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North Carolina


Deer Regulations

General Restrictions

  • 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, and slingbows (both described on 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 on General Hunting Regulations).


Bag Limits

  • 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 on 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 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 areas in the maximum either-sex gun season, and 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 pages Deer Zone Maps and 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.
    • 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. 15 – Feb. 20, 2022

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 2022 participating cities, towns and villages are:



Archer Lodge919-359-9727

Boiling Springs704-434-9691


Chapel Hill919-968-2784

China Grove704-857-2466




East Bend336-699-8560





Glen Alpine828-584-2622

Granite Quarry704-279-5596



Indian Trail704-821-5401










Locust 704-888-5260


Mineral Springs704-243-0505


Nags Head/Kill Devil

New London704-463-5423



Oak Ridge336-644-7009

Pleasant Garden336-674-3002


Red Cross704-485-2002









Trent Woods252-637-3030




Wake Forest919-435-9609

Walnut Creek919-778-9687

Waxhaw704-843-2195 Ext. 278




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.

In partnership with:

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