North Carolina Hunting

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  • It is now mandatory to submit at least one premolar tooth from your harvested bear by January 31st following the applicable bear hunting season. • After pulling both upper premolar teeth (see ad below and instructions at ncwildlife.org/ bear), place one of the teeth in the bear tooth envelope you received in the mail from the Commission. Save the other tooth as a backup until you have been notified by the Commission that we received your tooth. • If you lost the bear tooth envelope, call 919- 707-0050 to have a new envelope sent to you.

Any person hunting bear, feral swine, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant or quail with the use of firearms must wear a cap or hat made of hunter orange material or an outer garment of hunter orange visible from all sides. Anyone hunting deer during a deer firearms season, regardless of weapon, must wear hunter orange visible from all sides. This includes archery hunters that hunt on Sunday during the deer firearms season and anyone hunting on Youth Deer Hunting Day. This requirement does not apply to a landholder, his or her spouse and children if they are hunting on the landholder’s property.

When used for hunting in North Carolina archery equipment is defined as any device that has a solid stationary handle with two limbs and a string that uses non-pneumatic means to propel a single arrow or bolt.

  • Longbows, recurved bows, compound bows and crossbows are legal for hunting all spe- cies with an open hunting season.
  • When used to hunt bear, deer, elk, wild tur- key, alligator and feral swine:
  • Longbows and recurved bows must haveva minimum pull of 40 pounds
  • Compound bows must have a minimum pull of 35 pounds.
  • Crossbows must have a minimum pull of 100 pounds
  • Only arrows and bolts with a fixed minimum broadhead width of seven-eighths of an inch or a mechanically opening broadhead with a width of at least seven-eighths of an inch in the open position shall be used.
  • Slingbows having a minimum pull of 40 pounds may be used during legal hunting sea- sons for hunting deer, wild turkey, small game animals, nongame animals and nongame fish.
  • Blunt-type arrow heads may be used in tak- ing small animals and birds, including rabbits, squirrels, quail and grouse.
  • Poisonous, drugged, or explosive arrowheads shall not be used for taking any wildlife.
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Fully automatic rifles are unlawful. All other rifles are legal except:

  • Rifles are prohibited by federal law in hunting migratory game birds.
  • Local laws prohibit or restrict rifles in some counties.
  • It is unlawful to hunt or take wild turkeys with rifles.

Shotguns must be no larger than 10-gauge. • When hunting migratory game birds, shotguns must be plugged so as to limit their maximum capacity to three shells.

  • During the open hunting season for rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, furbearing animals and legal nongame animals and birds, these species may be taken with a pistol. There are no restrictions on caliber and barrel length. • Deer and bear may be taken with a handgun during the established gun hunting season. There are no restrictions on barrel length or caliber. A hunter or trapper lawfully taking wildlife by another method may use a pistol to dispatch the animal or bird taken, except as noted below.
  • It is unlawful to hunt or take wild turkeys with pistols.
  • During established archery season only a .22-caliber rimfire pistol may be used to dispatch deer (see “Retrieval”).

30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset

Daily limit 1; Season limit 1

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>