New to Hunting?

Interested in learning about hunting but don’t know any hunters?

Then our Hunting Seminars or Getting Started Outdoors (GSO) Hunting Workshops are for you! Come learn about the basics of hunting including:

• Hunting skills
• Equipment and strategies
• Wild game processing and cooking

Attend a Hunting Seminar

Attend a GSO Hunting Workshop (Info below)

What are GSOs?

Getting Started Outdoors Hunting Workshops address informational barriers to participation for those who are interested in hunting, but don’t know how to get started. This is accomplished by providing a mentor experience for those lacking social support via an existing hunting mentor.

These workshops are designed to teach you how to hunt via a multi-faceted hunting-related skills and strategies experience. The goal of the workshop is to have you begin hunting on your own, or with support from family members and friends.

GSO participant requirements

GSOs are for individuals that have never hunted or have very minimal hunting experience and lack social support for hunting (i.e., hunting family members and friends). 

GSOs are not for existing hunters, or family members of existing hunters, where experience and social support for hunting already exist.

GSO Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I’m an experienced hunter wanting to register a family member for a GSO. Can I register my family member?

Answer: No. Individuals who have hunting family members already have readily available access to a hunting mentor. GSOs are intended for individuals lacking social support via a readily available hunting mentor.

Question: I’m an experienced hunter wishing to donate my experience, time and effort at GSOs. Can I assist with a GSO Workshop?

Answer: Yes. Building a pool of volunteer instructors/assistants is critical to GSO expansion. Individuals interested in assisting as instructors with GSOs will be required to “shadow” during a pre-workshop training session before becoming a GSO instructor.

Question: I’m an inexperienced, new hunter and want to learn more so I can mentor my own family and friends. Can I attend the GSO Workshop?

Answer: Yes. GSO Workshops offer new, inexperienced hunters a mentor experience while encouraging continued mentoring of family members and friends beyond the workshop.

Question: I’ve never hunted and want to learn more before I begin hunting. Can I attend the GSO Workshop?

Answer: Yes. GSO Workshops offer individuals interested in hunting a mentor experience in the absence of an existing mentor.

For more information about seminars and/or GSOs:

Contact Walter “Deet” James, the Commission’s Hunting Heritage Biologist at 984-202-1387 or walter.james@ncwildlife.org

NOTE: Pre-registration is required for seminars at www.ncwildlife.org/sbs

 

Before the Hunt

Hunting information on a variety of hunting topics including equipment, methods, processing and more.

What to Hunt/Seasons & Limits

​​You can also call 800-I-GOT-ONE (800-446-8663) to report your harvest.

Review a list of your previous harvests with authorization numbers.  You can also print a personalized harvest certificate for display.

Maps have been compiled by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission as an aid to hunters, trappers and fishermen who use the two million acres of North Carolina game lands.

Big Game

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

Black Bear

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

photo by: Mike Carraway

Please click image for additional information

 

2020-21 Bear Season Dates

Western Bear Season

(Mountain Bear Mgmt Unit)

Oct. 12 - Nov. 21, 2020 -  In and west of Surry, Wilkes, Caldwell, Burke and Cleveland counties

Dec. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 - In and west of Surry, Wilkes, Caldwell, Burke and Cleveland counties

 

Piedmont Bear Season

​(Piedmont Bear Mgmt. Unit)

Nov. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson,    Durham, Granville, Guilford, Lee,  Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Orange,   Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, and   Union counties

Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Moore, Richmond, Scotland, Vance, Wake and Warren counties 

Nov. 21, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Alexander, Catawba, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Stokes and Yadkin counties

 

Eastern Bear Season

​(Coastal Bear Mgmt. Unit)

Zone 1:  Nov 14 - 29, 2020 - Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties

 

Zone 2:  Nov. 14 - 22, 2020 -  Camden*, Chowan*, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank*, and Perquimans counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties

                   *Per local law, bear season opens Nov. 13, 2020 for these 3 counties

 

Zone 3:  Nov. 14 - 22, 2020 - Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Martin and Washington counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Martin and Washington counties

 

Zone 4:  Nov. 21 - Dec. 20, 2020 -  Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Lenoir, Nash, Northampton, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties

 

Zone 5:  Nov. 9, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico*, Pender, Robeson and Sampson counties

 *The us of dogs for hunting bears is prohibited in Pamlico county.

White-tailed Deer

White-tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Photo by: Ken Taylor

Click image to see additional information

 

2020-21 Deer Season

Deer Zone Maps

Western Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 - 27, 2020
     Oct. 11 - Nov. 222, 2020
     Dec. 13, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 (antlered deer only)
  • Blackpowder:  Sept. 28 -  Oct. 10, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 23 - Dec. 12, 2020
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​No Season:  Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties
    • ​Introductory Season:  Nov. 28, 2020 - Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties
    • Conservative Season:  Nov. 23 - 28, 2020 - Avery, Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties

 

Northwestern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Nov. 6, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Nov. 7 - 20, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 21, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Moderate Season:  Nov. 21 - Dec. 4, 2020 - Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties

Central Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 30, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 31 - Nov. 13, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

Northeastern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 2, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 3 - Oct. 16, 2020
  • Gun:  Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

 

Southeastern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 2, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 3 - Oct. 16, 2020
  • Gun:  Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

 

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.

  • Any Legal Weapon:  Sept. 26, 2020

 

Deer Urban Archery Season

Open in participating cities only (refer to the Regulations Digest for a list and contact information)

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Click image to see additional information

 

2020-21 Turkey Season Dates

2020-21 Wild Turkey Spring Season  (male or bearded turkey only)

  • April 10 - May 8, 2021 - Statewide

 

2020-21 Wild Turkey YOUTH ONLY Season  (male or bearded turkey only)

  • April 3 - 9, 2021 - Statewide

Small Game and Other Seasons

2020-2021 Small Game and Other Seasons

Species 

Regulations
 Armadillo
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Beaver
 Refer to Regulations Digest

 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Bobcat
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Coyote
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 5-County Coyote Hunting & Depredation Permits 

 Crow
 Aug. 5, 2020 – Feb. 27, 2021 
 June 2, 2020 – July 31, 2021
 
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of each week.  Crows may also be hunted on Labor Day,  Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, New Year’s   Day,  Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Independence Day; except when these days fall on a Sunday.
 Hunting Regulations
 Feral Swine
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Fox 

 Refer to "Fox Hunting & Trapping Seasons" publication

  at www.ncwildlife.org/foxseasons

 Fox Seasons by County
 Groundhog
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Grouse
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations
 Nutria
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Opossum
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Pheasant (Male Only)
 Nov. 21, 2020 - Feb. 1, 2021
 Hunting Regulations
 Quail
 Nov. 21, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Rabbit (Including Box-Trapping)

 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021

 Hunting Regulations
 Raccoon
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Skunk (striped)
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Squirrel

 Gray and Red - Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021

 Fox - October 12, 2020 - Jan. 31,2021

 Hunting Regulations
 Controlled Hunting Preserves   Regulations
 Extended Falconry  Regulations

Mourning Doves

Species  Season Dates and Information

 Doves (includes mourning

 and white-winged dove)

 Seasons / Limits​

 Extended Falconry Seasons

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations

 Game Land Dove Fields

 Surveys and Reports

Waterfowl

Webless Migratory Game Birds (woodcock, rail, snipe)

Species Season Dates and Information
 Woodcock

 Seasons / Limits

 Extended Falconry Seasons  

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

 Snipe

 Seasons / Limits

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

 Rails (includes Sora &

 Clapper, King, & 

 Virginia Rail)

 Seasons / Limits

 Extended Falconry Season

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

Where to Hunt & Shoot

  Public Lands 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Land Hunting Tips

Sportsmen now need written permission, dated within the past 12 months, signed by the landowner or lessee, to hunt, fish, or trap on private lands posted with signs or purple paint.​

 

Landowner Protection Act

EXAMPLES

Laws & Safety

Hunting Regulations

Game Lands

Game Lands Information

  • Game Lands Regulations  
    This page contains information about game land restrictions, Youth Waterfowl Day, Disabled Access and Disabled Sportsman Programs. Also, either-sex seasons and other rules applying to individual game lands.
     
  • View Interactive Game Lands Maps
    Here you can view an interactive map of game lands.  The view can be customized to see specific species  and other available options such as camping grounds. Driving directions to the game lands are another selection on the map. Also available are downloadable maps of the game lands.

Local Laws

 

Local Laws Information

Big Game Harvest Reporting

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:

  • As permitted in the past, the landholder can place notices, signs, or posters on the property boundaries at a distance of 200 yards apart or closer.
  • A new way for landholders to post their property is with purple paint. The landholder can paint a vertical line of purple paint on trees or posts around property boundary, or areas intended to prohibit trespass. The paint line needs to be at least 8" long and the bottom of the line should be between 3' and 5' from the base of the tree or post. The paint marks need to be placed 100 yards apart or closer.

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.


Unlawful Harassment

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.

Night Hunting FAQs

Access Guide for Sportsmen with Disabilities

 

After the Hunt

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.

 

  • Donations

Hunting Publications

Click image to view document.

 

2020-21 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting, & Trapping Regulations Digest

Contains information on license requirements, inland fishing regulations, hunting regulations, trapping regulations, Game Lands regulations and restrictions, local laws, Big Game Harvest Reports, and Permit Hunt Opportunities.

This publication is available free of charge.

By Mail
Request a copy be mailed to you
(opens in a new window)

View Online:
View the Registrations Digest online at Eregulations.com
or Download PDF booklet

Contact 
Obtain a digest from one our Wildlife Service Agents.
 
Write or Call
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-1707
(919) 707-0391

 

Click image to view document.

 

County Fox Harvest Seasons Legislated by the North Carolina General Assembly

This document provides a general listing of current statutes pertaining to allowing the harvest of foxes by the NCGA. It includes all known “local laws” as well as a listing of those counties that fall under the fox firearms season set by G.S. 113-291-4A. “Local laws” which prohibit an activity or harvest are listed in the Regulations Digest.

Additional Hunting Resources

Important Hunter Information

Hunting Heritage

 

 

  • Publications

2012 Hunting Matters! "Hats On" Mentoring Campaign Final Report

 


Hunting Heritage Program Strategic Plan


Hunter Retention and Recruitment in North Carolina: Analysis and Implicaions from the "Maintaining the Heritage" 2005 Workshop

Hunter Education Information

The Hunter Education Program of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission provides free hunter education courses throughout the year in every county.  More than a firearm safety course, instruction includes ethics and responsibility, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife identification, survival and first aid, specialty hunting and tree stand safety.

There are no minimum age requirements, however, classes are taught at a sixth grade level and tests must be completed without assistance. Courses are a minimum of 6 hours, taught by wildlife officers, hunter education specialists and certified volunteer instructors, and certification is accepted in every state and province in North America.

Due to hunter education, hunting accidents have decreased by over 50% during the last twenty years making hunting one of the safest recreational activities.

 

 

  • Online Courses
    • Currently, there are four online hunter education courses (with varying fees) that provide a convenient alternative to the classroom course.  Once you complete an online course, you will need to attend a local, 2-hour review session with proctored exam to complete certification.  Click here to register for a review session near you.

 

 

 

  • Home from the Hunt Learn more about Home from the Hunt, a nationally recognized campaign that encourages everyone to be prepared and be safe during time spent outdoors.

 

 

Improving Hunting Skills

  • Skill-Based Seminars -  Visit the Skills-based Seminars calendar page for the current schedule.
    • Turkey Hunting
    • Squirrel Hunting
    • Waterfowl Hunting
    • Deer Hunting 101
    • Deer Processing

 (For question or more information, contact Walter "Deet" James at walter.james@ncwildlife.org,  919-707-0059 (office), or  984-202-1387 (mobile).

 

 

 

Additional Publications

  Fox and Coyote Populations Study Final Report (April 1, 2012)

In June 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly directed the Wildlife Resources Commission (Commission) to study fox and coyote populations and to recommend management methods and controls designed to ensure statewide conservation of fox populations while managing adverse effects of coyote populations. Since that time, the Commission has gathered information about the attitudes and perspectives of numerous stakeholder groups.

In addition, the Commission compiled all available information on the harvest and status of foxes and coyotes by hunters and trappers. Included herein is a detailed presentation of the different authorities for regulating take of foxes and coyotes, including the Commission’s limited authority for regulating take of foxes, and the resulting significant variation in fox hunting and trapping seasons.


 

   Quick Facts: From the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife -Associated Recreation (USFWS)

The 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation is a comprehensive source of wildlife-related recreation information. Information is provided in national and state printed reports and at https://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-nat.pdf 


 

   Tarheel Wildlife

A Guide for Managing Wildlife on Private Lands In North Carolina.


   Click for information on The Upland Gazette

 

Stay up-to-date with North Carolina small game issues and wildlife habitat information in the Upland Gazette newsletter!



  Wildlife Restoration in North Carolina 

Learn more about the Wildlife Restoration Program in North Carolina and its accomplishments in this report.

Surveys and Reports

Recipes

Seen a Sick Deer?

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:

  • Isolation from other animals
  • Listlessness or showing little or no interest in their surroundings
  • Lack of coordination
  • Frequent lowering of the head
  • Blank facial expressions
  • Walking in set patterns    
  • Drooling and grinding of teeth
  • Drinking lots of water and increased urination
  • Low weight

For more information, see our Deer Diseases page.

News & Events

Mindy Wharton
/ Categories: Conserving, Fishing, Enjoying, Home, News

New 2021 Harvest Season Established for Striped Bass on the Roanoke River

RALEIGH, N.C. (Jan. 15, 2021) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission issued a proclamation outlining significant changes to the 2021 striped bass harvest season in the Roanoke River Management Area. Striped bass open harvest dates will be:

  • April 10–16 in the lower river zone (downstream of the U.S. Highway 258 bridge at Scotland Neck to the mouth at Albemarle Sound).
  • April 24–30 in the upper river zone (upstream of the Highway U.S. 258 bridge at Scotland Neck to the base of Roanoke Rapids Dam)

View a map of impacted areas

Changes to the season framework became necessary when the harvest quota in the Roanoke River was reduced from 68,750 pounds to 12,800 pounds. The reduction was deemed a necessary conservation action intended to rebuild the striped bass population. Results from a 2020 stock assessment of the Roanoke River/Albemarle Sound conducted by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, with assistance from the Wildlife Commission, indicated that the stock was overfished and overfishing was occurring. 

The separate weeks selected in each river zone coincide with the highest average weekly harvest totals observed by Wildlife Commission fisheries staff over the last nine years.

“As harvest options were considered, we identified the days where harvest was historically the highest in each area of the river. Although the timing of fish migration into the river is different each spring, daily harvest during the two weekly periods selected averaged between 700 and 1,300 pounds of striped bass per day,” said Commission Coastal Fisheries Supervisor Chad Thomas.

Size limits and daily creel limits will remain the same. During the two separate harvest periods, the minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches (the protective slot) may be possessed at any time. The daily creel limit is two fish, only one of which may be larger than 27 inches.

“For decades our primary concern on the Roanoke has been having enough water in the river during April and May to provide optimum spawning conditions”, said Thomas. “The reverse is now true, where we are dealing regularly with periods of heavy rainfall and extreme high flow events that flush fertilized eggs and fry out of the river channel and into the floodplain where survival is limited at best.”  

The N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is in the process of being amended, and additional management strategies to aid with stock recovery on the Roanoke River will be identified and presented to the public for input in late 2021. 

Despite the shortened harvest season, anglers can continue to catch and release striped bass throughout the spring. To reduce handling stress on fish that are released, the Commission recommends anglers use a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook, a requirement from April 1 through June 30 when fishing in the upper Roanoke River zone above the US Highway 258 bridge near Scotland Neck.

Signage will be posted at boating access areas (BAAs) along the Roanoke River to notify anglers of the changes to the open harvest dates. More information about boating access areas on the Roanoke River can be found using the agency’s online BAA locator.

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 For high-res images, please contact Mindy Wharton.

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Mindy Wharton 
919-410-2111 (mobile) 

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Big Game

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

Black Bear

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

photo by: Mike Carraway

Please click image for additional information

 

2020-21 Bear Season Dates

Western Bear Season

(Mountain Bear Mgmt Unit)

Oct. 12 - Nov. 21, 2020 -  In and west of Surry, Wilkes, Caldwell, Burke and Cleveland counties

Dec. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 - In and west of Surry, Wilkes, Caldwell, Burke and Cleveland counties

 

Piedmont Bear Season

​(Piedmont Bear Mgmt. Unit)

Nov. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson,    Durham, Granville, Guilford, Lee,  Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Orange,   Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, and   Union counties

Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Moore, Richmond, Scotland, Vance, Wake and Warren counties 

Nov. 21, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Alexander, Catawba, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Stokes and Yadkin counties

 

Eastern Bear Season

​(Coastal Bear Mgmt. Unit)

Zone 1:  Nov 14 - 29, 2020 - Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties

 

Zone 2:  Nov. 14 - 22, 2020 -  Camden*, Chowan*, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank*, and Perquimans counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank, and Perquimans counties

                   *Per local law, bear season opens Nov. 13, 2020 for these 3 counties

 

Zone 3:  Nov. 14 - 22, 2020 - Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Martin and Washington counties

               Dec. 12 - 27, 2020 - Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Martin and Washington counties

 

Zone 4:  Nov. 21 - Dec. 20, 2020 -  Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Lenoir, Nash, Northampton, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties

 

Zone 5:  Nov. 9, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 -  Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico*, Pender, Robeson and Sampson counties

 *The us of dogs for hunting bears is prohibited in Pamlico county.

White-tailed Deer

White-tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Photo by: Ken Taylor

Click image to see additional information

 

2020-21 Deer Season

Deer Zone Maps

Western Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 - 27, 2020
     Oct. 11 - Nov. 222, 2020
     Dec. 13, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021 (antlered deer only)
  • Blackpowder:  Sept. 28 -  Oct. 10, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 23 - Dec. 12, 2020
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​No Season:  Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties
    • ​Introductory Season:  Nov. 28, 2020 - Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties
    • Conservative Season:  Nov. 23 - 28, 2020 - Avery, Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties

 

Northwestern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Nov. 6, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Nov. 7 - 20, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 21, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Moderate Season:  Nov. 21 - Dec. 4, 2020 - Cleveland, Polk and Rutherford counties

Central Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 30, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 31 - Nov. 13, 2020
  • Gun:  Nov. 14, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

Northeastern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 2, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 3 - Oct. 16, 2020
  • Gun:  Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

 

Southeastern Deer Season

  • Archery:  Sept. 12 -  Oct. 2, 2020
  • Blackpowder:  Oct. 3 - Oct. 16, 2020
  • Gun:  Oct. 17, 2020 - Jan. 1, 2021
  • Gun Either-Sex Deer Seasons
    • ​Maximum Season:  Entire Gun Season - All other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

 

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.

  • Any Legal Weapon:  Sept. 26, 2020

 

Deer Urban Archery Season

Open in participating cities only (refer to the Regulations Digest for a list and contact information)

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Click image to see additional information

 

2020-21 Turkey Season Dates

2020-21 Wild Turkey Spring Season  (male or bearded turkey only)

  • April 10 - May 8, 2021 - Statewide

 

2020-21 Wild Turkey YOUTH ONLY Season  (male or bearded turkey only)

  • April 3 - 9, 2021 - Statewide

Small Game and Other Seasons

2020-2021 Small Game and Other Seasons

Species 

Regulations
 Armadillo
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Beaver
 Refer to Regulations Digest

 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Bobcat
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations  

 Trapping Regulations

 Coyote
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 5-County Coyote Hunting & Depredation Permits 

 Crow
 Aug. 5, 2020 – Feb. 27, 2021 
 June 2, 2020 – July 31, 2021
 
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of each week.  Crows may also be hunted on Labor Day,  Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, New Year’s   Day,  Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Independence Day; except when these days fall on a Sunday.
 Hunting Regulations
 Feral Swine
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Fox 

 Refer to "Fox Hunting & Trapping Seasons" publication

  at www.ncwildlife.org/foxseasons

 Fox Seasons by County
 Groundhog
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Grouse
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations
 Nutria
 No Closed Season
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Opossum
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Pheasant (Male Only)
 Nov. 21, 2020 - Feb. 1, 2021
 Hunting Regulations
 Quail
 Nov. 21, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Rabbit (Including Box-Trapping)

 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021

 Hunting Regulations
 Raccoon
 Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021
 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Skunk (striped)
 No Closed Season

 Hunting Regulations

 Trapping Regulations

 Squirrel

 Gray and Red - Oct. 12, 2020 - Feb. 28, 2021

 Fox - October 12, 2020 - Jan. 31,2021

 Hunting Regulations
 Controlled Hunting Preserves   Regulations
 Extended Falconry  Regulations

Mourning Doves

Species  Season Dates and Information

 Doves (includes mourning

 and white-winged dove)

 Seasons / Limits​

 Extended Falconry Seasons

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations

 Game Land Dove Fields

 Surveys and Reports

Waterfowl

Webless Migratory Game Birds (woodcock, rail, snipe)

Species Season Dates and Information
 Woodcock

 Seasons / Limits

 Extended Falconry Seasons  

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

 Snipe

 Seasons / Limits

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

 Rails (includes Sora &

 Clapper, King, & 

 Virginia Rail)

 Seasons / Limits

 Extended Falconry Season

 State Regulations

 Federal Regulations (Summary)

Important Hunter Information

Hunting Heritage

 

 

  • Publications

2012 Hunting Matters! "Hats On" Mentoring Campaign Final Report

 


Hunting Heritage Program Strategic Plan


Hunter Retention and Recruitment in North Carolina: Analysis and Implicaions from the "Maintaining the Heritage" 2005 Workshop

Hunter Education Information

The Hunter Education Program of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission provides free hunter education courses throughout the year in every county.  More than a firearm safety course, instruction includes ethics and responsibility, conservation and wildlife management, wildlife identification, survival and first aid, specialty hunting and tree stand safety.

There are no minimum age requirements, however, classes are taught at a sixth grade level and tests must be completed without assistance. Courses are a minimum of 6 hours, taught by wildlife officers, hunter education specialists and certified volunteer instructors, and certification is accepted in every state and province in North America.

Due to hunter education, hunting accidents have decreased by over 50% during the last twenty years making hunting one of the safest recreational activities.

 

 

  • Online Courses
    • Currently, there are four online hunter education courses (with varying fees) that provide a convenient alternative to the classroom course.  Once you complete an online course, you will need to attend a local, 2-hour review session with proctored exam to complete certification.  Click here to register for a review session near you.

 

 

 

  • Home from the Hunt Learn more about Home from the Hunt, a nationally recognized campaign that encourages everyone to be prepared and be safe during time spent outdoors.

 

 

Improving Hunting Skills

  • Skill-Based Seminars -  Visit the Skills-based Seminars calendar page for the current schedule.
    • Turkey Hunting
    • Squirrel Hunting
    • Waterfowl Hunting
    • Deer Hunting 101
    • Deer Processing

 (For question or more information, contact Walter "Deet" James at walter.james@ncwildlife.org,  919-707-0059 (office), or  984-202-1387 (mobile).

 

 

 

Additional Publications

  Fox and Coyote Populations Study Final Report (April 1, 2012)

In June 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly directed the Wildlife Resources Commission (Commission) to study fox and coyote populations and to recommend management methods and controls designed to ensure statewide conservation of fox populations while managing adverse effects of coyote populations. Since that time, the Commission has gathered information about the attitudes and perspectives of numerous stakeholder groups.

In addition, the Commission compiled all available information on the harvest and status of foxes and coyotes by hunters and trappers. Included herein is a detailed presentation of the different authorities for regulating take of foxes and coyotes, including the Commission’s limited authority for regulating take of foxes, and the resulting significant variation in fox hunting and trapping seasons.


 

   Quick Facts: From the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife -Associated Recreation (USFWS)

The 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation is a comprehensive source of wildlife-related recreation information. Information is provided in national and state printed reports and at https://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-nat.pdf 


 

   Tarheel Wildlife

A Guide for Managing Wildlife on Private Lands In North Carolina.


   Click for information on The Upland Gazette

 

Stay up-to-date with North Carolina small game issues and wildlife habitat information in the Upland Gazette newsletter!



  Wildlife Restoration in North Carolina 

Learn more about the Wildlife Restoration Program in North Carolina and its accomplishments in this report.

Surveys and Reports

Recipes

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