North Carolina Deer Season 2023-2024: Latest Schedules, Licenses & Rules!

Shooters anxiously anticipate the beginning of deer season in North Carolina as the summer ends and the weather begins to cool. With various zones and times to suit different hunter tastes, the 2023 North Carolina deer hunting season looks thrilling for hunters. There are many chances for shooters to participate in this cherished custom, from archery-only seasons to black powder and firearms seasons. We’ll go over the details of the North Carolina deer hunting season in this article, including the beginning and ending dates for each zone and period, regulations, and licenses for having a successful hunt.

North Carolina Deer Season 2023

Central Season

NC Central Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
ArcherySeptember 9, 2023October 27, 2023
BlackpowderOctober 28, 2023November 10, 2023
GunNovember 11, 2023January 1, 2024

North Eastern Season

NC North Eastern Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
ArcherySeptember 9, 2023September 29, 2023
BlackpowderSeptember 30, 2023October 13, 2023
GunOctober 14, 2023January 1, 2024

South Eastern Season

NC South Eastern Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
ArcherySeptember 9, 2023September 29, 2023
BlackpowderSeptember 30, 2023October 13, 2023
GunOctober 14, 2023January 1, 2024

North Western Season

NC North Western Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
ArcherySeptember 9, 2023November 3, 2023
BlackpowderNovember 4, 2023November 17, 2023
GunNovember 18, 2023January 1, 2024

Western Season

NC Western Deer SeasonStart DateEnd Date
ArcherySeptember 9, 2023October 1, 2023
BlackpowderOctober 2, 2023October 14, 2023
ArcheryOctober 15, 2023November 19, 2023
GunNovember 20, 2023December 9, 2023
Archery (Antlered Only)December 10, 2023January 1, 2024

Urban Season

NC Other Deer SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Urban Deer (Archery Only)January 13, 2024February 18, 2024

Urban Archery Season participating cities

City/Town/VillageWebsitePhone Number
Archer Lodgearcherlodgenc.gov919-359-9727
Boiling Springsboilingspringsnc.net704-434-9691
Chapel Hilltownofchapelhill.org919-968-2784
China Grovechinagrovenc.gov704-857-2466
East Bendeastbendnc.com336-699-8560
Glen Alpinetownofglenalpine.org828-584-2622
Granite Quarrygranitequarrync.gov704-279-5596
Indian Trailindiantrail.org704-821-5401 Ext. 226
Landistownoflandis.com704-857-4114, [email protected]704-434-2620
Mineral Springsmineralspringsnc.com704-243-0505
Nags Head/Kill Devil
New Londonnewlondonnc.org704-463-5423
North Wilkesboronorth-wilkesboro.com336-667-7129
Oak Ridgeoakridgenc.com336-644-7009
Pleasant Gardenpleasantgarden.net336-674-3002
Red Crosstownofredcross.com704-485-2002
Trent Woodstrentwoodspd.org252-637-3030
Wake Forestwakeforestnc.gov919-435-9609
Waxhawwaxhaw.com704-843-2195 Ext. 278

Bag Limits

Bag LimitsLimitNotes
Season6Maximum of 2 antlered and 4 antlerless deer
Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards2 more antlerless deer per cardUrban Archery Season only. Unlimited hunter cards.
Deer Management Assistance ProgramExcluded from statewide bag limitsDMAP-tagged antlerless deer are free from state bag limits.

NC Deer License Cost

License TypePrice for ResidentsPrice for Non-Residents
Big Game Hunting$14 $100
Big Game Hunting­ 10-DayNot Applicable$80
Bonus Antlerless Deer License$11 $11

Hunting Regulations

  • Either-Sex Deer Seasons: North Carolina hunters can take either-sex deer during deer hunting season. Under-18 hunters can take either-sex deer on Youth Deer Hunting Day. Some game sites have unique deer seasons, but all areas allow bow deer of either sex. Some game areas have special black powder rifle deer seasons, allowing the taking of either-sex deer on specific days. Gun either-sex deer season has four groups with defined days for harvesting. Maximum, 2-week “moderate,” 6-day “conservative,” and 1-day “introductory” either-sex gun seasons. Deer Zone Maps and General Game Lands Regulations can help hunters choose a season and follow hunting rules.
  • Urban Archery Season: The January 14–February 19, 2023, Urban Archery Season provides more hunting chances to help cities and towns lower urban deer numbers. However, hunting during this season is only allowed in participating towns. Each city, town, or hamlet will decide if hunting is permitted on public land and if private property within the city bounds is restricted. Urban Archery Season hunters must obtain a map from the busy city or town to find legal hunting areas and limitations. The Urban Archery Season does not remove the legal necessity for hunters to seek written approval from landlords before hunting on private property. The Urban Archery Season follows the season and ownership limits for antlerless and antlered deer and Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards of the general archery, black powder, and gun deer seasons. Urban Archery Season allows male and female deer hunting.
  • Hunting deer in the state requires hunters to wear hunter orange visible from all sides during deer firearms season, Sunday archery hunting, and Youth Deer Hunting Day regardless of age or weapon, except for landholders, their spouses, and children on their land. Only antlerless deer can be taken during either-sex deer seasons. Commercial mineral additives for deer are allowed anywhere in the state except on game lands and CWD Surveillance Areas, but processed food items as lure for black bears are banned in areas with a black bear season. The Baiting and Attractants part of General Hunting Regulations prohibits hunters from possessing or using some natural deer excretions, including pee.
  • Seasonal deer hunting guns are legal. Archery season allows bows, crossbows, and sling bows. Black powder guns and archery devices are permitted in the black powder season. General Hunting Regulations allow firearms, rifles, and pistols during gun season. Hunters should use legal weapons during the appropriate season to avoid penalties.
  • Deer Zone Maps areas allow dog hunting during open deer seasons. Dogs can recover injured deer. The General Hunting Regulations cover deer hunting with pets.

FAQ related to NC Deer Season

When is the deer hunting season in North Carolina?

Beginning on September 9, 2023, all areas in North Carolina that allow bow hunting will have a deer hunting season. For all locations, hunting for black powder and firearms will begin on September 30, 2023, and on October 14, 2023, respectively. The expiration periods for each hunting strategy and area do, however, differ.

What are the bag limits for deer hunting in North Carolina?

Depending on the area and style of hunting, North Carolina deer bag restrictions can change. Hunting seasons typically allow for capturing one to two antlered deer and a limitless number of antlerless deer. However, hunting enthusiasts are advised to contact the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to learn about local weight restrictions.

What types of weapons are legal for deer hunting in North Carolina?

Depending on the time of year and the area, different firearms are permitted for deer hunting in North Carolina. Shooters can use muzzleloaders, firearms, rifles, and archery tools. However, in some places, there might be particular laws that pertain to the use of these firearms. Hunters are urged to inquire about local laws governing the use of firearms for deer hunting with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Can youth participate in deer hunting in North Carolina?

Yes, deer hunting is permitted in North Carolina for minors under 18. In reality, there is a designated Youth Deer Hunting Day where young shooters can pursue deer of either species with any legal firearm. Hunters must only use the authorized firearm for the season available in their county on this day, which is usually in late September.

Are there any resources available for novice hunters in North Carolina?

Yes, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation provides complimentary webinars for beginner shooters in North Carolina on deer hunting and processing. These seminars cover field cleaning, processing, and deer hunting methods. To better understand the sport and prepare for the forthcoming deer hunting season, novice shooters are urged to participate in these seminars.

James Ellis

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