Hunting at Assateague

Male sika looking over his back
Male Sika Deer


Public hunting within the boundaries of Assateague Island National Seashore (Seashore) is recognized as a recreational activity in the legislation that established the Seashore (Public Law 89-195). Regulations for hunting within the National Park are designed to provide a safe and meaningful experience for hunters.

Hunting is legal ONLY in specifically designated areas of the Seashore and during specifically designated dates and times (36 CFR 1.5(f)). State and federal regulations governing hunting within the legislative jurisdiction of the Seashore include the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 36 & 50), and United States Code (Title 54).

Please note the following regulations are applicable ONLY for the Federally owned portion of Assateague Island in MD.
For hunting information in Assateague State Park please visit Hunting (
For hunting information in the Virginia district please visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (

Only those species listed in this plan may be hunted by the indicated weaponry during the designated season within the Maryland portion of Assateague Island National Seashore.
2023-2024 Assateague Island National Seashore Hunt Plan (pdf file, 259kb)

Hunting will be in accordance with the following special Assateague Island National Seashore regulations and applicable state regulations.

*New for 2023-2024*

*There is NO Sunday hunting during any season*


Public Lands

Please remember that other recreational activities may be occurring in the same area and atthe same time as hunting (e.g., backcountry camping, kayaking, bird watching, etc.). Hunters must remain situationally aware while hunting on Assateague Island National Seashore, and always remember there may be multiple uses occurring at the same time in the hunting zones.


General Information

1. Hunting License: A Maryland State Resident or Nonresident hunting license (printed paper or electronic copy) with additional stamps for deer and waterfowl is required to hunt on the seashore. Licensing information can be found in the 2023-2024 Maryland Guide to Hunting and Trapping or at
2. Hunter Registration: Hunters are required to sign-in and sign-out each time they enter or leave the hunting zone using their name and state DNR ID number. All hunters must check out no later than one-and-one-half hours after the end of official hunting time.
3. Southern Hunt Zone Vehicle Access: An Oversand Vehicle Zone (OSV) Permit is REQUIRED to enter the OSV Zone. Hunters who plan to drive on to the beach to access the Southern Hunt Zone must possess a valid OSV Zone permit before entry. Hunters without an OSV Permit are required to walk into the Southern Hunt Zone. Those hunters must park in the “South Ocean Beach” parking lot and walk a 1/3 mile south along the Life of the Dunes trail until coming to the two-track dirt road where the hunt zone begins. OSV Permits must be purchased online at Permits must be picked up at the Ranger Station within 10 days from the date of purchase. If you do not have access to the internet, an online application can be completed at the Ranger Station during business hours.
4. Southern & Northern Hunt Zone Boat Access: Hunters may boat (motorized/non-motorized) from the mainland into the Southern and Northern hunt zones. Hunters must call 443-669-7039 to check-in and check-out and to report any deer harvested. A voicemail or text message must be left with the hunter’s name, DNR ID number and the species of deer, whether it was antlered or antlerless, and number harvested.

5. Closures and Restrictive Project Areas: Due to park research, management projects and species protection efforts, portions of the hunting area may be closed for the season or on a day-to-day basis. It is the hunter’s responsibility to check with the Ranger Station regarding possible closures. Hunters are responsible for being aware of any closures in the hunting zone. It is prohibited to enter into and/or shoot into any signed or closed area.
6. Scientific Research: Hunters are prohibited from interfering with scientific research within the Seashore. Fenced, posted and/or signed areas are not to be disturbed. Hunters should avoid moving or altering any study equipment, including PVC pipe, various posts, buckets, fencing, antennas or small cages. If there is any doubt as to what an item is, leave it alone. Researchers and other staff will be actively working at all hours in the field throughout the hunting season.
7. Parking Areas: Hunting areas have designated parking areas. Parking areas are noted on the accompanying maps and are marked by signage in the field. Waterfowl hunters are to park in the designated locations and
not in front of gates restricting road access.


Prohibited Activities

1. The use of air guns to take game.
2. Construct or use permanent blinds or tree stands.
3. Hunters may use portable hunting stands that do not damage vegetation; however, stands and ground blinds must be removed at the end of each hunting day.
4. Use “screw in” steps.
5. Use trail and route marking devices such as reflective tacks and flagging.
6. Cut, thin, prune, remove, or damage any vegetation.
7. Hunt with handguns of any kind. Muzzle loading handguns are NOT permitted during muzzleloader season.
8. When exiting any hunting zone, weapons MUST be unloaded (including the magazine or bolt), cased, and stored in a manner that will prevent their ready use.
9. Use of laser sights.
10. Discharge any weapon for a purpose other than hunting, except for making a muzzleloader safe at the end of an unsuccessful hunt.
11. Pursue, shoot, shoot at, lie in wait for, or kill any deer within 300 yards of a waterfowl blind or a waterfowl hunter during the Waterfowl Season.
12. Bait, hunt over an area known to be baited, and fail to report baiting.
13. Fail to report all wounded deer to the Ranger Station. Hunters are required to make a concerted effort in locating (tracking) wounded game and are required to call (443)669-7039, if tracking a deer will interfere with checking out on time.
14. Field dress game in the campgrounds/developed areas of the park. The field dressing of game is to be completed in the field.


For hunting opportunities in the Virginia District, please visit the Chincoteague National Wildife Refuge website.


Contact Information

For any questions on the pre-mentioned hunting season regulations please contact U.S. Park Ranger Andrew Brady
(Hunting Program Coordinator at Assateague Island N.S.)
Office: 410-629-6048

Last updated: February 11, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811


410 641-1441

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