- 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 and CWD Surveillance Areas (see CWD Surveillance Areas and Special Regulations).
- Possession and use of some types of natural deer excretions (including urine) is not allowed. See the section on Baiting and Attractants in General Hunting Regulations for more information.
Weapons and Dogs
- During the archery season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows and crossbows, and slingbows (both described in General Hunting Regulations).
- During the blackpowder season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows, crossbows, and slingbows (both described in General Hunting Regulations), and blackpowder firearms as defined in General Hunting Regulations.
- During the gun season the following are legal weapons: bows and arrows, crossbows, and slingbows, blackpowder firearms, shotguns, rifles, and handguns (all described in General Hunting Regulations).
- Hunters may use dogs to hunt deer during open deer seasons in counties indicated on the map in Deer Zone Maps, and to retrieve a wounded deer. See General Hunting Regulations 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 in Deer Regulations). 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 (includes game lands).
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.
- Some game lands have special deer seasons that do not follow the county archery deer season. See “Game Lands” section for seasons and rules specific to the game land you will be hunting.
Blackpowder Firearm Deer Season
- Deer of either sex may be taken on the first Saturday of the blackpowder firearm deer season in areas having no either-sex gun season (includes game lands).
- Deer of either sex may be taken the first day of the blackpowder firearm deer season through the first Saturday thereafter in areas in the 1-day “introductory” either-sex gun season (includes game lands).
- Deer of either sex may be taken anytime during the blackpowder firearm deer season in areas in the 6-day “conservative”, 2-week “moderate”, and maximum either-sex gun season (includes game lands).
- Some game lands have special deer seasons that do not follow the county blackpowder deer season. See “Game Lands” section for seasons and rules specific to the game land you will be hunting.
Gun Either-Sex Deer Season
- Deer of either sex may only be taken during the gun season during those dates indicated in Deer Zone Maps and General Game Lands Regulations. 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.
- 2-week “moderate”: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open day of gun season through the second Friday thereafter (2 weeks).
- 6-day “conservative”: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open day of gun season through the first Saturday thereafter (6 days).
- 1-day “introductory”: Either-sex harvest is allowed the first open Saturday of gun season (1 day).
Urban Archery Season
Archery only: Jan. 14 – Feb. 19, 2023
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 2023 participating cities, towns and villages are:
Albemarle — 704-984-9565, albemarlenc.gov
Ansonville — 704-826-8404
Archer Lodge — 919-359-9727, archerlodgenc.gov
Boiling Springs — 704-434-9691, boilingspringsnc.net
Catawba — 828-241-2215, townofcatawbanc.org
Chapel Hill — 919-968-2784, townofchapelhill.org
China Grove — 704-857-2466, chinagrovenc.gov
Clayton — 919-553-5002, townofclaytonnc.org
Cleveland — 704-278-8777, clevelandnc.org
Concord — 704-920-5000, concordnc.gov
Denton — 336-859-4231, townofdenton.com
East Bend — 336-699-8560, eastbendnc.com
Eden — 336-623-9687/336-623-9755, edennc.us
Elkin — 336-258-8900, elkinnc.org
Fairview — 704-753-1981, fairviewnc.gov
Franklinville — 336-824-2604, franklinvillenc.org
Glen Alpine — 828-584-2622, townofglenalpine.org
Granite Quarry — 704-279-5596, granitequarrync.gov
Harrisburg — 704-455-0709, harrisburgnc.org
Huntersville — 704-875-6541, huntersville.org
Indian Trail — 704-821-5401 Ext. 226, indiantrail.org
Jamestown — 336-454-1138, jamestown-nc.gov
Jefferson — 336-846-9368, townofjefferson.org
Jonesville — 336-835-3426, townofjonesvillenc.com
Kannapolis — 704-920-4049, kannapolisnc.gov
King — 336-983-8265, ci.king.nc.us
Landis — 704-857-4114, townoflandis.com
Lattimore — 704-434-2620, facebook.com/TownofLattimore/, [email protected]
Lenoir — 828-757-2100, cityoflenoir.com
Lewisville — 336-945-5558, lewisvillenc.net
Locust — 704-888-5260, locustnc.com
Midland — 704-888-2232, midlandnc.us
Mineral Springs — 704-243-0505, mineralspringsnc.com
Mooresboro — townofmooresboro.org
Morganton — 828-432-2345, morgantonnc.gov
Nags Head/Kill Devil Hills — nature.org/nhw
New London — 704-463-5423, newlondonnc.org
North Wilkesboro — 336-667-7129, north-wilkesboro.com
Norwood — 704-474-3416, norwoodgov.com
Oakboro — 704-485-3351, oakboro.com
Oak Ridge — 336-644-7009, oakridgenc.com
Pleasant Garden — 336-674-3002, pleasantgarden.net
Randleman — 336-495-7500, cityofrandleman.com
Red Cross — 704-485-2002, townofredcross.com
Reidsville — 336-349-1030, ci.reidsville.nc.us
Richfield — 704-463-1308, richfieldnc.com
Ronda — 336-835-2061, townofronda.org
Sanford — 919-777-1104, sanfordnc.net
Shelby — 704-484-6801, cityofshelby.com
Stallings — 704-821-8557, stallingsnc.org
Stanfield — 704-888-2386, stanfieldnc.com
Stokesdale — 336-643-4011, stokesdale.org
Summerfield — 336-643-8655, summerfieldnc.gov
Trent Woods — 252-637-3030, trentwoodspd.org
Troutman — 704-528-7610, troutmannc.gov
Unionville — 704-226-1989, unionvillenc.org
Valdese — 828-879-2120, townofvaldese.com
Wake Forest — 919-435-9609, wakeforestnc.gov
Waxhaw — 704-843-2195 Ext. 278, waxhaw.com
Weddington — 704-846-2709, townofweddington.com
Wentworth — 336-342-6288, townofwentworth.com
Yadkinville — 336-679-8732, 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.
Shining Lights in Deer Areas
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!