Ossabaw Island hunt with Crossbow and Flintlock

E-mail palm tree and golden marsh Ossabaw Is.

A view of the marsh off Ossabaw Island, one of Georgia's "Golden Isles"

  Hunts on Georgia’s coastal islands are a different kind of deer hunting experience, particularly when done with a RMC flintlock rifle and Horton 175 lb. Super Max crossbow. Ossabaw Island is an almost magical place in the fall with huge oaks and palm trees dripping with Spanish Moss and good hunting to be had if you are willing to walk far and drag back.

E-mail Typical tent camps Ossabaw Is

Tent camps are needed for the 3-day hunts. A charter boat brings hunters to the island.

  The island is part of a GA WMA and the quota hunt is open to out-of -state and in-state applicants. There are gun hunts for deer and hogs and primitive weapons combination hunts (early Nov.) during which two deer may be taken along with an unlimited number of hogs.

  This year I chose a Rightnour .50-caliber flintlock rifle and the Horton Super Max crossbow. For the hog I set up over a wallow at an abandoned water-well head and took a pig at 35 yards. For the deer I walked in about 1 1/2-miles and took it adjacent to the marsh. The shot here was at about 8-yards. The Grim Reaper head with its extra-long blades took out the animal nicely leaving a good blood trail about 100-yards long.

E-mail Deer sled with gear and deer

A handy plastic sled (L.L. Bean Catalogue) for dragging out deer.

  On these hunts you are taken out on trailers (take a cushion with you), put out  before daylight, picked up to come in for lunch (and to bring your game in) and put out again for an evening hunt. Before hogs could be shot, success rates on deer were often about 100 percent. Now that hunters are also fooling with hogs, deer success rates have declined to around 50%.

E-mail Detail of small Ossabaw hog and RMC flintlock

Roasting pig taken with RMC flintlock.

  If you are willing to walk to the best areas away from your drop-off point, hunt all day and drag your game back some distance; your probability of success on this hunt is very good. If you sit in one spot and expect to be overrun by bunches of deer and hogs you are likely to be disappointed.

E-mail Pieball Ossabaw doe taken with Horton Super Max 175 Crossbow

A crossbow deer taken from GA's Ossabaw Island. Although limited to about 40 yards, crossbows are very effective for island hunting.

 Ossabaw hunts are among the state’s most popular hunts and it generally takes two or three attempts to be drawn. There are also archery hunts, parent-child hunts, cartridge gun hunts and hog-only quota hunts. The archery hunts are held first. These are often in hot, very bugy weather and are the easiest ones to draw.  

Rifle, crossbow and point furnished by manufacturers.

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