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Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Jul 29

Written by:
7/29/2014 2:14 PM  RssIcon

The muzzleloader deer hunting season has been renamed the “blackpowder season.” (See page 41 of the 2014-2015 Regulations Digest.) The name change has prompted some questions. Here are some clarifying points:

During the blackpowder and archery deer season, the only lawful firearms are blackpowder shotguns, blackpowder rifles and blackpowder handguns.

This means that both blackpowder firearms and archery equipment are lawful methods of take during the blackpowder season, which is the same as it was under previous muzzleloading seasons. It does not indicate that blackpowder is lawful during the archery season. 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission defines blackpowder firearms as any firearm — including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system — manufactured in or before 1898; any replica of this type of firearm if such replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; and any muzzleloading rifle, muzzleloading shotgun, or muzzleloading handgun that is designed to use blackpowder, blackpowder substitute, or any other propellant loaded through the muzzle and that cannot use fixed ammunition.

The intent of the definition is to exclude any firearm that is capable of firing a fixed cartridge. It includes blackpowder firearms that use an external ignition system, such as flintlock or percussion cap, including pistols. 

There are three types of firearms that are legal during the blackpowder season:

  • Any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system manufactured in or before 1898, including pistols.
  • Any replica of a firearm described above, so long as that firearm has not been designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
  • Any muzzleloading rifle, muzzleloading shotgun or muzzleloading handgun that is designed to use blackpowder, blackpowder substitute or any other propellant loaded through the muzzle and that cannot use fixed ammunition.

For more information call 919-707-0031.

23 comment(s) so far...


Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

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By Vince Stead on   7/29/2014 5:15 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

You are wrong.

ANY firearm made in or before 1898 is now legal, including ones that use fixed cartridges.

That is how the law reads, the same as it does in Federal law.

By Ray on   7/29/2014 7:47 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Could you please clarify the legality of Muzzle loading firearms such as the Thompson Center Encore and CVA Apex. As you may know, these firearms are designed with an interchangeable barrel system consisting of muzzloading barrels designed to be used with black powder or black powder substitutes as well as centerfire/rimfire barrels that fire modern ammunition. However, these firearms, to the best of my knowledge, are not capable of being a muzzleloader and a centerfire/rimfire rifle at the same time. Basically, are these type firearms, while equipped with the appropriate muzzleloading barrel be legal during the black powder firearms season? Thanks in advance for the reply.

By Dustin on   7/31/2014 1:12 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

The way I see it... You all screwed up bad.
Why even bring up 1898 if it has no bearing on it as in letting anything before 1898 be legal?
Also it is very clear that you stated that reproductions could not use cased ammo, nothing about pre 1898.
Is there not anyone there that knows about weapons and could write a clear legal definition of the law to the point without additional items that have no bearing or use being in the rule.

By Big J on   7/31/2014 1:49 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Ray, review of regulations and statutory definition is that during the blackpowder and archery deer season, the only lawful firearms are blackpowder shotguns, rifles and handguns.

By NCWRC blogger on   8/1/2014 9:01 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Dustin, as long as the firearm in question is using blackpowder, blackpowder substitute or other propellant and is not using a rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition while hunting in blackpowder season, it is legal.

By NCWRC blogger on   8/1/2014 9:02 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Big J, you are correct, year of manufacture is not the point of the regulation.

By NCWRC blogger on   8/1/2014 9:02 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Are cap and ball black powder revolvers legal?

By DRS on   8/1/2014 3:22 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

DRS: Yes, cap and ball black powder pistols are legal.

By NCWRC blogger on   8/1/2014 3:43 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

OK, ...so if I reload my 7.62x51 brass with a black powder load I can use any modern rifle for that caliber to hunt during black powder season? That would be a significant clarification for me and many.

By drdon on   9/14/2014 7:39 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

So under the very broad definition of "take", is it legal to carry a defensive handgun in a reasonable caliber, such as 9mm or .45 ACP, while black powder hunting, as long as it is not used on the deer? I don't like being stuck out in the woods by myself with only one shot if I run into a dangerous situation. I can see why a warden might give you trouble if he catches you with a .44 magnum revolver, but it's not like I'm going to kill a deer with my 9mm Sig P226.

By Strick on   9/17/2014 6:27 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Open carry and concealed carry with concealed carry permit for personal protection is permissible if allowed in that jurisdiction. A hunter can call 919-707-0031 for the contact info of a local wildlife officer to discuss a specific concern. Hunters should consult page 62 of the Regulations Digest, available online at www.ncwildlife.org or the webpage http://www.ncwildlife.org/Licensing/Regulations/FireArmsandConcealedCarry.aspx:

POSSESSION OF FIREARMS ON GAME LANDS
On State-owned game lands, and all other lands unless prohibited by the landowner, persons may lawfully carry any firearm openly that they are otherwise lawfully entitled to possess, and may also carry a concealed handgun if they possess a current and valid concealed handgun permit issued to them. However, persons may not hunt with any firearm being carried unless such firearm is authorized as a lawful method of take for that open season. The exempted game lands where concealed carry is prohibited are:
• Buckhorn
• Harris
• Sutton Lake
• Mayo
• Hyco
• Lee
• Chatham
• Pee Dee, area north of U.S. 74
• Butner-Falls
• Jordan
• Vance
• Kerr Scott
• Wayne Bailey-Caswell, area north of U.S. 158 and east of N.C. 119

POSSESSION OF FIREARMS ON BOATING AND FISHING ACCESS AREAS
No person shall possesses a loaded firearm on any public fishing or boating access area, with the exception of those who carry a concealed handgun with a valid concealed handgun permit, unless otherwise prohibited by the landowner and posted as such. This ruling also applies to wildlife conservation areas.

By NCWRC blogger on   9/17/2014 12:50 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

The answer is no. The firearm in question cannot use rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition during blackpowder season. Consult page 41 of the Regulations Digest (cited below) or call 919-707-0031 to get the contact info for a local wildlife officer.

Blackpowder During the blackpowder and archery deer season, the only lawful
firearms are blackpowder shotguns, rifles and handguns. The
Commission defines a blackpowder firearm as any firearm —
including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion
cap, or similar type of ignition system — manufactured in or
before 1898; and any replica of this type of firearm if such replica
is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional
centerfire fixed ammunition; and any muzzle-loading rifle,
muzzle-loading shotgun, or muzzle-loading handgun, which
is designed to use black powder, black powder substitute, or
any other propellent loaded through the muzzle and which
cannot use fixed ammunition.

By NCWRC blogger on   9/17/2014 1:03 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

I can see How this can be Confusing To some, but luckily we have access to The current Regulation Digest and a phone number we can call to clarify, before we possibly Make a mistake.

By Jake W on   9/18/2014 8:07 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

So will somebody just give a answer yes or no, is my T/C encore blackpower barrel legal to use this year or not, Please!!!!

By Todd on   10/14/2014 10:18 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

A Thompson Encore when fitted with a black powder barrel is legal for black powder deer hunting season.
If the gun loads through the muzzle, it is legal for black powder deer hunting season. If the gun uses black powder or black powder substitute and does not fire a fixed cartridge, it is legal for black powder deer hunting season. If you legally used the gun during the previous “muzzleloader” seasons, it is legal for black powder deer hunting season.
And you can call 1-800-662-7137 at any time for to get more info.
We hope this helps clarify the question.

By NCWRC blogger on   10/14/2014 2:34 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

I would suggest your state wildlife regulators review and consider for adoption the definition of legal firearms for black powder seasons as defined by the LA Wildlife and Fisheries.

By Michael chapman on   10/27/2014 8:37 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Can I use a bow in black powder season

By Luke on   11/8/2014 8:42 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Archery equipment is permitted during the black powder season. Please consult the Regulations Digest for hunting rules and requirements. Available online at www.ncwildlife.org. Direct link here: http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Regs/Documents/2014-15/NC-Regs-Digest.pdf

By NCWRC blogger on   11/10/2014 8:04 AM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV_Vll0AN3A

By ralfe kiyo on   11/10/2014 3:26 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

The only scary thing I hear too much, It's All Blackpowder. Too many hunters are using rifles instead and that needs to stop. Muzzleloader and Black powder goes back to our heritage days of war and needs to be savoured and respected so that we keep it in place for generations to come!

By Tonya Cruse on   11/23/2014 12:33 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Can I use a black power during rifle season

By Tony on   11/29/2014 11:55 PM

Re: Blackpowder Hunting Clarified

Yes. Both black powder and archery methods are allowed during gun season for deer, with season info on pages 48-51 of the Regulations Digest, available online at www.ncwildlife.org.

By NCWRC blogger on   12/1/2014 10:23 AM

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