North Carolina Turkey Season

John Lewis

NC Turkey Season 2024-2025 New Dates & Rules

NC turkey season, north carolina, north carolina turkey season, turkey season

Hunters in North Carolina are preparing for the upcoming 2024 season as they prepare for the yearly tradition of tracking down gobblers in the wilderness. North Carolina has a wide variety of environments that provide for strong turkey populations, making it a popular sport in the state.

This page will provide readers with an overview of the most important rules, schedule and regulations hunters should be aware of. This information will help you have a productive and satisfying turkey hunting experience, whether you’re a seasoned pro or this is your first time.

NC Turkey Season
NC Turkey Season

North Carolina Turkey Season

During the state’s five-week, residents bagged more turkeys than ever. Both the statewide and juvenile harvests were far above the three-year norm. It was likely because of the epidemic, which has prompted more individuals to spend time outside.

Swamps, coastal lowlands, agricultural regions, rolling hills, and the Appalachian highlands are all home to turkeys in North Carolina. Many publicly accessible Game Lands contribute to the state’s stellar reputation. Northern Piedmont and the foothills are two of the best places to go hunting in the state, although you can find turkeys in any county. H


11 May – 13 AprMale or Bearded


Dates for Youth OnlyNote
12 Dec – 6 AprMale or Bearded

Youth Turkey Hunting Requirements

  • You must be less than 18 to take part in the youth season in North Carolina.
  • A hunting license is required for participants who are 16 or 17 years old.
  • If they are accompanied by a licensed adult at least 18 years old, hunters under 16 are excused from having a hunting license.
  • Young hunters with a license or hunter education card are permitted to hunt unaccompanied by an adult.

Hunting Note:

  • Shooting a wild turkey in North Carolina, whether it be with a handgun or a rifle, is illegal.
  • Pursuing within 300 yards of a bait location are forbidden. In this case, the baited status will last 10 days after the bait has been consumed or removed.
  • The possession of a wild turkey or a bird that cannot be differentiated from a wild turkey is banned.
  • Youth hunters under 18 may hunt statewide, but they require special authorization to reach select Game Lands (for more information, see the “Game Lands” section). Every teen must record their captures on a Big Game Harvest Report Card and submit it according to these standards. License-exempt hunters should utilize the Big Game Harvest Report Card to record their captures.

Bag Limits

Each hunter in North Carolina can only take two turkeys throughout the season. During the youth season, reserved for hunters under 18, they may take just one of these.

This means a hunter may only take one additional turkey during the standard season (April 10 to May 8) if they took one during the youth season. 

NC turkey season Top Highlights & Regulations

  • North Carolina’s turkey season will run from April 8 through May 6 in 2023. There is also a “Youth-only” season from April 1 to April 7 for hunters under 18.
  • With a valid North Carolina hunting license and a Big Game Harvest Report Card is legal. If a hunter under the age of 16 is accompanied by an adult or has finished an authorized hunter safety course and acquired a “Certificate of Competency,” they do not require a hunting license.
  • There is a season restriction of two turkeys per hunter and a daily limit of one, and hunters may take only male or bearded turkeys. The bird may only be captured by hand, bow, or crossbow 30 minutes before dawn and 30 minutes after dusk.
  • Turkeys can’t be hunted using bait, nor can they be hunted within 300 yards of where bait has been set. It is acceptable to use artificial decoys and make manual calls.
  • The Big Game, Harvest Report Card, must be marked with a notch or a cut to indicate the day and month that a turkey was taken as part of the harvest validation process before the bird may be removed from the harvest site. They must also phone the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s toll-free number (800-446-8663) by the next day at noon to report their catch.
  • Individuals who breach North Carolina’s hunting restrictions fear criminal punishment. This person may face jail time. The perpetrator may also face court fines and penalties. The offender may be accountable for the $1617 replacement cost of the illegally removed turkey. The authorities may seize the thief’s firearm and car. The offender risks losing their firearm and other equipment.

NC Turkey Hunting License

Resident & Nonresident

License TypeResidentNonresident
Big Game$14$100
Sportsman License
Adult Lifetime$530$1,272
Youth Lifetime$371$371
Infant Lifetime$212$212
Disabled Veteran Lifetime$106 
Totally Disabled Lifetime$106 
10-Day Big Game $80

Unified Hunting License

Unified Sportsman/CRFLCost
Lifetime License
Disabled Veteran$117
Totally Disabled$117


Is it legal to use dogs to hunt wild turkeys in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, it is unlawful to use dogs to hunt wild turkeys.

What are the times when turkey hunting is allowed in North Carolina?

Turkey hunting in North Carolina is allowed from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset.

John Lewis
Bookmark & Share it for Future Reference!

Leave a Comment