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
- in National Parks. So don’t worry about hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But the parkway has a thin strip of land, so you should realize that hunters don’t know exactly where the boundary is.
- 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
- Archery Oct 11 to Nov 22
- Black powder Sept 28 to Oct 10
- 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.