The Deer That Liked to Swim

On the 8th I started my initial morning scan over the water at McGulpin Point and my eye was caught by a deer’s head poking up out of the water about .4 miles out in the straits! I watched it through my scope for a few minutes while a huge cargo ship went between it and St. Helena’s Island. He was a young spike buck appearing to be heading to St. Helena Island in search of an exotic island mate. About 15 minutes later he turned around realizing how unlikely it would be for him to survive the swim. I was amazed that he came ashore directly in front of me and stood in the water watching me for a moment then darted to the left and ran through the shallow water and then up the rocky shore into the forest in a matter of seconds. I was expecting him to struggle to walk ashore after all of that swimming but he was fully able to run through the water. He was lucky in that the waves were low (1.4 feet) but the water was a chilly 52F. The only mammal that I thought was possible to see in the water was a river otter but deer like to swim too!

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