Bear Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing


It is unlawful to do any of the following:

  • Take a cub (less than 75 pounds) or a female bear with cub(s).
  • Hunt bear on a designated bear sanctuary. (See the information below on bear sanctuaries.)

Information on the use of dogs to hunt bears and the use of unprocessed foods is on Bear Maps. Information about the bear cooperator program can be found on Harvest Reporting.

Bear Sanctuaries

Bear may not be taken in those parts of counties included in the following sanctuaries:

  • Bachelor Bay Bear Sanctuary Bertie, Martin and Washington counties
  • Bombing Range Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)Dare County
  • Daniel Boone Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)Avery, Burke and Caldwell counties
  • Columbus County Bear SanctuaryColumbus County
  • Croatan Bear SanctuaryCarteret, Craven and Jones counties
  • Fires Creek Bear SanctuaryClay County
  • Flat Top Bear SanctuaryMitchell and Yancey counties
  • Green Swamp Bear SanctuaryBrunswick and Columbus counties
  • Gull Rock Bear SanctuaryHyde County
  • Harmon Den Bear SanctuaryHaywood County
  • Panthertown-Bonas Defeat Bear SanctuaryJackson County
  • Mt. Mitchell Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)McDowell and Yancey counties
  • North River Bear SanctuaryCamden and Currituck counties
  • Pisgah Bear SanctuaryBuncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Transylvania counties
  • Pungo River Bear SanctuaryHyde County
  • Rich Mountain Bear SanctuaryMadison County
  • Sherwood Bear SanctuaryHaywood County
  • Standing Indian Bear SanctuaryMacon County
  • Suggs Mill Pond Bear SanctuaryBladen County
  • Thurmond Chatham Bear SanctuaryWilkes County
  • Wayah Bear SanctuaryMacon County

The following additional restrictions apply to bear sanctuaries:

  • Dogs may not be used to pursue bear, except during permit hunts that allow hunting bear with dogs.
  • It is unlawful to take feral swine on bear sanctuaries except during the deer archery season, deer blackpowder season, deer gun season and any small game season using only weapons and manner of take prescribed for that hunting season.
  • Dogs may not be used to take feral swine.
  • It is unlawful to train dogs or allow dogs to run unleashed on bear sanctuaries in and west of Madison, Buncombe, Henderson and Polk counties from March 1 until the Monday on or nearest Oct. 15.