Hunting trip on Jekyll ends in jail
The Brunswick News
January 10, 2013

Two people are in jail after allegedly killing five deer on state-protected Jekyll Island.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officers arrested two individuals at about 11 p.m. Tuesday after responding to a call from the Georgia State Patrol and finding a pickup truck being driven erratically, with five dead deer in the back of it.

Both the driver and passenger were charged with hunting deer at night, hunting from a vehicle and hunting from a public road. The driver was also charged with driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence. The passenger was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Their names were not immediately available.

The confiscated deer were turned over to a processor, who gave the meat to a food bank.

Illegal hunting is a problem this time of the year, said DNR Sgt. Mark Cason. "During this time of the year, during hunting season, it's a big issue for us," Cason said. "We've caught more people this year than years in the past."

Deer have long been a cause for concern on Jekyll Island. A November 2011 DNR study told the Jekyll Island Authority, which operates the state park, that the island's deer are overpopulated and potentially unhealthy.

An estimated population of 700 deer - or one for every eight acres - was more than the island could sustain and could lead to illnesses, the study said. It recommended allowing bow hunting to reduce the number of animals on the island.

Jekyll is in the process of conducting its own research through a deer health assessment and population study.

Cick here to read an IPJI analysis of the deer management issue.