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 ArcherySep. 9 – Sep. 29
Northeastern BlackpowderSep. 30 – Oct. 13
Northeastern GunOct. 14 – Jan. 1
Southeastern ArcherySep. 9 – Sep. 29
Southeastern BlackpowderSep. 30 – Oct. 13
Southeastern GunOct. 14 – Jan. 1
Central ArcherySep. 9 – Oct. 27
Central BlackpowderOct. 28 – Nov. 10
Central GunNov. 11 – Jan. 1
Northwestern ArcherySep. 9 – Nov. 3
Northwestern BlackpowderNov. 4 – Nov. 17
Northwestern GunNov. 18 – Jan. 1
Western ArcherySep. 9 – Oct. 1
Western BlackpowderOct. 2 – Oct. 14
Western Archery (Antlered Only)Oct. 15 – Nov. 19
Western GunNov. 20 – Dec. 9
Western Urban Deer Season Archery OnlyJan. 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 SeasonsDec. 12 – Jan. 2
Piedmont Bear SeasonsNov. 12 – Jan. 2
Piedmont Bear SeasonsOct. 15 – Jan. 2
Piedmont Bear SeasonsNov. 19 – Jan. 2
Eastern Bear SeasonsNov. 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 SeasonApr. 8 – May 6, 2023
Wild Turkey Spring SeasonApr. 13 – May 11, 2024
Wild Turkey Youth-only SeasonApr. 1 – Apr. 7, 2023
Wild Turkey Youth-only SeasonApr. 6 – Apr. 12, 2024

*Make sure to check the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website to know more information.

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 OpossumOct. 17 – Feb. 28
Gray and Red SquirrelOct. 17 – Feb. 28
Fox SquirrelOct. 17 – Jan. 31
RabbitOct. 17- Feb. 28
QuailNov. 19 – Feb. 28
GrouseOct. 17 – Feb. 28
BobcatOct. 17 – Feb. 28
PheasantNov. 19 – Feb. 1
ArmadilloOpen Season

*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.

If you want to check out the next state on our list, click here to see North Dakota.

Or, you can check out the last state on our list, New York.

About Al Parsons

Al Parsons is originally from Alabama, but has had the pleasure of hunting all over the United States. Al is an expert on crossbow hunting, as well as traditional rifle hunting. His favorite time of year is the start of Archery Deer season in Alabama, so usually in October.