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Oconee River in October

Posted By: Ryan Hines
Location: Somewhere between Milledgeville and Soperton GA
Photographer: Ryan Hines
Boat: 2 Old Town Tripper 17's

My good friend of many years Jon Hollinshead and I paddled 120 miles on the Oconee River in October 2012. Of course, we chose Old Town Tripper 17" Royalex canoes, both made in the 1980's and still going strong. The trip started in Milledgeville Georgia, and we paddled and fished for 9 days and nights going at a leisurely pace over the "fall line" and into the coastal plane. 2012 was a low water year for Georgia, so there were many navigational challenges, primarily a constant need to avoid running into downed trees in the river at all places imaginable. We camped on large sandbars found around nearly every turn in the river's winding path, and slept in the open by the fire every night; sun baked fire wood was abundant in the form of driftwood left on the sandbars from periods of higher water. October in Georgia is probably one of the best times to hit the river since it is not too cold for comfort yet the bugs have mostly become dormant and the water is generally at it's lowest before winter rains bring the level up. The fishing is exceptional then since they are feeding heavily, getting ready for the coming winter. A trip to be remembered for many years to come.





Boy Saves Deer During Kayak Trip on the Tobique River
boydeer1It was as happy an ending as the beloved Walt Disney story of Bambi when an 11 year old boy rescued a newborn deer trapped in mud along a river in northern New Brunswick, Canada. Benjamin Thibodeau was on a camping trip in Riley Brook earlier this summer when he spotted a small animal sticking out of the water along the Tobique River. From his Old Town kayak, he could see a little head, ears and some white sots. He thought it might be a baby deer. The boy called to his father; who was on shore, and quickly paddled over to the animal. When he reached the banks of the river; he saw the deer was up to his belly in mud, its four spindly legs buried deep along the bank. With no leverage to free itself, it couldn't move. Wasting very little time Benjamin pulled the deer out of the mud and then with the help of his father moved it to safety. Happily, the next morning both of them woke up to the sight of the deer standing outside the door of their tent with its mother and sibling.