North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Game Bird Propagation License

License Description

A Game Bird Propagation license authorizes the purchase, possession, propagation, sale, transportation and release of propagated upland game birds (except wild turkeys), migratory game birds and their eggs.  A Game Bird Propagation license is also needed to train dogs with live pen raised upland game birds and migratory birds.


Last Revised on 5/16/16

License Restrictions, Rules, and Conditions

A Game Bird Propagation License does not authorize the purchase, possession, propagation, sale transportation or release of wild turkeys.

The sale of dead pen-raised quail for food is governed by the regulations of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The possession, sale and transfer of migratory game birds are subject to additional requirements contained in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

All mallard ducks possessed in captivity, without a permit, as well as mallard ducks hatched, reared, and retained in captivity thereafter shall be physically marked prior to 6 weeks of age using at least one of the following methods: removal of the hind toe from the right foot; pinioning of a wing provided that this method removes the metacarpal bones of one wing or a prion of the metacarpal bones which renders the bird permanently incapable of flight; banding of one metatarsus with a seamless metal band; and/or tattooing a readily discernible number or letter or combination thereof on the web of one foot.

Hunters may train dogs using shotguns with #4 size shot or smaller during the closed season using domestically raised waterfowl and domestically raised game birds. Only nontoxic shot shall be used when training dogs with domestically raised waterfowl. All domestically raised waterfowl will be individually tagged on one leg with a seamless band stamped with the propagation license number of the facility which the domestically raised waterfowl originated. All other domestically raised game birds will be individually tagged on one leg with a band indicating the propagation license number of the facility which the domestically raised game bird originated.

A Game Bird Propagation License must first be obtained before applying for a permit to import waterfowl into North Carolina. An application for an Importation Permit can be found here (Importation Permit Application).

Waterfowl imported into North Carolina must be received from facilities or individuals who are certified under the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) as pullorum-typhoid and avian influenza negative.  If the source birds are not part of NPIP, they must be tested pullorum-typhoid and avian influenza negative by NPIP standards within 30 days prior to entry into North Carolina. Health certificates for imported waterfowl shall be available for inspection by authorized Commission personnel upon request.

Licenses are issued to a single individual, at least 18 years of age or older.

This is an annual license that expires on December 31st of each year.

Download the current Game Bird Propagation License Rules: 


How to Obtain License

Purchase a Game Bird Propagation License online or by phone by calling 1-888-248-6834, Monday thru Friday 8 am - 5 pm. This license has a $5.00 application/renewal fee plus a $2.00 transaction fee which may be paid by:

  • Credit card over the phone (number listed below) during normal business hours Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Check or money order payable to NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Download the License Forms

License Contact Information

Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
 Phone: 1-888-248-6834 or  919 707- 0391
 Fax: 919-707-0292