Predators & Small Game
Realtree's Antler Nation takes a look at whitetail hunting in North Carolina.
Season Dates: North Carolina is broken into four zones:
Eastern - Archery: Sept. 8-28; Muzzleloader: Sept. 29-Oct. 12; Gun (all weapons): Oct. 13 – Jan. 1
Central – Archery: Sept. 8 – Oct. 26; Muzzleloader: Oct. 27-Nov. 9; Gun: Nov. 10 – Jan. 1
Northwestern – Archery: Sept. 8- Nov. 2; Muzzleloader: Nov. 3-16; Gun: Nov. 17 – Jan. 1
Western – Archery: Sept. 10-29 and Oct. 15 - Nov. 17; Muzzleloader: Oct. 1-13; Gun: Nov. 19 – Dec. 8
Hunter may take up to six deer, all of which can be antlerless. The limit on antlered deer in the Eastern Zone is four. The limit is two antlered deer in all other zones.
The Grade: C+
With 2 million acres of public land, plenty of deer and cheap licenses we almost gave North Carolina a “B.” But in this case, trophy potential did hurt the final score, as does the rather confusing licensing and regulation process, where non-resident hunters from neighboring states are charged different amounts for a license. We’re sure that’s the product of some sort of reciprocal agreement—or disagreement—but for the average hunter just perusing the license fees, there is no explanation.
Antler Nation Knowledge:
Sunday hunting is a hot-button topic in a few states—and North Carolina is one of them. Although hunting with firearms—for anything—remains illegal on Sundays in North Carolina, archery, crossbow and falconers are allowed to take to the woods on Sunday, so long as it’s on private land. Grassroots efforts from groups like the North Carolina Outdoor Sports Alliance helped make this happen. The ban on Sunday firearms hunting also contributed to North Carolina receiving a "C" rather than a "B."
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Terry E. Daffron in Guilford County in 1987.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by Don C. Rockett in Person County in 1998
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
That's for an annual hunting license and big game permit. ** North Carolina charges different fees for non-residents of neighboring states, including Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia