North Carolina Hunting Seasons, 2016-2017


The Tar Heel State is known for its dense forests and beautiful, woody and rugged landscape in many areas. It’s hunting seasons provide ample bounties for hunters close to the Appalachian Mountains and further east.

If you’re hunting in North Carolina, expect to find seasons for black bears, wild turkey and white-tailed deer. In addition, the state offers accommodating small game seasons that encompass armadillos, pheasants, quail and more.

Looking for more information on North Carolina hunting regulations, licenses and other details for a safe and legal hunting? Be sure to visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website.

Black Bear Seasons

Western Bear Season Oct. 17-Nov. 19
Dec. 12-Jan. 2
Piedmont Bear Season Oct. 15-Jan. 2*
Eastern Bear Season Nov. 14-Jan. 2

*Season dates vary by county. Visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website for specific county dates.
It is illegal to take cubs (less than 75 pounds) or female bears with cubs. Nonresidents must obtain a bear hunting license prior to hunting.

Deer Seasons

Youth Deer Hunting Day Sept. 24
Eastern Deer Season Archery: Sept. 10-30
Blackpowder:  Oct. 1-14
Gun: Oct. 15-Jan. 2
Central Deer Season Archery: Sept. 10-Oct. 28
Blackpowder: Oct. 29-Nov. 11
Gun: Nov. 12-Jan. 2
Northwestern Deer Season Archery: Sept. 10-Nov. 4
Blackpowder: Nov. 5-18
Gun: Nov. 19-Jan. 2
Western Deer Season Archery: Sept. 10-Oct. 2 and Oct. 16-Nov. 20
Blackpowder: Oct. 3-15
Gun: Nov. 21-Dec. 10

Wild Turkey Seasons

Spring Youth Season Apr. 1-7, 2017
Spring Season Apr. 8-May 6, 2017

Small Game Seasons

Raccoon and Opossum Oct. 17-Feb. 28
Gray and Red Squirrel Oct. 17-Feb. 28
Fox Squirrel Oct. 17-Dec. 31
Rabbit Nov. 19-Feb. 28
Quail Nov. 19-Feb. 28
Grouse Oct. 17-Feb. 28
Bobcat Oct. 17-Feb. 28
Groundhog, Nutria, Coyote, Skunk, Armadillo, Feral Hogs Open Season
Pheasant Nov. 12-Feb. 1
Fox Year-round*
Beaver Open Season

*Some areas of North Carolina limit hunting to particular dates.

Bag limits, special seasons and hunting regulations for North Carolina hunting seasons do vary based on animal and seasons. For more information on obtaining licenses, permits and regulations, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website.