North Carolina Hunting Seasons Information and Regulations
*All information listed below is disclosed based on research we have conducted. We do our best to ensure that all information is up to date and accurate. However, rules and regulations are changing every day. Please make sure to verify your state-specific regulations prior to your hunt.
The North Carolina hunting season is a great time of year for outdoor adventurers. During this period, hunters are able to pursue some of the state’s most sought-after game species including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, black bear and small game. The season typically runs from mid September through mid February with additional spring hunts for turkey and other species. There are also special youth hunts for deer and wild turkey.
In order to hunt legally in North Carolina, hunters must have a valid hunting license and follow all laws associated with the season. All hunters should understand the regulations for their specific game species as well as any local ordinances that may apply within their county or city limits. Hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests may also have additional restrictions. It is the responsibility of all North Carolina hunters to be aware of the laws in their area before heading out.
North Carolina Deer Seasons
|Northeastern Archery||Sep. 9 – Sep. 29|
|Northeastern Blackpowder||Sep. 30 – Oct. 13|
|Northeastern Gun||Oct. 14 – Jan. 1|
|Southeastern Archery||Sep. 9 – Sep. 29|
|Southeastern Blackpowder||Sep. 30 – Oct. 13|
|Southeastern Gun||Oct. 14 – Jan. 1|
|Central Archery||Sep. 9 – Oct. 27|
|Central Blackpowder||Oct. 28 – Nov. 10|
|Central Gun||Nov. 11 – Jan. 1|
|Northwestern Archery||Sep. 9 – Nov. 3|
|Northwestern Blackpowder||Nov. 4 – Nov. 17|
|Northwestern Gun||Nov. 18 – Jan. 1|
|Western Archery||Sep. 9 – Oct. 1|
|Western Blackpowder||Oct. 2 – Oct. 14|
|Western Archery (Antlered Only)||Oct. 15 – Nov. 19|
|Western Gun||Nov. 20 – Dec. 9|
|Western Urban Deer Season Archery Only||Jan. 13 – Feb. 18|
*Dates for the season vary by zone. Only a few cities have seasons for urban archery deer. Visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website to learn more about specific season start and end dates in your area.
North Carolina Black Bear Seasons
|Western Bear Seasons||Dec. 12 – Jan. 2|
|Piedmont Bear Seasons||Nov. 12 – Jan. 2|
|Piedmont Bear Seasons||Oct. 15 – Jan. 2|
|Piedmont Bear Seasons||Nov. 19 – Jan. 2|
|Eastern Bear Seasons||Nov. 14 – Jan. 2|
* Dates for the season vary by zone. For specific county dates, go to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website. It is against the law to capture female bears with cubs or cubs weighing less than 75 pounds. Before hunting bears, nonresidents must obtain a license.
North Carolina Wild Turkey Seasons
|Wild Turkey Spring Season||Apr. 8 – May 6, 2023|
|Wild Turkey Spring Season||Apr. 13 – May 11, 2024|
|Wild Turkey Youth-only Season||Apr. 1 – Apr. 7, 2023|
|Wild Turkey Youth-only Season||Apr. 6 – Apr. 12, 2024|
The best turkey hunting in North Carolina can be found at Carolina Woods & Water! The number of turkeys in North Carolina is at an all-time high, and the Roanoke River’s banks are no exception. From mid-April to early May, guided North Carolina turkey hunts are offered by Carolina Woods & Water.
North Carolina Small Game Seasons
|Raccoon and Opossum||Oct. 17 – Feb. 28|
|Gray and Red Squirrel||Oct. 17 – Feb. 28|
|Fox Squirrel||Oct. 17 – Jan. 31|
|Rabbit||Oct. 17- Feb. 28|
|Quail||Nov. 19 – Feb. 28|
|Grouse||Oct. 17 – Feb. 28|
|Bobcat||Oct. 17 – Feb. 28|
|Pheasant||Nov. 19 – Feb. 1|
*Like most states, North Carolina has a variety of specific regulations depending on the animal and seasons. Make sure to check the official site North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website for the updated information.
North Carolina Crossbow Regulations
Crossbow Specific Regulations: The draw weight of a crossbow must be at least 100 pounds. The width of the bolts must not be less than 7/8 of an inch with fixed broadheads. When in the open position, mechanically opening broadheads must be at least 7/8 of an inch wide. These can be harvested for deer; bear; turkey wild; as well as wild boar.
North Carolina Hunting License
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers various types of licenses and permits that differ with regard to the activities they authorize. This site provides information about the licenses and permits available, the privileges they authorize and the associated fees. All licenses are nontransferable.
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