Hunting deer in North Carolina can be thrilling. Before you go on the hunt, explore the North Carolina Deer Season for 2023-2024 regulations as well as regulations to ensure a legal and successful hunting experience.

Whether you're an avid hunter or simply curious about the state's wildlife management, this guide has covered the latest dates, regulations and key information for you. Join us as we navigate the seasons and bag limits, providing essential insights for a successful and enjoyable North Carolina hunting season.

North Carolina Deer Seasons

North Caroline Deer Hunting Zone Map

Northeastern Sept.9- Sept. 29, 2023 Sept. 30 -Oct. 13, 2023 Oct. 14, 2023 - Jan.1, 2024
Southeastern Sept.9 - Sept. 29, 2023 Sept. 30 - Oct. 13, 2023 Oct. 14, 2023 -Jan. 1, 2024
Central Sept.9 - Oct.27,2023 Oct. 28 - Nov. 10, 2023 Nov. 1l, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024
Northwestern Sept.9- Nov.3, 2023 Nov.4 - Nov. 17, 2023 Nov. 18, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024
Western Sept.9-Oct.1,2023
Dec. 10, 2023 - Jan. 1, 2024 (Antlered 0nly)
Oct. 2 - Oct. 14, 2023 Nov. 20 - Dec.9, 2023

Urban Deer Season

Archery Only: Jan. 13 - Feb.18, 2024 (open in participating cities only)

North Carolina Deer Bag Limits

Season limits: 6 deer in total. Maximum of 2 antlered deer, and 4 antlerless deer.

Daily limits: No limits.

With the Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards, hunters can harvest two additional antlerless deer per card. They are valid only within participating municipalities during the Urban Archery Season.

Bonus Antlerless Harvest Report Cards can be obtained on or after January 1 at most wildlife service agents or online at

It is critical for hunters to follow these bag limits to make sure compliance with North Carolina’s regulations while contributing to effective deer management strategies.

Deer Hunting Regulations

  1. Hunting deer during firearms season requires wearing hunter orange, including on Sundays and Youth Deer Hunting Day.
  2. Antlered deer can be taken during open antlered seasons, while antlerless deer can only be taken during antlerless seasons.
  3. Hunting with firearms between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. is prohibited on Sunday.
  4. Processing food products as bait is unlawful in areas with established black bear seasons.
  5. Placement of commercially available mineral supplements for attracting or feeding deer is allowed, except on game lands and CWD Surveillance Areas.
  6. Possession and use of natural deer excretions, including urine, is not allowed.
  7. Hunters may use dogs to hunt deer during open deer seasons in limited counties.
  8. Antlerless deer may only be taken during the gun season dates.

Hunting License Fees In North Carolina

License Types Residents Non-Residents
State Hunting 10-Day: N/A $80
Annual Licenses $25 $100
Lifetime Hunting License $265 N/A

Hunting Training For New Hunters

In North Carolina, the Getting Started Outdoors (GSO) Hunting Program is designed to help individuals who are interested in hunting learn basic skills, equipment, and strategies.

The program is designed to address informational barriers and provide a mentored experience for those lacking social support.

Participants must never have hunted, have minimal hunting experience, lack of social support, or be a failed hunter.

To participate, individuals must complete the GSO workshop and meet certain pre-requirements, including Hunter Safety Certification and a valid NC hunting license.

Check here for more info: Getting Started Outdoors Hunting Program

Key Takeaway for North Carolina Deer Season

When Does Deer Season Start In North Carolina?

Deer season in North Carolina typically starts in early September.

When Does Deer Season End In North Carolina?

Deer season in North Carolina normally ends in early January.

How Many Deer Can You Shoot In North Carolina?

You can shoot 6 deer in total with a maximum of two antlered deer and four antlerless deer.

What Time Of Year Are Deer Are Most Active In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, deer are most active during the rut, which occurs from late October to early December. And, deer are more active during this time of year, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

Can You Bait Deer In North Carolina?

Yes, baiting deer in North Carolina during deer season is legal.

Can I Hunt On My Own Land Without a License In North Carolina?

To hunt on your own land in North Carolina, you must have a hunting license unless you qualify for an exemption.


Deer hunting opportunities in North Carolina change with the seasons. To summarize, it is important to know the latest Deer Season dates and regulations for both experienced hunters and newbies.

This guide has provided a valuable roadmap for anyone interested in planning hunting trips or learning more about hunting in North Carolina. Good luck with your hunt!

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