Guide to Duck Hunting on Cedar Island

Waterfowl (duck) hunting is permitted on Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge and no other hunting opportunities are available. Get to the National Wildlife Refuge via US 70 and NC Highway 12 from Morehead City. You can also reach Cedar Island by ferry from Ocracoke Island. Two boat ramps are available: one at Thorofare ditch off Highway 12 and another at the end of Lola Road. Both offer boat access to waters adjacent to the refuge. Cedar Island NWR is open for public use from dawn until dusk (only during daylight hours).

A 400-acre area of marsh is open to waterfowl hunting in line with State/Federal regulations. This area where hunting is allowed runs from John Day Ditch to Thorofare Ditch along the shoreline of West Bay and West Thorofare Bay as indicated on the hunting map (below). The hunt area extends 300 feet from the shoreline into the marsh. Inside of this hunting area, waterfowl may be killed in accordance with regulations set by the North Caronlina Wildlife Resources Commission.

In addition to NC state rules, all waterfowl hunting is subject to the following additional rules:

  1. Portable blinds are allowed. All blinds/decoys/personal property must be removed at the end of each day’s hunt (Constructing permanent blinds is not allowed).
  2. Hunters under age 16 must have proof of a state approved Hunter Education Course (with a passing grade) and must be supervised by a licensed hunter over age 21.
  3. For hunter safety and courtesy to all, we prohibit hunters and/or hunt parties from hunting closer than 150 yards (135 meters) apart.
  4. All weapons must be unloaded and dismantled or encased while being moved in a vehicle or boat.
  5. Refuge or State enforcement officers may inspect permits, licenses, hunting equipment, bag limits, vehicles, and their contents at any time.
  6. Hunters are allowed to enter and remain in open hunting areas from 1 hour before legal shooting time until 1 hour after legal shooting time.

Prohibited Activities:

  • Camping Fires
  • Littering 
  • Target practice 
  • Commercial Guiding (except when authorized Refuge special use permit)
  • Air boating
  • All terrain vehicles
  • Sailing
  • Molesting wildlife
  • The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.
  • Jet skiing
  • Swimming
  • Sailboarding
  • Collecting plants, flowers, nuts or berries

Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge Map

Helpful Links and Contact Information:

Carteret County Sheriff’s Office: 252-504-4800 or (911) 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 252-926-4021

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 1-800-344-WILD

NC Wildlife Resources Commission: 1-800-662-7137