The Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) is charged with responsibility for the regulation and conservation of wildlife in North Carolina. It should be noted, however, that the federal government and, to a lesser degree, local governments also have regulations that deal with this subject. This response addresses only the WRC statutes and regulations pertaining to the sale of wildlife. Questions involving federal regulation should be addressed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Statutes pertaining to the sale of wildlife may be found in Chapter 113-291.3 of the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS). Rules addressing this subject may be found in Title 15A of the North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC).
As a general rule wildlife, in whole or in part, may not be bought or sold in North Carolina although the law does make some exceptions. This broad prohibition is set out in N.C.G.S. §113-291.3 as follows:
"Live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds may be taken, possessed, transported, bought, sold, imported, exported, or otherwise acquired or disposed of only as specifically authorized in this Subchapter or its implementing rules. The Wildlife Resources Commission may impose necessary reporting, permit, and tagging requirements in regulating activities involving live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds. The Wildlife Resources Commission may charge a reasonable fee to defray the cost of any tagging procedure."
NCGS §113-291.3 and §113-291.4 set out some exceptions to the general rule that wildlife may not be bought and sold. They are:
As stated above, the North Carolina Administrative Code also contains provisions pertinent to the sale of wildlife. 15A NCAC 10B .0118 "Sale of Wildlife" contains the following provisions:
The sale of game birds and game animals or parts is prohibited, except that processed products of lawfully taken game birds and animals other than those made from edible portions may be sold provided that no label or advertisement identifies the product as a game bird, game animal, or part thereof and provided further that the game bird or game animal was lawfully acquired and the product is not readily identifiable as a game bird or game animal or part thereof.
The sale of edible portions or products of game birds and game animals is prohibited, except as may otherwise be provided (see preceding paragraph).
Licensed trappers and hunters may sell the carcasses or pelts of coyote harvested during the trapping season to a licensed fur dealer. They may also sell coyotes found dead if the coyote was found during the open coyote season. Licensed trappers may also live-trap coyotes during any open trapping season for coyote for the purposes of selling them to licensed controlled fox hunting preserves.
In the counties of Dare, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell, and Beaufort, coyotes taken under a depredation permit shall be reported to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 24 hours and disposed of as stated on the permit.