North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Night Hunting Frequently Asked Questions

For many years hunters have been able to take raccoon and opossum at night. Under temporary rules adopted by the Wildlife Resources Commission at its July 12 meeting, hunters can also take coyotes and feral swine at night with a light starting Aug. 1, 2012. The temporary rules will remain in effect for up to 270 days, during which time the Commission will continue to pursue permanent rules.

The answers to these frequently asked questions will guide hunters who want to hunt feral swine and coyotes at night:

Where can I hunt?

Private land only.The Landowner Protection Act requires hunters to obtain written permission to hunt posted property. Some counties have additional laws for written permission. See the local laws section of the 2012-2013 Regulations Digest.  At this time there is no night hunting for coyotes and feral swine on public lands.

Do I have to get a permit?

Not for private land hunting.  In the future when the Commission offers night hunting on game lands, hunting will be permit-only.

What about the feral swine hunting permit?

This permit was a temporary measure before the Commission adopted night hunting rules. This permit is no longer needed and the Commission is no longer issuing them.

When can I hunt?

There are no time or season restrictions.Hunters can take coyotes and feral swine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,though firearms are not allowed on Sundays.

Can I hunt at all on Sundays?

Yes. From 12 a.m.Sunday morning until 11:59 p.m. Sunday night hunters may use dogs and archery equipment, only. Firearms are not allowed on Sunday

What are the bag limits?

There are no bag limits.Hunters can harvest an unlimited number of coyotes and feral swine.

Are there weapons restrictions Monday through Saturday?

No,except fully automatic firearms are unlawful to use in hunting at any time.

What about restrictions Monday through Saturday?

 There are no restrictions. All artificial lights and night vision equipment is legal.

Does this new rule conflict with local light laws?

No.  Local light laws prohibit a person from “…intentionally shin(ing) alight upon a deer or intentionally sweep(ing) a light in search of deer.” As long as the hunter is honestly using his light to hunt coyotes or feral swine,he is not in violation of local light laws.

What if I'm using a vehicle?

It is unlawful to use a motor vehicle in taking coyote, feral swine or any other wild animal or wild bird when the passenger area is occupied or if the motor is running.

Request a Copy

Request a Regulations Digest copy to be mailed to you

or call or write to the following address or telephone number:

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1707
(919) 707-0391