Since we visit Assateague Island many times during the year, this â€śblogâ€ť or review will have a collection of pictures taken through out the years we've been here. To keep them all on the same page, the pictures will be dated the same, but in the comments field, the time of year the picture was taken will be mentioned.
During the summer we go here for the beach, for swimming and to fish. Since I have an OSV (Over Sand Vehicle) permit, we are able to drive out on to the beach and get away from the crowds, and it sure beats having to carry all our stuff from the parking lot, over the dune, and onto the beach! Camping is also allowed on the island year round in the designated camping areas, for a fee of course, and you may stay out on the beach at night and have a fire, but you are not allowed to sleep on the beach. During the summer, the mosquitoes and biting flies can be very bad, so bring lots of good bug spray!
During the fall and winter, October through January, I also come here to bow hunt the Sika Deer that inhabit this island.
Sika Deer are a small â€śAsian Elkâ€ť originally from Japan which was introduced to Assateague Island in the 1920's. The meat is very good, much better than Whitetail Deer in my opinion, and hunting is an effective way to keep the population in check. Whether you are for, against, or just neutral to hunting, it is what I do to put meat in my freezer each year. We very rarely buy beef, because, to be honest, I like to know where my meat comes from, and how it is handled and cared for before I eat it.
The island is also located along the Atlantic migratory flyway, and Assateague Island plays host to over 300 species of both migratory and resident bird species providing a unique opportunity for birders. You can also enjoy bird watching in Virginia at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of America's finest places for bird watching along the East Coast.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge at Assateague (Chincoteague N.W.R.) is one of the richest birding regions in the U.S. with outstanding year-round birding. Assateague Island now has a healthy bald eagle population also.
Lena cooking hotdogs over the fire on Assateague Island. Picture taken 26 July 2008
The Maryland side of Assateague Island is also home to approximately 160 â€świldâ€ť horses. The "wild" horses on Assateague are actually feral animals, meaning that they are descendants of domestic animals that have reverted to a wild state. The Virginia side of the island also has approximately the same number of wild horses, but the two herds are separated by a fence at the Maryland/Virginia border. There are strict rules about coming in contact with the horses, or any of the wild animals on the island. This protects both the animals and you from harm. Please to not approach or attempt to feed them!
There are many activities on the island, and Ocean City, Maryland is only a few minutes drive away where you will find hotels, restaurants, the board walk with many shops and stores, and fishing & beach supplies, and many activities to add to your vacation.
The wild horses near the camp ground.
For much more information on Assateague Island, visit http://www.assateagueisland.com/ or http://www.nps.gov/archive/asis/home.htm