Untamed Lowcountry

Oh Deer! Small herd of adorable deer spotted ‘chilling’ on Hilton Head beach

Talk about peak tourist season: Even the deer want to hang on Hilton Head’s beach

A small herd of three, white-tailed deer were spotted on a Hilton Head beach sometime before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.
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A small herd of three, white-tailed deer were spotted on a Hilton Head beach sometime before 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

On Hilton Head Island, you never know what magical form of wildlife you’ll be treated to on the beach.

Some days, thousands of jellyfish clutter the shore. Occasionally, you’ll see an alligator spotted in the surf, or even the world’s rarest sea turtle nesting on the beach.

On Wednesday morning, a small herd of perfectly calm deer surprised beachgoers outside of the Sonesta Resort, located between North Forest and Palmetto Dunes beaches.

Connie Sewall was running on the beach when she came across something she had never seen before in the 15 years since she moved to Hilton Head —a pack of three deer hanging out in the middle of the beach, enjoying the morning with the rest of the beachgoers.

“They were completely chill,” she told the Island Packet. “It was pretty special.”

Sewall said the deer stood there for a few minutes until a dog barked and startled them. They then disappeared into the dunes.

This isn’t the first time Hilton Head deer have made headlines. In 2017, an adorable doe shocked swimmers when it “darted between swimmers” on South Forest Beach.

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A deer surprises swimmers on the Hilton Head Island beach Monday afternoon, July 3, 2017. Steve Doudoukjian Submitted

“Deer are prolific swimmers, and are often seen swimming in rivers and crossing sounds to go from island to island,” columnist David Lauderdale wrote in the Island Packet story.

According to the U.S. United States Department of Agriculture, the island has its own subspecies of white tail deer called the Hilton Head White Tail Deer.

No word on whether the deer on the beach Wednesday were Hilton Head white tails.

Mandy Matney is an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed shark enthusiast from Kansas. She worked for newspapers in Missouri and Illinois before she realized Midwestern winters are horrible, then moved to Hilton Head in 2016. She is the breaking news editor at the Island Packet.
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