Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 2 SPRING 2016 - Page 33

The Gibson Inn, built in 1907 of native heart pine and black cypress, is an exmple of Florida “Cracker” Architecture and is on the Register of Historic Places. Photo by Colin Hackley Reserve accessible only by boat. Farther west, St. Vincent Island was once a private hunting and fishing preserve that became a 12,300 acre National Wildlife Refuge in 1968. Initially owners introduced a variety of exotic wildlife to the island. A population of sambar deer, an elk native to Southeast Asia, still roams the island today. Adult sambar deer average 500 to 600 pounds – much larger than the native whitetail deer that average between 100 to 130 pounds on the refuge. These two species have coexisted on St. Vin