Cape Lookout National Seashore is holding a lottery for duck blind permits for the coming duck hunting season.
Hunting is authorized within the seashore, subject to state hunting regulations, as well as federal law. The duck blind permit allows hunters to place and leave temporary duck blinds in the park from Sept. 1, 2023, until March 31, 2024. Blinds must be removed no later than March 31, 2024.
The lottery system through recreation.gov determines the initial order for applicants to register their duck blinds with the park. To ensure a smooth experience in entering the lottery, officials suggest interested duck-hunting applicants create an account before they enter the lottery.
The lottery is to open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, and close at 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11. There is a $10 registration fee to enter the lottery. There are a limited number of lottery slots.
Recreation.gov on Aug. 15 will randomly select the lottery order and assign an appointment time from the pool of applicants and notify those selected by email. The in-person appointment will be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, and take place at the Cape Lookout Harkers Island visitor center.
During the in-person appointments, hunters will be able to select the location of their blind or blinds, complete the permit paperwork and pay their permit fees. There is a $50 permit fee for the first blind, or $75 total for two, which is the maximum amount of blinds for one hunter.
Duck blind fees are used to administer and monitor the duck blind program.
Hunters must bring a valid North Carolina driver’s license or identification card, North Carolina hunting license, and signed federal duck stamp or federal e-stamp.
If you arrive for an in-person appointment without all of these documents, you will not be issued a permit and will forfeit your scheduled lottery appointment, officials said.
Those not selected during the lottery or who can’t make their scheduled appointment time may come to the Harkers Island visitor center on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Monday, Aug. 28.
Hunters should know that a failure to obtain a permit or remove blinds at the end of the permit period may result in penalties, a bill for the cost of removing the blind, and/or exclusion from the program in future years. Construction of permanent duck blinds is illegal and will be removed without notice.
The cost of removing illegal and abandoned blinds significantly adds to the cost of the program and may have to be passed on to the hunters in future years.
Commercial hunting or fishing guides must have a Commercial Use Authorization permit. Those caught guiding without a CUA permit may be prosecuted and lose lottery/hunting privileges for a minimum of two years. Contact park business manager, Katherine Cushinberry, at 252-838-8899 for those details.
For more information regarding the 2023-2024 Duck Blind Lottery at Cape Lookout National Seashore, contact Ranger Forrest Kraus at 252-838-8931.