Assateague Island Sika Deer
Assateague Island Sika Deer offer visitors the chance to see unusual wildlife, often close-up. The deer are present on areas of Assateague National Sea Shore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers over 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and forest habitat. All but 418 acres of the refuge is located in Virginia. Assateague Island itself occupies about 24 square miles.
Sika Deer are usually not hard to spot for enthusiasts that are familiar with their habits. The small, elk-like deer inhabit marshy areas, underbrush and the pine forests of Assateague. The deer are usually not concerned with humans that don't approach too quickly or aggresively. Visitors can look for sika deer along the main road, along the short drive to the beach, and while hiking the many trails.
Of particular interest to those wishing to spot sika deer is the Wildlife Loop. The area is open to hiking all day and vehicles are allowed from 3pm to Dusk. The Wildlife Loop meanders thru forest, marsh, and back across the lagoon, allowing visitors to see a wide variety of bird species.
Sika deer hunting is permitted in order to control the population. Hunters can find out more on seasons and restrictions by contacting the refuge.
Submitted by: cin