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Conservation Officer's Office

Hunting Aboard the Air Station

As a strategy to reduce bird or wildlife aircraft strike hazards on the airfield, authorized users may hunt aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. To do so, users must have a valid North Carolina state hunting license and purchase an air station hunting permit from the Marine Corps Exchange Firearms Desk. Hunters must have a North Carolina hunting license and must attend the Cherry Point Hunter Orientation Class that is given at noon, every other Friday at the Jerry Marvel Training and Education Center. Hunter Orientation is required every three years for returning users.

At MCAS Cherry Point and its properties, the white-tailed deer is the most common species that is targeted. There are three primary weapon types authorized for use when deer hunting:  bow or crossbow, muzzleloader, and shotgun. These weapons are each designated a season for use:  Bow/crossbow: Sept. 9 to Jan. 1; Muzzleloader: Sept. 30 to Jan. 1; and Shotgun: Oct. 14 to Jan. 1. There are areas designated as bow- and gun-hunting (training) throughout the installation (See the map).

As a safety reminder, Oct. 1, 2023, through Jan. 1, 2024, trails and timber access roads within regulated gun hunting areas are off-limits to unauthorized pedestrian traffic of any kind, as well as unauthorized vehicle traffic. These trails are marked with a blaze orange sign that reads “No Jogging.” While bow areas are not specifically marked, recreational users should be aware of hunting seasons and wear blaze orange if entering an area where hunting occurs.

According to the Natural Resources manager, to prevent overpopulation of white-tailed deer in areas that are not open for hunting, periodic hunts in the Ordnance area are offered. The hunts are very closely regulated due to the nature of the area. “Due to staffing shortages, there have not been any hunts in the Ordnance area this season,” Jessica Guilianelli said, “however, we anticipate holding the scheduled hunt on Dec. 9.”

Command-approved military training for these areas is scheduled through the Range Management Department and takes priority over recreational uses. Training is subject to the restrictions outlined in the Range standards operating procedures (ASO 3550.1B). Maps of training and hunting areas are available at the Conservation Law Enforcement Office, Building 4223.

Contact the Conservation Law Enforcement Office for additional information, rules, and regulations, and to learn more about hunting and fishing opportunities on Cherry Point. Call 252-466-3593 or 252-466-3242.

Hunter Orientation Schedule

Cherry Point hunters must attend the orientation class prior to participating in any hunting related activities onboard the Air Station.  This class is required (in addition to a state Hunter Safety Course) purchase a base hunting or trapping license.  Completion of the orientation is valid for three years.  Hunters do not need to register for orientation.

The orientation class is held at the Training and Education Building (Bldg 4335).  Please check the screen for the classroom number as you enter the building. 

All archers (bow and crossbow) who intend to hunt with archery tackle must complete an Archery Qualification Shot Test.  These tests are administered every Saturday morning at 0900 behind the Fire Training Facility on Access Road. This shot test must be renewed every three years.

Please note that class sizes are currently limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Class attendees must abide by all base COVID-19 regulations when attending class at the T&E Building.

Hunting Dates and Training

     Hunter Orientation Classes 2024
    2024 Proposed Hunt Dates 
    2022 MARFORCOM Hunter's Safety Tips Flyer

Past Season Harvest Information
2019 Hunting Season


  • Number of hunts: 1,595

  • Number of deer harvested in 2019:  85

    • Number of Does: 36  (42%)

    • Number of Bucks: 49  (58%)

    • Average Age: 3.5 years

2014 62 52 114 46%
2015 58 53 111 48%
2016 53 40 93 43%
2017 52 48 100 48%
2018 41 48 89 54%
2019 49 36 85 42%



  • Number of hunts:  110

  • Number of turkeys harvested:  4

    • Average weight:  19.1 lbs

    • Largest:  19.5 lbs

    • Longest Beard:  10 5/8 inches

    • Longest Spurs:  1 1/8 inches

Cherry Point offers multiple hunting and trapping opportunities to military personnel (active and retired), dependents, civilian employees, and their guests.  Hunting opportunities include deer, turkey, dove, various waterfowl, and a number of small game species.  Each hunter (except for guests and children under 16) must take the Cherry Point Hunter Orientation to hunt on the Air Station or any of the outlying fields.  Refer to the homepage or contact the Conservation Officers Office for the next available orientation date.


Licenses and Permits

Each hunter must possess a Cherry Point Hunting Permit in addition to all applicable state and federal licenses.  The Permit can only be purchased after completing the Cherry Point Hunter Orientation and the license if valid for a one year period.  Successful completion of the Orientation remains valid for three years.  Hunters that intend to hunt with archery equipment must also complete an Archery Qualification Shot Test by shooting a 3D Target at an unknown distance.  Successful completion of this is also valid for three years.

A separate trapping permit is required for any trapping aboard the Air Station.



All persons under 16 years of age desiring to hunt must be accompanied by, and under direct supervision of, a licensed adult 18 years of age or older.

Children ages 12-15 must have a NC State Hunter Education Certificate or a Hunter Education Certification from another state.  All children 15 years of age and younger are eligible to obtain their own state hunting license, tags, and base permit free of charge.  Any child under 12 may accompany a licensed hunter, but may not possess their own weapon.  Anyone 16 and older is considered to be an adult.



Hunting is permitted with shotguns, bow and arrow, muzzleloading rifles, muzzleloading shotguns, and twenty-two (.22) caliber rimfire rifles firing twenty-two (.22) caliber short or long rifle ammunition. Rifles chambered for twenty-two (.22) caliber rimfire magnum ammunition are prohibited.

Loaded weapons may not be carried in or on a vehicle.

See the Hunting Regulations Manual or contact the Conservation Officers Office for details regarding allowable weapons for each type of game.

All weapons being utilized to hunt aboard the Air Station must be registered at The Pass and Identification Office to include bows.


General Safety

Hunters are allowed to check out to an area 1 ½ hours prior to sunrise and must check back in no later than 1 ½ hours after sunset.

All hunters hunt in designated Gun areas during big game firearm seasons must wear 400 square inches of blaze orange at all times.  This consists of a vest or other garment so that the blaze orange is visible from all sides.  A blaze orange cap alone is not sufficient. 

Hunting is strictly prohibited within 200 yards of any developed area (squadrons, clubs, recreational areas, pasture, runway, taxiway, etc.).  The safety limit for archery hunting is 100 yards.

Hunting in any area not specifically authorized by the Air Station Order is prohibited.


Helpful Links

Please refer to one of these links for additional information or contact the Conservation Officer’s Office for help.

ASO P1710.1M - Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, and Boating for MCAS Cherry Point and Outlying Fields

NC Wildlife - Hunting Seasons and Limits




Conservation Officer Menu

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point