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North Carolina 2009 - 2010 Hunting Seasons and Bag Limits

NC deer hunting units map
This map shows how North Carolina is divided up for the NC deer hunting season.
  Deer Seasons

Turkey Seasons

Bear Seasons

Boar Seasons

Small Game Seasons


Eastern Deer Season:

Bow and arrow: Sept. 12 to Oct. 9
Muzzleloader: Oct. 10 to Oct. 16
Gun: Oct. 17 to Jan. 1

Central Deer Season:

Bow and arrow: Sept. 12 to Nov. 6
Muzzleloader: Nov. 7 to Nov. 13
Gun: Nov. 14 to Jan. 1

Northwestern Deer Season:

Bow and arrow: Sept. 12 to Nov. 13
Muzzleloader: Nov. 14 to Nov. 20
Gun: Nov. 21 to Dec. 19

Western Deer Season:

Bow and arrow: Sept. 7 to Oct. 3 and Oct. 12 to Nov. 21
Muzzleloader: Oct. 5 to Oct. 10
Gun: Nov. 23 to Dec. 12


Spring Turkey - Youth Hunters:

April 3, 2010. Get youth hunter regulations.

Sring Turkey (Bearded bird only):

April 10 to May 8, 2010. Daily limit 1, possession limit 2 with an annual limit of 2

Restrictions - It is unlawful to:

  • Use dogs during the spring wild turkey season.
  • Use pistols, rifles or muzzleloading rifles to hunt wild turkey.
  • Possess live wild turkeys or live birds that are indistinguishable from wild turkeys.
  • Take wild turkeys from an area in which bait has been placed. (An area is considered baited until 10 days after the bait has been consumed or otherwise removed.)


  Daily limit 1; Season limit 1

Western Bear Seasons:

Oct. 12 - Nov. 21 & Dec. 14 - Jan. 1
West of the boundary formed by I-77 from the Virginia state line to I-40 and I-40 west to N.C. 18 south to the South Carolina state line.

Eastern Bear Seasons:

Nov. 9 - Jan. 1
In the following counties:
Bladen, Onslow, Carteret, Pamlico - (dogs for hunting Cumberland bear is prohibited here), Duplin, Pender, New Hanover and Sampson.

Dec. 7 - 26
Brunswick and Columbus

Nov. 9 - 14 and Dec. 14 - 26
In the following counties:
Beaufort, Hyde, Camden, Jones, Chowan, Pasquotank, Craven, Tyrrell, Dare and Washington

Nov. 9 - 14 and Dec. 14 - 16
In the following counties:
Hertford, Halifax, Martin and Northampton

Nov. 7 - 14 and Dec. 14 - 26
Bertie, Gates, Currituck and Perquimans

Nov. 9 - 14
Greene, Pitt and Lenoir


Wild Boar Seasons:

  Daily limit 1; Possession limit 1; Season limit 2
In the following counties:
Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain Sept. 7, 2009 - Feb. 28, 2010

In the other 94 counties of the state, feral hogs are not considered to be wild boars, and the Commission does not regulate them.

During the open deer bow-and-arrow season, muzzleloader season, gun season and any small game season, ONLY weapons legal for that season may be used to take wild boar.

Restrictions - It is unlawful to:

  • Take wild boar with the use or aid of bait, which includes any salt, salt lick, grain, fruit, honey, sugar-based material or substance, animal parts or animal products.
  • Use dogs to hunt wild boar outside of the open bear season.
  • Use dogs to hunt wild boar at any time on bear sanctuaries.


Squirrels - Red and Gray, (statewide):

Oct. 1 - Feb. 13 Daily limit 8; No possession or season limits

Fox Squirrel:

Oct. 12 - Dec. 31 - Daily limit 1; Possession 2; Season 10
In the following counties: Anson, Alleghany, Ashe, Bladen, Brunswick, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Sampson, Scotland and Wayne

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined):

Oct. 17-Nov. 28, Dec. 14-23 and Dec. 26-Feb. 6 (6 daily, 12 possession).


Oct. 12 - Feb. 28 Daily limit 3; Possession 6; Season 30

RABBIT (Cottontail):

Nov. 21 - Feb. 28 Daily limit 5; No possession or season limits. Dates are the same for box-trapping season


Nov. 21 - Feb. 1 (male pheasant only): Daily limit 3; Possession 6; Season 30


Nov. 21 - Feb. 28: Daily limit 6; Possession 12; Season, no limit

Groundhog, Nutria, Coyote and Skunk-striped):

No closed season or bag limit.


Oct. 12 - Feb. 28: No limits.
Exceptions: the bobcat season is closed in Haywood County on the Harmon Den and Sherwood Bear Sanctuaries.

This information was gathered from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. You can find out more about liscenses, permits and anything else NC offers to hunters and fishermen. Good luck and enjoy the outdoors.

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