North Carolina – From a Deer Hunter’s POV

Posted: 08/27/2012 in Archery, Hunting, Legal, News, Regulations
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This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

North Carolina

Is the information easy to find?

The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission Seasons and Limits page is the top of the search results, and while this is only one click from the hunting regulations page, the main page does not appear in the top ten search results.

Grade: C

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

Once the visitor is at the hunting regulations page, there are links to just about everything needed to plan a hunt:

From the coast to the mountains, year after year, both resident and non-resident North Carolina hunters anxiously await the coming hunting seasons. No matter what game you choose to hunt, start your hunt here with information on seasons, bag limits, licenses, safety requirements, public and private hunting access opportunities and more.

There aren’t very many ways of presenting information to first time visitors than that.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

There are permits available for limited access or limited harvest hunts, however the standard is over the counter licenses. Please note that the license fees are NOT found in the North Carolina Hunting page, they are found in the North Carolina License page, which seems logical when spelled out in this manner, but new users looking for this information inside the hunting section, where there are many links to ‘licenses and permits’ will end up at the ‘buy now’ start page many times without ever being able to see prices and options, which is incredibly frustrating.

Grade: B

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Once a user actually FINDS the licensing page for North Carolina, the cost breakdown is relatively simple.  Resident hunter ‘comprehensive’ licenses are $30.00 per year, including all small and big game, statewide.  Nonresident licenses are a bit more complicated, as North Carolina has a tiered system based on several different home states.  As an example, from any state not listed, a nonresident, six day big game hunting license is priced at $60.00, however a Georgia resident would be charged $195.00, presumably this is a reciprocal fee based on the price of nonresident licenses in Georgia.  The other listed states are South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  There are short term and long term licenses available, with several variations that should be able to meet the needs of virtually any hunter.

As a side note, there should be multiple links to this information from INSIDE the hunting page, instead, users have to use the top menu and leave the hunting information to get to the prices.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

There are four regions to North Carolina, and three types of weapons, Archery, Muzzleloader and Firearm, which logically creates twelve listings for seasons on the “2012-2013 Deer Seasons” page.  That’s all the information anyone needs in order to plan their hunting trip.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Public hunting is readily available in North Carolina, though some of the hunting is by draw permit only.  There is also a private land option available. There doesn’t appear to be a large amount of special rules for public land in North Carolina.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is an issue in the western region of the state.  Also, depending on how early in the season the hunt is planned, pay careful attention to the tropical storm reports, I doubt if a hunt near the coast would be very productive or fun if a Category 3 hurricane makes landfall while hunters are in a tree stand.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade A-

Decent prices with options for short term and long term hunting licenses, simple seasons, and despite the search engine issue and difficulty finding the license prices from within the hunting section, North Carolina looks like an attractive place to hunt. Chronic Wasting Disease is an issue to be aware of, however ‘if it looks ill, don’t eat it’ is sound advice for nearly every situation.  If in doubt, call the local game office and ask for help, that’s part of their job too.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew Mexico, New York

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