Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Hunters who enjoy the challenges of hunting fast-flying sea and diving ducks have a great public opportunity at Swanquarter NWR, where species like scaup, bufflehead and scoter are common late in the fall. This general-access hunt covers approximately 6,000 acres of the 16,000-acre refuge. Hunters access the area by boat. Hunters may hunt only in the marsh, and all boats have to be touching the marsh because open-water hunting is not permitted. Hunting can be good, particularly later in the season. When area lakes freeze, more birds move onto the refuge. Large decoy spreads are a must to lure in diving ducks. Good numbers of puddle ducks, especially American black duck and wigeon, can also be found on the refuge.

6,120 acres of marsh on the refuge are open to waterfowl hunting in accordance with applicable State and Federal regulations.  The hunt area includes Great Island and portions of marsh on both sides of Juniper Bay, as indicated on the hunting brochure and signage.  Waterfowl may be hunted according to seasons and regulations set by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

No hunting is allowed in the open waters of the refuge within the 27,000 acre Presidential Proclamation Boundary, located in Pamlico Sound and adjacent to the refuge and the refuge hunt area (please see hunt map).  However, if hunters, or a portion of their boat, are located within the marshes of the public hunt area, they may set decoys within the waters adjacent to the marsh (and within the Proclamation Boundary) and shoot at and retrieve waterfowl from the adjacent waters.  The Proclamation Boundary is posted with large pilings and signs.  Three piles mark each corner and single pilings are located every one mile between the corner pilings along the entire boundary.  GPS coordinates indicating the location of the corner pilings are indicated on the hunting map.

Only temporary blinds that are removed daily are permitted.  Youth hunters under the age of 16 must have proof of passing a state approved Hunter Education Course to hunt on the refuge and must be supervised by a licensed hunter over the age of 21.  For reasons of hunter safety and courtesy, hunters shall not hunt closer than 150 yards to another hunting party.

Related Documents