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North Carolina


Bear Regulations


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 pages General Hunting Regulations, Bear Seasons Map. Information about the bear cooperator program can be found under the Bear Seasons Map.

Bear Sanctuaries

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

  • Bachelor Bay Bear Sanctuary

    Bertie and Washington counties

  • Columbus County Bear Sanctuary

    Brunswick and Columbus counties

  • Croatan Bear Sanctuary

    Carteret, Craven and Jones counties

  • Daniel Boone Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)

    Avery, Burke and Caldwell counties

  • Dare Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)

    Dare and Hyde counties

  • Fires Creek Bear Sanctuary

    Clay County

  • Flat Top Bear Sanctuary

    Mitchell and Yancey counties

  • Green Swamp Bear Sanctuary

    Brunswick County

  • Gull Rock Bear Sanctuary

    Hyde County

  • Harmon Den Bear Sanctuary

    Haywood County

  • Juniper Creek Bear Sanctuary

    Brunswick and Columbus counties

  • Mt. Mitchell Bear Sanctuary (except by permit only)

    McDowell and Yancey counties

  • North River Bear Sanctuary

    Camden and Currituck counties

  • Panthertown-Bonas Defeat Bear Sanctuary

    Jackson County

  • Pisgah Bear Sanctuary

    Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Transylvania counties

  • Pungo River Bear Sanctuary

    Hyde County

  • Rich Mountain Bear Sanctuary

    Madison County

  • Sherwood Bear Sanctuary

    Haywood County

  • Standing Indian Bear Sanctuary

    Macon County

  • Suggs Mill Pond Bear Sanctuary

    Bladen and Cumberland counties

  • Thurmond Chatham Bear Sanctuary

    Alleghany and Wilkes counties

  • Wayah Bear Sanctuary

    Macon 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 the counties where deer hunting with the use of dogs is prohibited (pg. 67) from March 1 until the Monday on or nearest Oct. 15.