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Photo Information

Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey Short walks behind the tree line toward his hunting area with a crossbow during archery hunting season at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Sept. 22, 2015. Hunting on Cherry Point is open to active duty personnel, their dependents, retirees, DOD employees and sponsored guests. Short is the Air Combat Intelligence company gunnery sergeant for Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez

Bows to bullets: Hunting on Cherry Point

24 Sep 2015 | Lance Cpl. Jason Jimenez 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Just about anyone can gear up with camouflage, a crossbow and a little bit of patience to catch themselves some game in the primed-for-hunting, wooded areas of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, so long as they follow the rules and regulations enforced by the game wardens here.

To hunt on Cherry Point, participants must take a hunter’s safety education course for the state of North Carolina, and purchase a state hunting license. After the course, hunters must attend a hunter orientation class where the regulations and rules about hunting on the air station are explained. Upon completion of the orientation, hunters are allowed to buy a base hunting permit.

“The hunters appreciate the fact that they can hunt here,” said Eric Floyd, a U.S. conservation law enforcement officer with the air station.

A variety of weapons when hunting on the air station are allowed, to include appropriate firearms, bow and arrows.

Hunters tell each other what spots are “good” and they exchange information and tips with each other which builds camaraderie, explained Floyd.

On the air station, you are required to be at least 16 years old to purchase a hunting license alone. Personnel under 16 years of age need to be accompanied by a licensed adult when hunting. Anyone under 12 years old cannot carry their own firearm until they are in a hunting area and within range of a harvestable animal.

According to Floyd, game available on the air station includes, but is not limited to, white-tailed deer, turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, ducks, doves and foxes. Hunting is authorized from a half an hour before sunrise to a half an hour after sunset.

One of the game warden’s biggest safety concerns is the use of fall-restraint systems when sitting in tree stands – if you fall they catch you within a few feet before you can hit the ground. Another concern is wearing blaze orange when in firearm season. Firearms have a greater range than archery equipment. From a distance, a human can be mistaken for an animal.

“They are strict on safety, but it is for the benefit of the hunters,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas Grubberd, a hunter of 10 years.

According to Grubberd, it is a great policy to allow hunting on base because it keeps the wildlife population under control and reduces the risk of car accidents with animals on the road.

“To a lot of people, hunting is a lifestyle, and I see it as that, as well as being a positive hobby,” said Floyd. “If you are sitting in a tree stand, you won’t be sitting on a bar stool. You also learn a respect for nature, usually at an early age.”

Hunting on Cherry Point is open to active duty personnel, their dependents, retirees, DOD employees and sponsored guests. Maps for hunting areas on base are located in the game warden’s office. For more information on hunting here or to view our station policies, visit:

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing