Wildlife Depredation refers to wildlife causing property damage. Depredating wildlife may be taken both with and without a permit under certain conditions. How one should dispose of the wildlife taken as a result of depredation depends on the species taken and whether or not a Depredation Permit was issued.
A state Depredation Permit is required for taking wildlife causing damage except under the conditions mentioned below. The only exception is that pigeons, starlings, and English sparrows do not require a state permit. For information about obtaining a depredation permit, contact the NC Wildlife Helpline (866) 318-2401 Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, your local Wildlife Biologist, Enforcement Officer, or any one of the over 160 licensed commercial Wildlife Control Agents in the state.
Depredation Permits are free of charge. (Wildlife Control Agents are not officials of the Wildlife Commission and may charge for their time associated with a wildlife damage investigation or animal removal) Each permit must be issued to the landholders but a second party may be listed to actually take the wildlife causing damage. Permits will list species, county, specific location, property damaged, number of animals to be taken, expiration date, method used, and other restrictions. You should ask the issuing party about proper disposal of the animals taken under a Depredation Permit if not shown under other restrictions on the permit itself. Depredation Permits for Big Game species, endangered, threatened, or special concern will only be issued by an official of the Wildlife Resources Commission. Wildlife Control Agents are not allowed to issue permits for these species. Big Game taken under a Depredation Permit must be reported on the form provided or online by clicking here.
North Carolina Statute allows landholders to take wildlife at any time with firearms without a permit or license while it is in the act of destroying their property. Exceptions to this include certain state or federally protected wildlife species such as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern or most species of birds except Upland Game Birds (see Definition of Terms), pigeons, starlings, English sparrows, blackbirds, crows and grackles.
Wildlife taken without a permit must be disposed of in a "safe and sanitary manner" on the property where they were taken. The animals may only be taken on the property of the landholder. If the carcasses are transported off the property, or there is a need to utilize the meat for food purposes, or a manner of take other than firearms is required (see exception below), a Depredation Permit will be required.
Animals causing property damage or found within a residential structure (house, apartment, etc.) may be trapped without a permit (depredation) only during the current trapping season for that species. The landowner, their spouse and dependents under 18 residing with them are exempt from a trapping license. Any other third party person trapping for the landowner must have a valid trapping license and the landowner’s permission. Animals trapped in this manner may be released on the property, treated as a legally-trapped furbearer, buried or disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner on the property where trapped.
The killing and method of disposition of every alligator and bear taken without a permit, shall be reported to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 24 hours following the time of such killing.