MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Hunting season officially opens aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Sept. 15 and Marines are ready to get back out into the field. However, anyone interested in participating must comply with the air stations rules and regulations to ensure everyone has a safe experience.
All Department of Defense personnel and their dependents who wish to hunt aboard MCAS Beaufort must attend one of the mandatory hunter safety briefings held aboard the air station, said Matt Martin, the game warden with the Natural Resources Department aboard MCAS Beaufort.
The classes are held every Wednesday in the classroom in building 1036. The class covers safety procedures that all hunters should know as well as the unique circumstances presented by hunting on the air station. The last class is scheduled for Sept. 30.
“All hunters must fill out an application form prior to attending the class,” said Martin. “If you have already hunted in previous years and we have your forms on file, thenthere is no need to fill them out again.”
The application process and the class are requirements on base and Marines must ensure they have the proper permissions from the state before saddling up for a hunt.
“Hunters must also have a valid South Carolina hunting license which includes a big game endorsement,” said Martin.
Not all weapons are permitted aboard the air station. The only approved weapons are shotguns and bows. Rifles, black powder guns, crossbows, nets, snares, or bait poisons are prohibited.
“I can understand why the command would want to keep some weapons off the base,” said Jantz. “It would be bad if everyone was running around with high powered rifles near the facilities we have here.”
The restrictions allow the Natural Resources Department to monitor all the gunfire on base and keep Marines and facilities safe.
“Hunters wishing to receive a permit must present proof of registration for their hunting weapons from the Provost Marshall Office and Pass and ID,” said Martin.
Approved game to hunt includes deer, squirrel, rabbits and raccoons. Hunters are not permitted to hunt game birds such as turkeys, doves or ducks.
“I’m excited to look into the hunting options they have on base,” said Sgt. Dalton Jantz, an air traffic controller aboard MCAS Beaufort. “I’ve never hunted on a military installation before.”
For additional information about the 2015 hunting season aboard MCAS Beaufort, please contact Matt Martin, the game warden at 843-228-7017.