New for 2018-2019

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing

As part of the Commission’s ongoing effort to keep you informed, we reserve this page of the digest each year to identify significant regulatory, legislative and agency-related changes that you should be aware of each season. Please note that the information found on this page is not a complete list of regulatory changes. For your convenience, all regulation changes appear throughout the digest in RED.Following is a list of significant changes for the 2018-2019 season:


  • When fishing, anglers may not change the appearance of nongame fishes subject to a size and/or creel limit in such way that the fish cannot be identified, measured or counted, see Nongame Fish Regulations.


  • Clarified that no firearms capable of using fixed ammunition may be used for hunting during the blackpowder-only deer season, regardless of when the firearm was manufactured, see Blackpowder on General Hunting Regulations.
  • Changed the deer bag limits to 4 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer statewide, see Bag Limits on Deer Seasons.
  • Eliminated the use of Bonus Antlerless Deer Licenses/Harvest Report Cards except during the Urban Archery Season, see Deer Seasons.
  • Moved either-sex days to the start of the Introductory, Conservative, and Moderate antlerless deer seasons, see Either-Sex Deer Seasons on Deer Seasons.
  • Big game harvest report statistics are no longer printed in this publication. County, regional or statewide harvest totals and multi-year trend comparisons for deer, bear or turkey are available at ncwildlife.org/HarvestReport. Current and prior year’s harvest statistics can be found at ncwildlife.org/harvestreport.
  • Big game harvest counts for the current hunting season can be generated in real-time through the Commission’s online, electronic reporting system at ncwildlife.org/IGotOne. County, regional or statewide harvest totals and multi-year trend comparisons for deer, bear or turkey are available.
  • Changed the bear hunting seasons in the Coastal Bear Management Unit (CBMU) to align hunting seasons with the five bear hunting zones. Counties in CBMU Zones 1-4 now have Saturday opening dates and Sunday closing dates for the 1st and 2nd segment of the bear seasons, see Bear Regulations.

Game Lands

  • The Commission has added two new areas to its Game Lands Program. They are Dan River Game Land in Rockingham County and Headwaters State Forest in Transylvania County. For more information, refer to the “Game Lands” Section starting on Game Lands.


  • The Commission formally entered the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact joining 46 other member states on October 1, 2017. As a compact member, North Carolina has agreed to treat nonresidents from member states as if they were residents for purposes of hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife violations. The compact does not cover boating violations. Likewise, North Carolina residents will be treated the same way in other member states. For more information, see the callout below.