Hunting information on a variety of hunting topics including equipment, methods, processing and more.
Tips for Hunting of Private Land
Landowner Protection Act
The new Landowner Protection Act provides two ways for landholders to post their lands to allow only hunters, trappers and anglers with written permission to legally enter their property:
Sportsmen need written permission, dated within the past 12 months, signed by the land owner or lessee, to hunt, fish, or trap on lands posted with signs or purple paint. You must carry written permission on your person. If a hunting club has leased the land, hunters must have a copy of their hunting club membership and a copy of the landowner permission given to that club. Wildlife officers will enforce the Landowner Protection Act.
The Landowner Protection Act does not change general trespass laws nor have any effect on lands which are not posted. It does not repeal any local acts currently in effect that require written permission to hunt, fish or trap.
North Carolina law encourages owners of land to make property available for recreational use. The law states that a landowner who allows someone, without charge, onto their land for recreational purposes owes them the same duty of care they would owe a trespasser.
Hunting Regulations & Season Information
Hunting regulations including Manner of Taking, Hunting on Federal Lands, big game, small game and migratory birds.
Only the N.C. General Assembly has the authority to allow fox harvest in a county through passage of a local law. Click here for more county-specific information on fox harvest seasons.
In North Carolina, it is unlawful for a person to interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife resources or to drive, harass, or intentionally disturb any wildlife resources for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife resources on public or private property. NOTE: This law does not apply to activity by a person on land he owns or leases or to a person who incidentally interferes with the taking of wildlife resources while using the land for other lawful activity such as agriculture, mining, or recreation.
Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable for a first conviction by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or by both and punishable for a second or subsequent conviction by a fine left to the discretion of the court. (North Carolina General Statute 295)
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you experience unlawful harassment, immediately notify your nearest wildlife enforcement officer, county sheriff's office or local police department. Advise the authorities of this law and that you wish to hunt peacefully.
WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not provoke a fight, threaten reprisals or use profanity. Remember these anti-hunting activists are seeking confrontation and may be accompanied by the news media.
It has been said that after the hunt the work begins. However, field dressing, game processing and preparing wild game for the table need not be difficult. With a little information and insight, after the hunt preparations can be accomplished easily.
Rules for Importation of Deer Carcass and Carcass Parts Updated 10/2021
COVID-19 Precautions for Handling and Processing Deer Updated 12/2021
Recovery of Game
Disposal of Deer Harvested within North Carolina
View Your Past Harvest Records
Big Game Harvest Data by Species and Location Updated Live
Field Dressing and Transporting Wild Game
Processing Deer and Handling Precautions
NC Department of Agriculture Deer Processor List
Mobile Deer Cooler Application for Hunters for the Hungry
Hunting Skill-Based Seminars
Becoming and Outdoors Woman
Additional Staff Recipes:
NC State University Cookbook
Preparing Wild Game for the Table
Canning Wild Game Meat
If you have seen or harvested a sick deer, please contact your local District Biologist or the Wildlife Helpline at 866-318-2401.
Signs to look for:
For more information, see our Deer Diseases page.
Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
photo by: Mike Carraway
Please click image for additional information
2022-23 Bear Season Dates
Western Bear Season
(Mountain Bear Mgmt Unit)
Oct. 17 - Nov. 19, 2022
Dec. 12, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023
Piedmont Bear Season
(Piedmont Bear Mgmt. Unit)
Nov. 12, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023
Oct. 12, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023
Nov. 19, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023
Eastern Bear Season
(Coastal Bear Mgmt. Unit)
Zone 1: Nov 12 - 27, 2022 and Dec. 10 - 25, 2022
Zone 2: Nov. 11 - 20, 2022 and Dec. 10 - 25, 2022
*Per local law, bear season opens Nov. 12, 2022 for these 3 counties
Zone 3: Nov. 12 - 20, 2022 and Dec. 10 - 25, 2022
Zone 4: Nov. 19 - Dec. 18, 2022
Zone 5: Nov. 14, 2022 - Jan. 2, 2023
*The use of dogs for hunting bears is prohibited in Pamlico county.
White-tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Photo by: Ken Taylor
Click image to see additional information
2022-23 Deer Season
Deer Zone Maps
Northwestern Deer Season
Central Deer Season
Northeastern Deer Season
Southeastern Deer Season
Youth Deer Hunting Day
On this day, youth under the age of 18 may use any legal weapon to hunt deer of either-sex. Refer to the Regulations Digest for a description of legal weapons. Youth ages 16 and 17 must be properly licensed to hunt deer.
Deer Urban Archery Season
Open in participating cities only (refer to the Regulations Digest for a list and contact information)
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
2022-23 Turkey Season Dates
2022-23 Wild Turkey Spring Season (male or bearded turkey only)
2022-23 Wild Turkey YOUTH ONLY Season (male or bearded turkey only)