Cape Lookout National Sea Shore uses a lottery system to determine the initial order for applicants to register their duck blinds with the park. There is a limited number of lottery slots. To ensure a smooth experience in entering the lottery, interested duck hunting applicants should create an account on Recreation.gov before they enter the lottery. Applicants can enter the lottery beginning at 10:00 A.M. (EDT) on Friday, August 12 through 10:00 A.M. (EDT) on Sunday, August 14, 2022. There is a $10 registration fee to enter the lottery.
On August 16th, Recreation.gov will randomly select the lottery order and assign an appointment time from the pool of applicants. Those lucky enough to receive one of the limited, initial lottery slots will receive notification via email from Recreation.gov. They will also receive an email from Cape Lookout National Seashore with their appointment time on Friday, August 26th to arrive at the Harkers Island Visitor Center where they will be able to select the location of their blind(s), complete the permit paperwork and pay their permit fees. Lottery winners may select a maximum of 2 blind locations. There is a $50.00 permit fee for the 1st blind, and a $25.00 fee for the second blind ($75.00 total for 2 blinds).
Appointments on Friday, August 26 will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. (EDT). You MUST bring your valid North Carolina driver’s license or identification card, your North Carolina hunting license and a signed federal duck stamp or federal e-stamp. Those without all these documents will not be issued a permit and will forfeit their scheduled lottery appointment.
Beginning on Monday, August 29th, 2022, 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.
Required Paperwork to Obtain Permit
When you arrive at Harkers Island for your appointment, make sure you have all required paperwork. Below is a list of all the documents you must bring with you.
- Copy of Current Valid Driver's License or other valid form of photo ID
- Copy of Current Valid North Carolina Hunting License (good for waterfowl hunting)
- North Carolina Waterfowl Hunting Privilege
- Federal Duck Stamp, signed in ink across its face
- Payment in the form of cash (exact change), money order, or credit card
Federal procedures (31 USC 7701 ) requires your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number on the back of all checks accepted for deposit. You must supply your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number in order for your check to be accepted and your application to be processed.
The authority for the National Park Service to recover and retain costs associated with managing special park uses is found at 16 U.S.C. 3a, 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d, and 31 U.S.C. 9701. Charges established for a Special Park Use under this authority are intended to recover costs associated with managing that activity and not to generate revenue beyond actual cost.
Lottery winners may select a maximum of 2 blind locations. There is a $50.00 permit fee for the 1st blind, and a $25.00 fee for the second blind ($75.00 total for 2 blinds).
You may pick a location for your blind, but it cannot be within 500 yards of an existing permit/permitted blind location. The location of your duck blind permit will be marked on the official yearly map. Your blind must be placed in the location coinciding with the map. GPS coordinates will be available for your location: your blind must be at those coordinates.
Commercial Waterfowl Hunting Guides Business Permit
Commercial hunting (or fishing) guides must obtain a permit to conduct commercial activities in a national park. Guides should contact park Business Manager, Katherine Cushinberry, about obtaining a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) permit at (252) 838-8899. The permit will be valid from September 13, 2022 through February 11, 2023. The CUA permit costs $237.50 plus a $75.00 Application Fee.
Guides with a CUA permit may advertise that they are an authorized hunting guide for Cape Lookout National Seashore. Those caught guiding without a CUA permit may be prosecuted and lose lottery/hunting privileges for a minimum of 2 years.
Hunting is authorized within Cape Lookout National Seashore, subject to State of North Carolina hunting regulations, as well as Federal law. Duck Blind fees are used to administer and monitor the duck blind program. The Duck Blind Permit allows hunters to place and leave temporary duck blinds in the park from September 1, 2022 until March 31, 2023. Blinds must be removed by the permittee no later than March 31, 2023. Construction of permanent duck blinds is illegal.
Hunters are advised that failure to obtain a permit or failure to 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. Illegal duck blinds found in the park will be removed without notice and 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.