How to Obtain a North Carolina Hunting License
North Carolina is a hunter's paradise with 2.1 million acres of public hunting access, including national forests teeming with black bears, deer, wild turkey, and small game. Since the state has a vast amount of game land areas, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has an interactive game land map to help hunters locate hunting areas.
However, an NC hunting license is required for resident and non-resident hunters before venturing out for that big game hunt. The fees for the licenses finance conservation programs that benefit wildlife and its habitat.
North Carolina offers a variety of hunting licenses and permits depending on the authorized activity. A few different avenues for obtaining an NC hunting license will be covered in this guide. However, DoNotPay offers an easier way to obtain an NC hunting license without tedious and time-consuming forms or phone calls.
Who is Eligible to Obtain an NC Hunting License?
- Residents and non-residents 16 years of age and older with the successful completion of the NC Hunter Safety Course.
- Non-resident students may purchase a resident license while attending a college in the state with a valid student ID.
- Non-resident military members, their spouses, and families stationed in NC may purchase resident licenses. Military stationed outside of NC on active duty are deemed residents for the state and may purchase a short-term license.
North Carolina Hunting License Types
North Carolina offers a vast range of special licenses and permits, which are not all listed here. Many other license classifications are listed on the NC Other Licenses and Permits page. North Carolina has partnership agreements with GA, SC, TN, and VA that enable them to hunt without an NC license.
A North Carolina hunting license is not necessary for private landowners and their family members to hunt on their land.
Note that a hunter education certificate of competency, NC hunting heritage apprentice permit, or an NC hunting license issued before July 1, 2013, is required before purchasing a hunting license.
Those under age 16 are exempt from the hunting license requirement if they are accompanied by a properly licensed adult when hunting. Those who have obtained a Certificate of Competency may hunt alone but must carry their certificate with them.
Those who have not completed the hunter education course requirements or held an NC hunting license before July 1, 2013, may obtain a free Hunting Heritage Apprentice Permit. This permit allows them to hunt when accompanied by another adult at least 18 years of age who is licensed to hunt in the state.
North Carolina Hunting License Costs
The most popular licenses and their costs are listed below.
|Resident Hunting/Inland Fishing||Statewide hunting and inland fishing, but it does not include big game hunting, state waterfowl, federal duck stamp||$35|
|Resident Sportsman||Statewide hunting, big game hunting privileges, hunting on game lands, hunting for waterfowl (not bear management e-stamp or federal duck stamp)||$53|
|Resident Unified Sportsman/Coastal Recreational Fishing||Statewide hunting, inland, and coastal recreational fishing. Big game hunting privileges, hunting on game lands, hunting for waterfowl (not bear management e-stamp or federal duck stamp)||$69|
|Resident Lifetime Sportsman Adults (ages 16-49)||$530|
|Non-resident Lifetime Sportsman Adults (ages 16 and older)||$1,272|
|Resident Lifetime Sportsman (ages 50-69)||$265|
|Resident Senior Lifetime Sportsman (age 70+)||$16|
Those who wish to purchase a lifetime license do not need the course requirements if they are accompanied by a licensed hunter 18 years and older who is within their sight and hearing distance.
North Carolina has specific privilege permit requirements and stamps for hunting bears, antlerless deer, and migratory waterfowl.
What is the Penalty for Hunting Without an NC Hunting License?
- Fines start at $250 and up, depending on the type of wildlife hunted
- Loss of hunting privileges after repeated offenses
- Imprisonment for more severe and repeated cases
How to obtain a North Carolina Hunting License on Your Own
There are four ways to obtain an NC hunting license and other required permits on your own.
- Online at NCWRC's license/permit sales portal. Note that youth and disabled lifetime licenses cannot be obtained online. Discounted volunteer firefighters, rescue squad, and EMS squad lifetime licenses must be obtained directly from the WRC by mail or in person.
- In-person at a wildlife service agent location.
- By mail from the NC WRC at 1707 Mail Service Center, (ATTN: Customer Service, Licenses and Permits), Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
- By phone (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m) at 888-248-6834
The Easier Way to Obtain a South Carolina Hunting License With DoNotPay
While you can use the above methods to obtain an NC hunting license, they can be somewhat tedious, time-consuming, and even frustrating.
However, DoNotPay can help you obtain your license right now in three easy steps:
- Search "hunting license" on DoNotPay and select the state you would like a hunting license for.
- Indicate whether you are a resident or non-resident, and choose the type of license you want. For example, an annual or one-time pass, big game or small game license, bear tag, etc.
- Provide your contact information, a copy of your government-issued ID, and pay the fee required by the state.
And that’s it! DoNotPay will get your NC hunting license on your behalf, which is valid immediately. Simply download the file and print it as a temporary license until the physical copy is mailed to you.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do For You?
Not only can DoNotPay get your fishing or hunting license without filling out lengthy forms and waiting on phone holds, but it can also help with other situations. DoNotPay’s innovative platform streamlines applications that can save you time and money!