View Full Version : Blackbeard Island NWR Hunt Cancelled Over Dead

10-31-2003, 02:43 AM

Savannah Morning News:

Archery hunters participating in the managed deer hunts at the Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge this past week not only had an abrupt awakening Friday morning, but also found their hunt privileges suddenly cancelled.

The story is that someone killed a rattlesnake, brought it back to the camping area, then took it to the men's restroom, apparently placing it next to or around a commode.

An unsuspecting hunter in the early morning hours before daylight came to use the facility, and as you might guess, was more than startled.

Not only did it not set well with the hunter, but also not well with those in charge of the hunt. I'm not exactly sure what transpired next, but I heard that there was a campwide wake-up call, that those in charge tried to get whomever placed the rattler in the restroom to admit it. No one did, so the hunt was cancelled. The three-day hunt started Thursday and was to end Saturday.

I do not have the exact number of hunters participating in the event, but one source said there were 174.

According to Donny Browning, project leader for the Savannah Coastal Refuges, which includes Blackbeard Island and who was not on Blackbeard Island at the time, the hunts can be cancelled if safety becomes a concern. He also said he would be reviewing all the facts involved in the incident.

Not only was it a bad joke, the person or persons who killed the rattlesnake were in violation of federal laws that protect all wildlife on a National Wildlife Refuge except certain species selected for removal for management purposes.

Outdoor Editor John Burke can be reached at 652-0299 or jburke@savannahnow.com.