North Carolina Hunting & Fishing
- 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
- During the archery season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows and crossbows (both described on General Hunting Regulations).
- During the blackpowder season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows, crossbows (both described on General Hunting Regulations), and blackpowder firearms as defined on General Hunting Regulations.
- 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).
- Hunters may use dogs to hunt deer during open deer seasons in counties indicated on the map on Deer Zone Maps, and to retrieve a wounded deer. See for details.
- 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 (described below). 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 on 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 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. 11 – Feb. 16, 2020
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 2020 participating cities, towns and villages are:
Nags Head/Kill Devil Hills252-441-2525 Ext. 2
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.
Please note: For the convenience of the reader, major regulation changes appear in RED