New regulations for N.C. hunters and anglers


A handful of significant regulation changes are in store for 2021-2022

The NCWRC is pointing out a number of the most significant changes to hunting and fishing regulations for the 2021-2022 season, which begins Aug. 1, 2021.

These changes are listed in the front of the 2021-2022 regulations booklet. It’s not a full list of all changes, which are highlighted in red throughout the booklet. But these are the ones that NCWRC sees as the most significant.

Inland fishing

Public Mountain Trout Waters: Reduced regulatory complexity by combining the two-existing Public Mountain Trout Waters catch-and-release classifications (Catch and Release/Artificial Flies Only Trout Waters and Catch and Release/Artificial Lures Only Trout Waters) into a single classification, Catch and Release/Artificial Flies and Lures Only Trout Waters.

Possession of Certain Fishes: It is now unlawful to possess, transport, purchase, sell, or stock an additional sixteen species of exotic fish, crayfish, and aquatic snail in the public or private waters of North Carolina.


Legal Archery Equipment for White-tailed Deer Hunting: Archery equipment utilizing an elastic string (slingbows) with a minimum pull of 40 pounds may now be used to take whitetail deer.

Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP): The federal HIP Certification which is needed to hunt Migratory Game Birds (waterfowl, doves, rails, gallinule, snipe, and woodcock) will no longer be valid for 12 months from the date requested. The HIP Certification will be available July 1 each season and expire on June 30 each year. This change aligns the HIP Certification with the Migratory Game Bird hunting seasons.

Game Lands

Sunday Hunting on Game Lands: Forty-five 6-days-per-week Game Lands were approved as 7-days-per-week Game Lands where hunting is allowed Monday through Sunday during open seasons.

Six 3-days-per-week Game Lands are now 4-days-per-week Game Lands where hunting is allowed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday during open seasons.

The statutory limitations for Sunday hunting, prohibiting hunting with a firearm between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., using firearms to hunt deer with the use of dogs, and hunting with a firearm within 500 yards of a place of worship or any accessory structure thereof will also apply on game lands. Additionally, hunting migratory game birds on Sunday is prohibited statewide.

Goose Creek Game Land: Prohibit the pursuing or chasing of deer or bear with dogs for the purposes of training or hunting on the Beaufort portion of Goose Creek Game Land, except for that portion east of Smith Creek and south of Campbell Creek.


Remote Trap Checking: Allow for the use of remote trap checking systems in lieu of a physical trap check under specified conditions. See page 53 of 2021-2022 regulation booklet.

Trapping Live Foxes and Coyotes: A transportation permit is now needed prior to taking possession of live foxes and coyotes for live sale to licensed fox preserves. Other requirements are specified on page 52 of 2021-2022 regulation booklet.

Trapping on Game Lands: Clarified that food used by trappers may not be processed food products as defined in GS 113-294(r) and that certain feathers, hair, and bones do not need to be covered. See page 80 for requirements.

Trapping on Game Lands: Clarifies that coyotes, armadillos, and groundhogs can be trapped on game lands during the regulated trapping season (Nov. 1 through end of February). Clarifies that foxes can be trapped on game lands during the regulated trapping season in counties with a local law that authorizes fox trapping in that county. Establishes a closed trapping season on game lands from April 1 through Oct. 31. See page 80 of 2021-2022 regulation booklet.

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