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Small Game & Other Seasons

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing

Season Dates

Limits

Raccoon and Opossum

Oct. 15 – Feb.28 Opossum: No bag limits

Raccoon daily limit 3: No possession or season limits

General Restrictions

  • Field possession limit while hunting is the same as the daily bag limit. No person shall possess more than one daily bag limit while in the field or while returning from the field to one’s vehicle, hunting camp or residence.
  • Axes and saws may not be carried when raccoon or opossum hunting.
  • It is unlawful to shoot raccoon during the daytime, west of U.S. 1, except in Richmond County.
  • It is unlawful to carry firearms or climbing irons when training dogs during closed seasons, except under special field-trial regulations.

Squirrel

Gray and Red (statewide): Oct. 15 – Feb. 28 Daily limit 8; No possession or season limits
Fox Squirrel: Oct. 15 – Dec.31 Daily limit 1; Possession 2; Season 10
Fox squirrels may only be taken in the following counties:

Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Bladen, Brunswick, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland, Stokes, Surry, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes

Rabbit

Nov. 17 – Feb.28 (hunting and box-trapping*) Daily limit 5; No possession or season limits
* A trapping license is not required to box-trap rabbits, but a valid hunting license is necessary. The sale of live rabbits is prohibited.

Quail

Nov. 17 – Feb. 28 Daily limit 6; Possession 12; Season, no limit

Grouse

Oct. 15 – Feb. 28 Daily limit 3; Possession 6; Season 30

Bobcat

Oct. 15 – Feb. 28 No limits

Groundhog, Nutria, Coyote, Skunk (striped), Armadillo & Feral Swine (hogs)

There is no closed hunting season. There is no bag limit
  • Hunters may use electronic calls for coyotes and feral swine.
  • Feral swine may be hunted at night with lights.
  • Coyotes may be hunted at night with artificial lights except in the counties of Beaufort, Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington. In those five counties, the following apply:
    • Hunting hours are 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset
    • All coyote hunting requires a permit
    • Permits can be obtained at ncwildlife.org or by calling 888-248-6834
    • All coyote harvests must be reported.

See Migratory Game Bird Regulations for more information about the Canid Cooperator Program and distinguishing the differences between red wolves and coyotes.

Pheasant

Nov. 17 – Feb. 1 (male pheasant only) Daily limit 3; Possession 6; Season 30

Fox

Year Round (including Sundays)
  • Must be taken with dogs only; no limits.
  • Local laws may restrict hunting foxes with dogs. Visit ncwildlife.org/FoxSeasons for restrictions.
Nov. 17 – Jan.1 Daily limit 2; Season 10
This season applies as follows:

  • In those counties and parts of counties east of I-77 where local laws do not prohibit the taking of foxes or that do not have established fox seasons and Mitchell and Caldwell counties.
  • Foxes taken during this hunting season shall not be bought or sold.
  • In Caldwell County, foxes may be taken by firearms only.
Jan. 5 – 26 Daily limit 2; Season 10
  • Foxes may be taken in the counties listed below by legal weapons and may be sold after being properly tagged (refer to Other Licenses for more information on fox tags):Clay, Henderson, Tyrrell, Graham, Macon
  • Hunters must possess fox tags prior to harvesting foxes during
    this season.

There is no open weapons hunting season in any other county except where provided by local laws. To see if your county has a hunting season on foxes, visit ncwildlife.org/FoxSeasons, or call 919-707-0050 to request a copy.

Extended Season for Take by Falconry

Oct. 15 – Feb. 28 (Applies only to rabbits) Outside of Regular Season Dates:

Rabbits: Daily limit 3; Possession limit 6

Regular species bag limits apply during regular seasons.

Beaver

There is an open season for taking beaver with firearms or bow and arrow during any open season for the taking of wild animals, provided that permission has been obtained from the owner or lessee of the land on which the beaver is being taken.

Controlled Hunting Preserves

Oct. 1 – Mar. 31 No limits.
This applies to domestically raised birds (mallard ducks and upland game birds) only.

No wild turkey may be taken.