Hunting at Assateague

The non-native sika deer is actually a diminutive species of oriental elk. 12 kb
Sika Deer

John Collins

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

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.

2019-2020 Assateague Island Hunt Plan (pdf file, 410 KB)

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

New for 2019-2020

  • The daily bag limit for Mallards will be two (2) with only one (1) being a hen.
  • The daily bag limit for Pintail will be one (1).
  • The daily bag limit for Migratory Canada Goose (Atlantic population) will be one (1)
  • Blind “A” can be reserved one time during each split of migratory game bird season. Refer
    to the Migratory Game Bird Regulations page.
  • Hunters who choose to walk or boat into the Northern Hunt Zone may hunt the entire zone
    (reservations and hunter limits are no longer applicable). Refer to the Hunt Zones page.

*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 2019-2020 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. 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 may be purchased at the Ranger Station during business hours. OSV zone access may be restricted due to vehicle limits, over-wash, emergency conditions or land management constraints.
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 the Ranger Station to check-in and check-out and also to report anydeer harvested. Call (410) 641-3030, press 3, then 1. A voicemail message must be left with the hunter’s name, DNR number and the type and number of deer 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. Use 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. Possess a loaded and/or readily available weapon outside of any hunting zone. 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 four-legged animal 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 the Ranger Station, (410) 641-3030, press 3 then 1, 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 Bill Ramsey
(Hunting Program Coordinator at Assateague Island N.S.)
Office: 410-629-6048

Last updated: March 28, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

7206 National Seashore Lane
Berlin, MD 21811


(410) 641-1441

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