NC Hunting Laws for Hikers

Hunting season on the MST
Hunting season on the MST

On October 1, that’s yesterday, North Carolina made it legal to hunt on Sunday, but only on private land. The main reason I’m writing this post is to dispel rumors and false beliefs about the new law. So hikers aren’t supposed to be on other people’s private land, anyhow, so no worries there.

Hunting is still illegal on public land on Sunday.

But hunting season is around the corner. So while I’m here, a recap of our hunting laws might be useful.

Hunting is not allowed

  •  The Appalachian Trail, though a National Scenic Trail, follows the laws of the managing agency, i.e. Pisgah National Forest, so you’ll have to pay attention there.
  • In state parks. So don’t worry about Mt. Mitchell State Park  or any other state park. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail, though a state trail, doesn’t have that protection since it takes on the laws of the land it’s on, just like the A.T.
  • Dupont State Forest is a recreational forest, but it does allow hunting in a very limited area. You’ll see signs when you enter the hunting zone. Check out the website for all the rules and regs.

So where do you have to wear orange in Western North Carolina? Basically in national forests such as Pisgah National Forests and Nantahala National Forests.

When do you have to start worrying? Here’s the link to the dates on the NC Wildlife Resources Commission site.

For Western North Carolina, bear season is Oct 12 to Nov. 21 and Dec 14 to Jan 1.

Deer season has three types of weapons

  1.  Archery Oct 11 to Nov 22
  2. Black powder Sept 28 to Oct 10
  3. Nov 23 to Dec 12

If those dates are too complicated, remember that bear or deer season lasts until January 1, but not on Sunday.

2 thoughts on “NC Hunting Laws for Hikers

    1. Pat, thanks for the comment. Obviously, there’s the western part of the state and the Northwestern part of the state. They have different hunting dates. I concentrated on the western part, west of Asheville. I should have made the distinction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *