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Deer Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing

General Restrictions

  • Any person hunting deer during a deer firearms season shall wear hunter orange visible from all sides. This includes hunting with archery equipment on Sundays. This also includes anyone hunting on Youth Deer Hunting Day, regardless of age of the hunter or weapon used. Landholders, their spouses and children hunting on land held by the landholder do not have to wear hunter orange.
  • Deer with visible antlers may be taken during any open deer season. Antlerless deer may only be taken during either-sex deer seasons.
  • Visible antlers are defined as bony structures that protrude through the skin. Knobs or buttons covered by skin or velvet are not considered visible antlers.
  • It is unlawful to place processed food products as bait in any area of the state with an established season for taking black bears. Processed food products are any food substance or flavoring that has been modified by the addition of ingredients or by treatment to modify its chemical composition or form or to enhance its aroma or taste. This includes: food products enhanced by sugar, honey, syrups, oils, salts, spices, peanut butter, grease, meat, bones, or blood; candies, pastries, gum, and sugar blocks; and extracts of such products.
  • The placement of commercially available mineral supplements specifically and exclusively marketed for attracting or feeding deer is allowed anywhere in the state, except on game lands.

Weapons and Dogs

Archery

  • During the archery season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows and crossbows (both described on General Hunting Regulations).

Blackpowder

Gun

  • During the gun season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows, crossbows, blackpowder firearms, shotguns, rifles, and handguns (all described on General Hunting Regulations).

Dogs

Bag Limits

  • The season and possession bag limit is six deer, two of which may be antlered, and four of which may be antlerless.
  • There is no daily bag limit.
  • Antlerless deer harvested and reported on Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards do not count towards the season or possession limit.
  • Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards allow for the harvest of two additional antlerless deer per card. These are ONLY valid for use for deer taken within participating municipalities during the Urban Archery Season. Unlimited Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards are available to each hunter. Bonus Antlerless Har­vest Report Cards can be obtained on or after Jan. 1 at most wildlife service agents, or online at ncwildlife.org or by calling 888-248-6834.
  • Antlerless deer harvested under the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and tagged with harvest tags provided with the program are not included in normal statewide bag limits.

Either-Sex Deer Seasons

Youth Deer Hunting Day

  • Deer of either sex may be taken by hunters under the age of 18 on this day.

Archery Deer Season

  • Deer of either sex may be taken during archery deer season in all areas (includes game lands) in and east of Watauga, Wilkes, Alexander, Catawba, Cleveland, Rutherford, and Polk counties.
  • Deer of either sex may be taken during the first and second archery deer seasons in all areas (includes game lands) in and west of Henderson, Buncombe, McDowell, Burke, Caldwell and Avery counties.

Blackpowder Firearm Deer Season

  • Deer of either sex may be taken during the first Saturday of the black­powder firearm deer season in and west of Henderson, Buncombe, Yancey, Mitchell and Avery counties (includes game lands).
  • Deer of either sex may be taken anytime during the blackpowder firearm deer season in and east of Polk, Rutherford, McDowell, Burke, Caldwell, Watauga and Ashe counties (includes game lands).

Gun Either-Sex Deer Season

  • Deer of either sex may only be taken during the gun season during those dates indicated on pages Deer Zone Maps. Most gun either-sex seasons fall under one of the following four categories in North Carolina:
    • Maximum: Either-sex harvest is allowed the entire gun season.
    • Moderate: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open day of the regular season through the second Friday thereafter.
    • Conservative: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open day of the regular season through the first Saturday thereafter.
    • Introductory: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open Saturday of the regular gun season.

Urban Archery Season

Archery only: Jan. 12 – Feb. 17, 2019

Information for Hunters

  • The intention of the Urban Archery Season is to enable cities, towns and villages to reduce urban deer populations through increased hunter opportunity. Hunting during the Urban Archery Season is allowed ONLY in participating municipalities.
  • Each city, town and village will decide if hunting is allowed on public property and restrictions, if any, for hunting on private property within the city, town and village limits.
  • Hunters wishing to hunt in an area participating in the Urban Archery Season should call the participating city, town or village or visit its website to obtain a map showing lawful areas to hunt and additional information on specific restrictions that may apply to each area.
  • The Urban Archery Season does not obligate private landowners to allow hunting on their property, nor does it eliminate the ethical requirement for obtaining permission from the landowner before hunting. Hunters are legally required to obtain written permission to hunt on posted property.
  • Season bag and possession limits for both antlerless and antlered deer, including Bonus Anterless Harvest Report Cards, that apply to the general archery, blackpowder, and gun deer seasons also apply to the Urban Archery Season.
  • Deer of either sex may be harvested in participating areas during the Urban Archery Season.

The 2019 participating cities, towns and villages are:

Albemarle704-984-9565
albemarlenc.gov

Archer Lodge919-359-9727

townofarcherlodge.com

Belmont704-825-5586

cityofbelmont.org

Boiling Springs704-434-9691 or
704-434-2357
boilingspringsnc.net

Catawba828-241-2215

townofcatawbanc.org

China Grove704-857-2466

chinagrovenc.gov

Clayton919-553-5002

townofclaytonnc.org

Clevelandclevelandnc.org

Concord704-920-5000

concordnc.gov

Denton336-859-4231
townofdenton.com

East Bend336-699-8560

eastbendnc.com

Elkin 336-258-8910

elkinnc.org

Fairview704-753-1981
fairviewnc.gov

Franklinville336-824-2604

townoffranklinvillenc.org

Glen Alpine828-584-2622

townofglenalpine.org

Granite Quarry704-279-5596

granitequarrync.gov

Grifton252-524-5168

Harrisburg704-455-0709

harrisburgnc.org

Huntersville704-875-6541

huntersville.org

Jamestown336-454-1138

jamestown-nc.gov

Jefferson336-846-9368

Jonesville336-835-3426

jonesvillenc.gov

Kannapolis704-920-4071

kannapolisnc.gov

King336-983-8265

ci.king.nc.us

Landis704-857-2411

townoflandis.com

Lattimore704-434-2620

facebook.com/TownofLattimore/
townoflattimore@gmail.com

Lenoir828-757-2200

cityoflenoir.com

Lewisville336-945-1022

lewisvillenc.net

Locust 704-888-5260

locustnc.com

Midland704-888-2232

midlandnc.us

Mineral Springs704-243-0505

mineralspringsnc.com

Mooresborotownofmooresboro.org

Morganton828-438-5290

morgantonnc.gov

Mount Pleasant704-436-9803

mtpleasantnc.org

Nags Head/Kill Devil Hills252-441-2525 Ext. 2

New London704-463-5423
newlondonnc.org

North Wilkesboro336-667-7129

north-wilkesboro.com

Norwood704-474-3416

norwoodgov.com

Oakboro704-485-3351

oakboro.com

Oak Ridgeoakridgenc.com

Pineville704-889-2291

pinevillenc.gov

Pleasant Garden336-674-3002

pleasantgarden.net

Red Cross704-485-2002

townofredcross.com

Richfield704-463-1308

richfieldnc.com

Ronda336-835-2061
townofronda.org

Sanford919-777-1104

sanfordnc.net

Shelby704-484-6801

cityofshelby.com

Stallings704-821-8557

stallingsnc.org

Stanfield704-888-2386
stanfieldnc.com

Stokesdale336-643-4011

stokesdale.org

Summerfield336-643-8655

summerfieldgov.com

Trent Woods252-637-3030

trentwoodspd.org

Troutman704-528-7600

troutmannc.gov

Unionville704-226-1989

townofunionvillenc.com

Valdese828-879-2120

townofvaldese.com

Wake Forestddoherty@wakeforestnc.gov

Walnut Creek919-778-9768

walnutcreeknc.com

Waxhaw704-843-2195 (Parks & Rec. Dept.)

waxhaw.com

Weddington704-846-2709

townofweddington.com

Wentworth336-342-6288

townofwentworth.com

Yadkinville336-679-8732

yadkinville.org

Information for cities, towns and villages

The Urban Archery Season is available for cities, towns and villages that submit to the Wildlife Resources Commission by April 1 of each year a letter of intent to partici­pate in the season. A map (no larger than 11” X 17”) clearly defining the area included in the season should also accompany the letter of intent. Interested municipalities should call the Wildlife Management Division at 919-707-0050 and request to be contacted by a district wildlife biologist.

Disposal of Deer Carcasses

  • Disposing of deer or any other animal remains on roadsides, waterways or on property (without permission or where restricted) is illegal in North Carolina.
  • Irresponsible dumping of deer carcasses sends the wrong image of a great sport, can spread disease, and could result in misdemeanor and felony charges.
  • Dispose of game remnants in a prompt and responsible manner.
  • Where permissible, bury remains at least two feet deep.
  • Contact your area landfill or solid waste management provider for local policies and more information.

Be a responsible and ethical hunter!