Bear Hunting Regulations in North Carolina

Restrictions on Bear Hunting

Certain practices are explicitly prohibited to ensure ethical and sustainable bear hunting:

  • Cubs and Female Bears with Cubs: It is illegal to hunt or take a bear cub (defined as a bear weighing less than 75 pounds) or a female bear accompanied by cubs.
  • Hunting in Designated Bear Management Areas: Bear hunting is not allowed in specific areas designated for bear management. Hunters should refer to the General Game Lands Regulations for information on these areas.

Mandatory Bear Tooth Submission

  • Submission Deadline: Hunters must submit at least one premolar tooth from any harvested bear by January 31st following the bear hunting season.
  • Procedure for Tooth Submission: Instructions for extracting and submitting the premolar teeth are available at Hunters should use the bear tooth envelope provided by the Commission for submission. If the envelope is lost, a new one can be requested by calling 919-707-0050.
  • Purpose of Tooth Collection: This requirement aids in the collection of important biological data on the bear population.

Additional Restrictions in Designated Bear Management Areas

  • Use of Dogs: Dogs are prohibited from being used to pursue bears, except during special permit hunts that specifically allow it.
  • Hunting of Feral Swine: In these areas, the hunting of feral swine is only allowed during certain seasons (deer archery, deer blackpowder, deer gun, and specific small game seasons) and only with the weapons and methods permitted for those seasons. Dogs are not allowed for hunting feral swine.
  • Training and Unleashing of Dogs: There are specific time restrictions on training or allowing dogs to run unleashed in designated bear management areas, particularly in and west of certain counties. These restrictions are in place from March 1st to the Monday nearest October 15th.

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