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North Carolina Deer Hunting and NC Deer
Deer hunting is very productive in NC. The herd is strong and well managed with a good eye on the future.


North Carolina deer hunters dream of fall and deer hunting. Statistics show that:

  • NC's whitetail deer population is around one million with 144,315 deer taken in 2005
  • NC deer hunters enjoy a near 50% success rate
  • NC has large areas with more than three antlered bucks are harvested per square mile and with many of those being trophy quality. There are NC areas with over 45 deer per square mile.

NC Deer Factoids

Sex of Deer Taken in North CarolinaDeer taken in North Carolina are tracked by sex: Approx 54% bucks, 6% button antler, and 40% doe as reported by NC Wildlife. Only 6% were taken with bow and 4% were taken on game lands.

The above stats clearly show dramatic success in herd management by NC Wildlife Management. These stats make it easy to understand why deer hunting is so hugely popular in North Carolina. With such a strong deer herd NC is able to host a broad deer season which starts in mid September and lasts until very early January in some locations (see NC regulations for exact days and rules). Also, NC has lots of good public and to hunt and a very good number of quality hunt clubs in which to belong. How could NC deer hunting not be popular?

Recent North Carolina deer seasons have been great and 2007 may be the best season yet. -- Productive deer hunting means being where the deer are. Some NC areas are better than others. North Carolina Deer distributions are shown below.

North Carolina Deer Densities
Graphic courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Division of Wildlife Management
120 x 90 Archery

Some understanding of the breeding cycle will also benefit your hunt; especially, if you are after trophy size deer. The breeding cycle for NC deer varies somewhat each year, but is reasonably constant -- "The majority of the breeding activity occurs in a 3 to 4 week period in all NC regions. The peak breeding periods by region are:

Good Deer Hunting Books
  • Lower Coastal Plain -- last week of October;
  • Upper Coastal Plain -- first week in November;
  • Piedmont and Foothills -- third week in November; and
  • Mountains -- first week of December."
The majority of the breeding is done by the dominant bucks in a given herd. It is during the period just prior to the breeding season that bucks establish scrape territories and defend these portions of their home ranges from intrusion by other bucks. This is really the only time of the year when bucks isolate themselves from other bucks. Following the breeding season, bucks again group together and remain in loosely knit herds until the following year's rut begins. Most fawns are born during May and June in North Carolina. Understanding the deer breeding cycle can help a hunter use the rut to their advantage. Visit the deer rut to get tips on the various phases of the season.

Deer Hunting News

To be successful a hunter must be where deer are. Good scouting and good stand location is very important. A wisely conducted scout will prepare a hunter for the season open and help a hunter adapt as the season progresses. If a hunter does not consider how deer patterns may shift due to hunting pressure then scouting has not been conducted to its best advantage. Once a stand is located hints on stealth will offer tips on how move before and after the season without spooking deer.

Private lands, hunt clubs, or guided hunts may not be in the cards for all of us. Read up on public lands before you finally decide on a hunting area. Also, tips for hunting public lands may help if you do hunt public land.

Enjoy hunting deer in NC.

Good North Carolina Deer Hunting Links - Add a link here
Site outside NCFishandGame.comNC Wildlife Management Resources Commission - official site
Dressing deer --
Shot Placement -- Most effective shot placements for deer
Deer hunting game at real-tree --a fun deer hunting game
Dixie Deer Classic -- One of NC's best shows
Huntspot -- hunt clubs in NC
Uscorem --Deer hunting products and info
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