North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

What to Hunt

This section provides information about some common mammal and bird species that can be hunted in North Carolina.

Mammals

A class of warm-blooded animals with fur or hair on their bodies. Mammals are vertebrates. The young are born live and feed on milk from their mothers.
ImageSpeciesScientific NameState ClassificationAdditional Information
ImageArmadillo, Nine-banded Dasypus novemcinctusNonGameMore Information
ImageBlack BearsUrsus americanusBig GameMore Information
ImageBobcat Lynx rufusGame & FurbearerMore Information
ImageCoyoteCanis latransNonGameMore Information
Image

Gray Fox

Urocyon cinereoargenteus

Game

More Information

ImageGroundhog Marmota monaxNonGameProfile
ImageNutriaMyocastor coypusNonGameN/A
ImageOpossum, Virginia Didelphis virginianaGame & FurbearerProfile
ImageRaccoonProcyon lotorGame & FurbearerMore Information
Image

Red Fox

Vulpes vulpes

Game

More Information

ImageStriped Skunk Mephitis mephitisFurbearerProfile
ImageWhite-tailed DeerOdocoileus virginianusBig GameMore Information
Image

Squirrel, fox

Sciurus niger

Game

Profile (PDF)

2010-11 Harvest Survey of North Carolina Hunters (PDF 102 KB) 

Image

Squirrel, Gray

Sciurus carolinensis

Game

More Information 

Image

Feral Swine

Sus scrofa

NonGame

More Information

Birds

 

A class of warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrates. Birds are covered in feathers, have wings and a beak. Many birds are able to fly.
ImageSpeciesScientific NameState ClassificationAdditional Information
ImageBobwhite quail, Northern

Colinus virginianus

Game Species

Additional Information

ImageDove, MourningZenaida macrouraGame SpeciesAdditional Information

ImageDuck, BlackAnas rubripesGame Species

Profile 

ImageDuck, CanvasbackAythya valisineriaGame Species

Profile 

ImageDuck, MallardAnas platyrhynchosGame Species

Profile 

Sandy Mush Game Land Birding Check List (PDF) 

ImageGoose, CanadaBranta canadensisGame SpeciesAdditional Information

 

ImageRail, ClapperRallus longirostrisGame SpeciesAdditional Information
ImageTurkey, WildMeleagris gallopavoBig GameAdditional Information 
ImageSwan, TundraCygnus columbianusGame SpeciesAdditional Information
ImageGrouse, RuffedBonasa umbeliusGame SpeciesAdditional Information
ImagePintail, NorthernAnas acutaGame SpeciesAdditional Information
Image

Waterfowl in North Carolina

N/A

Game Species

Additional Information

ImageWigeon, AmericanAnas americanaGame SpeciesAdditional Information
ImageWoodcock, AmericanScolopax minorGame SpeciesAdditional information
Image

Duck, Wood

Aix sponsa

Game Species

Profile (PDF) 

North Carolina Wood Ducks Natural History and Management (PDF

State Classifications

To understand the law governing the hunting of wildlife, one must know and understand the definitions of certain key terms as they are used in the text of the statutes and rules dealing with this subject. These definitions may vary substantially from common usage. N.C.G.S. ß113-129 lists a number of the basic ones. Those relevant to these subjects are:

Game

“Game” status includes species that can be hunted in North Carolina.

Nongame

“Nongame” status includes species that are not classified as game or furbearer. These species are regulated by the NCWRC and may be hunted or trapped with the appropriate licenses/permits.

Big Game

“Big Game” status includes species that can be hunted and must be registered with the NCWRC upon harvest.

Furbearer

“Furbearer” status includes species that can be trapped in North Carolina.