2022 deer hunting season: when does it start?


2022-23 deer seasons are fast approaching

As summer drags on, sportsmen around the Carolinas know it won’t be long before we’re in the deer stand, sweating so profusely that our sweat often drowns mosquitos looking to feast on us. 

So just when does deer season start? It all depends on where you hunt. Different parts of both Carolinas open at different times. So here’s when you can get in the stand, based on where you’ll be hunting for the 2022-23 season: 

South Carolina deer seasons

Seasons open earliest in Game Zones 3 & 4.

  • Game Zone 3: Aug. 15 – Jan. 1, gun and archery
  • Game Zone 4: Aug. 15 – 31, archery only; Sept. 1 – Jan. 1, gun

In both Game Zones 3 & 4, Youth Days are Aug. 13 and Jan. 7

  • Game Zone 2: Sept. 15 – 30, archery only; Oct. 1 – 10, primitive weapons; Oct. 11 – Jan. 1, gun

In Game Zone 2, Youth Days are Sept. 10 and Jan. 7.;

  • Game Zone 1: Oct. 1 – 10, primitive weapons; Oct. 11 – Jan.1, gun

In Game Zone 1, Youth Days are Sept. 24 and Jan. 7.

All of the above dates are for private lands. Check individual WMAs for their deer season dates.

Click here to find out which game zone pertains to the land you hunt.

North Carolina deer seasons

The earliest date for North Carolina deer hunting is Sept. 10, which begins archery season in numerous locations

  • Northeastern & Southeastern Deer Seasons: Sept. 10 – Sept. 30, archery only; Oct. 1 – Oct. 14, blackpowder; Oct. 15 – Jan 2, gun
  • Central Deer Seasons Sept. 10 – Oct. 28, archery only; Oct. 29 – Nov. 11, blackpowder; Nov. 12 – Jan. 2, gun
  • Northwestern Deer Seasons: Sept. 10 – Nov. 4, archery only; Nov. 5 – Nov. 18, blackpowder; Nov. 19 – Jan. 2, gun
  • Western Deer Seasons:Sept. 10 – Oct. 2; Oct. 16 – Nov. 20, Dec. 11-Jan 2, archery only; Oct. 3 – Oct. 15, blackpowder; Nov. 21 – Dec. 10, gun

Gun either-sex seasons

  • Introductory season: Nov. 26: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties
  • Conservative season:  Nov. 21 – Nov. 26: Avery, Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, Mitchell, and Yancey counties
  • Moderate season: Nov. 19 – Dec. 2: Cleveland, Polk, and Rutherford counties
  • Maximum season: Entire Gun Season in all other counties and in Buncombe County east of NC 191 south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of US 25 and north of NC 280 and in Henderson County east of NC 191 and north and west of NC 280

Urban Archery Deer Season Jan. 14 – Feb. 19 (refer to Regulations Digest for a list of participating cities), archery only

Youth Deer Hunting Day Sept. 24, any legal weapon

The above list is a quick reference guide and is taken from SCDNR and NCWRC publications. For complete regulations in South Carolina, click here. North Carolina hunters, click here.


The Carolina Sportsman Bag-A-Buck Contest is back for 2022! Click here to see rules and to enter your buck.

About Brian Cope 2605 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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