I have to admit I had no idea that it was ever legal in North Carolina to hunt bears. But in fact, there is a bear hunting season in North Carolina. And as the population of black bears (the only native species) across the state continues to grow The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission is considering allowing bear hunting in three Western North Carolina sanctuaries. However, that plan has not been well received.
While the population growth of black bears in NC currently is around 6% officials hope to decrease that number to around 0%. The proposal though has not received a warm reception especially from groups such as Help Asheville Bears. The group poses the question of why the areas are referred to as “sanctuaries” if the animals can still be hunted and killed.
Current Bear Hunting Seasons In North Carolina:
MOUNTAIN BEAR MANAGEMENT UNIT SEASONS
|Oct. 18 – Nov. 20||In and west of Surry, Wilkes, Caldwell, Burke, Cleveland.
Note: Further game land restrictions may apply. See the “Game Lands” section for specific game land rules.
|Dec. 13 – Jan. 1, 2022|
PIEDMONT BEAR MANAGEMENT UNIT SEASONS
|Oct. 16, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022||Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Moore, Richmond, Scotland, Vance, Wake, Warren|
|Nov. 13, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022||Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Durham, Granville, Guilford, Lee, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Union|
|Nov. 20, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022||Alexander, Catawba, Davie , Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Stokes, Yadkin|
COASTAL BEAR MANAGEMENT UNIT SEASONS
|Nov. 13 – Nov. 28 and Dec. 11 – Dec. 26, 2021||Zone 1: Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell|
|Nov. 13 – Nov. 21 and Dec. 11 – Dec. 26, 2021||Zone 2: Camden*, Chowan*, Currituck, Gates, Pasquotank*, Perquimans|
|Nov. 13 – Nov. 21 and Dec. 11 – Dec. 26, 2021||Zone 3: Beaufort, Bertie, Craven, Hertford, Jones, Martin, Washington|
|Nov. 20 – Dec. 19, 2021||Zone 4: Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Lenoir, Nash, Northampton, Pitt, Wayne, Wilson|
|Nov. 8, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022||Zone 5: Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico (use of dogs for hunting bears prohibited in this county), Pender, Robeson, Sampson|
GALLERY: List of Animals Native to North Carolina
As found by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission