those who seriously stay on stand and hunt, will usually get some game. On Ossabaw this year I took one deer, and had chances at others, and on Cumberland I took two hogs. All of these were shot from tree stands with three muzzleloading pistols.
Facilities on both island include hot showers, coolers for the game, indoor restrooms, electronic charging stations and a dock for loading and unloading. The weather may be highly variable. Temperatures may range to the 80s to down to near 0 degrees F. Rain is common during Georgia’s winter months, but their was none on this year’s hunts.
My hunting tools included a .54-caliber blunderbuss with a round-ball load that was made by Traditions and sold in kit form from Sportsman’s Guide, two models of replica 1858 Remington percussion revolvers from Traditions and Cabelas and a CVA .50-caliber Optima pistol. Game was taken with the handguns, but the blunderbuss failed to score due to mechanical problems and user error.
The cooking section include hints on how to cook cuts of wild-hog meat in the hunting camp and pre-cook one-pot meals that may be frozen and taken on the hunt to provide quick, easy-to-fix eats for hungry hunters.
Ads on this show include a special Halloween hunt-land navigation experience, SIN’s (Synthetic Non-nutritive Inc’s) new popcorn and whole hogs supplied with an accessory pack of hog hair and wood dirt to replicate the real hunt experience
For photos and more information go to:
For a video of the Cumberland Island hunt go to: