Night Hunting Frequently Asked Questions

For many years hunters have been able to take raccoon and opossum at night. Under temporary rules adopted by the Wildlife Resources Commission at its July 12 meeting, hunters can also take coyotes and feral swine at night with a light starting Aug. 1, 2012. The temporary rules will remain in effect for up to 270 days, during which time the Commission will continue to pursue permanent rules.

The answers to these frequently asked questions will guide hunters who want to hunt feral swine and coyotes at night:

Where can I hunt?

Private land only.The Landowner Protection Act requires hunters to obtain written permission to hunt posted property. Some counties have additional laws for written permission. See the local laws section of the 2012-2013 Regulations Digest.  At this time there is no night hunting for coyotes and feral swine on public lands.

Do I have to get a permit?

Not for private land hunting.  In the future when the Commission offers night hunting on game lands, hunting will be permit-only.

What about the feral swine hunting permit?

This permit was a temporary measure before the Commission adopted night hunting rules. This permit is no longer needed and the Commission is no longer issuing them.

When can I hunt?

Hunters may use electronic calls for coyotes and feral swine.

Feral swine may be hunted at night with lights.

Coyotes may be hunted at night with artificial lights except in the counties of Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington. In those five counties, the following apply:

  • Hunting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset in the above listed five counties
  • All coyote hunting in the above listed five counties requires a permit
  • Permits can be obtained at or by calling 888-248-6834
  • All coyote harvests in the above listed five counties must be reported.

Can I hunt at all on Sundays?

On Sundays the following apply:

  • Hunting with firearms between 9:30 a.m.and 12:30 p.m. is prohibited except on controlled hunting preserves;
  • Hunting migratory birds is prohibited;
  • The use of firearms to take deer that are
  • run or chased by dogs is prohibited;
  • Hunting with a firearm within 500 yards of a place of worship or any accessory structure thereof is prohibited.
  • Archery equipment may be used to hunt on Sundays without the restrictions applied to hunting with firearms.

What are the bag limits?

There are no bag limits.Hunters can harvest an unlimited number of coyotes and feral swine.

Are there weapons restrictions Monday through Saturday?

No,except fully automatic firearms are unlawful to use in hunting at any time.

What about restrictions Monday through Saturday?

 There are no restrictions. All artificial lights and night vision equipment is legal.

Does this new rule conflict with local light laws?

No.  Local light laws prohibit a person from “…intentionally shin(ing) alight upon a deer or intentionally sweep(ing) a light in search of deer.” As long as the hunter is honestly using his light to hunt coyotes or feral swine,he is not in violation of local light laws.

What if I'm using a vehicle?

It is unlawful to use a motor vehicle in taking coyote, feral swine or any other wild animal or wild bird when the passenger area is occupied or if the motor is running.