Duck Hunting in North Carolina

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  • A
  • 476,300

    Duck Statewide Harvest

  • 41,100

    Goose Statewide Harvest

  • 41,400

    No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually

  • 11.6

    Ducks Per Hunter

  • 2.0

    Geese Per Hunter

  • $20 plus $2 transaction fee

    Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $13

    Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

  • $60 for 10-day license, but higher for residents of Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina

    Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License

  • $13

    Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits

  • $25

    Federal Duck Stamp

Duck Hunting Nation Knowledge

North Carolina waterfowlers shot almost 477,000 ducks in 2018-'19, including an amazing 116,508 wood ducks. The action didn’t stop there, though, as hunters also took great numbers of mallards, gadwall, wigeon, bluebills, ringnecks, buffleheads, hooded mergansers, black ducks and green-winged teal. When you add the more than 41,000 geese taken in 2018-'19 — including 5,746 brant — it’s easy to see why North Carolina merits an A rating.

Oh, and did we mention that you can hunt tundra swans in North Carolina? The state’s Wildlife Resources Commission issues 5,000 tags annually, but only about 6,000 people apply each year, so odds of receiving a license aren’t that daunting.

Pamlico Sound, between mainland North Carolina and the Outer Banks, is a major stopover for many waterfowl, including good numbers of long-tailed ducks and all three species of scoters. It’s not uncommon to shoot divers and even puddle ducks there, too.

The state also has ample public land on which to hunt, including many managed waterfowl impoundments and special-permit areas on state game lands in the coastal region.

— Compiled and written by Brian Lovett

Photo © Tom Reichner/Shutterstock

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