How Much Is a NC Hunting License? A Comprehensive Guide

How Much Is a NC Hunting License? A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to experiencing the thrill of the great outdoors and embracing the age-old tradition of hunting, North Carolina offers abundant opportunities for both residents and non-residents. Before embarking on your hunting adventure, one crucial question arises: “How much is a NC hunting license?” In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of North Carolina hunting licenses, detailing the costs, requirements, and all the essential information you need to know before you set out on your hunting journey.

How Much Is a NC Hunting License?

Obtaining a hunting license in North Carolina involves various factors determining the cost. The price of your hunting license depends on factors such as residency status, age, and the type of game you intend to hunt. To give you a clear understanding, here’s a breakdown of the different types of hunting licenses available in North Carolina and their associated costs:

License TypeResident CostNon-Resident Cost
Annual Inland Game License$25$150
Annual Coastal Game License$16$100
Sportsman’s License$50$250
Lifetime Hunting LicenseVariesVaries

Annual Inland Game License

Annual Inland Game License

The Annual Inland Game License allows residents and non-residents to hunt small game, including squirrels, rabbits, and certain migratory birds. For residents, the cost is $25, while non-residents will pay $150.

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Annual Coastal Game License

The Annual Coastal Game License is designed for individuals interested in hunting waterfowl and other migratory game birds in coastal areas. Residents can obtain this license for $16, whereas non-residents must pay $100.

Sportsman’s License

The Sportsman’s License is an excellent option for avid hunters, as it grants access to all hunting opportunities in the state, including big game, small game, and waterfowl. Residents can enjoy these privileges for $50, while non-residents can obtain the Sportsman’s License for $250.

Lifetime Hunting License

Lifetime Hunting License

For those who are truly committed to the art of hunting, North Carolina offers Lifetime Hunting Licenses. The cost of these licenses varies based on factors such as age and residency. These licenses provide lifelong access to hunting opportunities in the state, making them a valuable investment for passionate hunters.

The Process of Obtaining a NC Hunting License

Now that we’ve covered the costs of different hunting licenses in North Carolina, let’s walk through the process of obtaining one. The steps involved are relatively straightforward:

  1. Choose Your License Type: Determine the hunting you intend to engage in—whether it’s small game, waterfowl, or a combination of hunting opportunities.
  2. Residency Verification: Make sure you have the necessary documents to verify your residency status in North Carolina, as this will affect the cost of your license.
  3. Visit a Licensing Agent: Locate a North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) licensing agent near you. These agents can be found at various outdoor sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and other convenient locations.
  4. Complete the Application: Fill out the required application form, providing accurate and up-to-date information.
  5. Pay the Fee: Pay the appropriate fee based on your chosen license type, residency status, and age. This fee can be paid in person at the licensing agent’s location or online through the NCWRC website.
  6. Receive Your License: Once your application and payment are processed, you’ll receive your North Carolina hunting license, which should be carried with you whenever you’re engaged in hunting activities.

NC Hunting License FAQs

Can non-residents apply for a lifetime hunting license in North Carolina?

Yes, non-residents are eligible to apply for a lifetime hunting license in North Carolina. However, the cost of a lifetime license for non-residents may differ from that of residents.

Are there any age-based discounts for hunting licenses in NC?

Yes, North Carolina offers reduced fees for senior citizens and youth hunters. These age-based discounts vary depending on the license type and the applicant’s age.

Is hunter education mandatory to obtain a hunting license?

Yes, in North Carolina, anyone born on or after January 1, 1973, must complete a hunter education course before obtaining a hunting license. Certain exemptions apply, so be sure to check the NCWRC guidelines.

Can I hunt on my own property without a hunting license?

Yes, if you own land in North Carolina, you may hunt on your property without a hunting license. However, it’s essential to adhere to all hunting regulations and seasons.

Are there any additional permits required for specific game species?

Yes, you may need to obtain additional permits or tags for certain game species, such as deer and turkey. These permits help regulate and manage the population of these species.

Can I purchase a hunting license online?

Absolutely, North Carolina offers the convenience of purchasing hunting licenses online through the NCWRC website. This streamlined process allows you to select your desired license, pay the fee, and receive your license digitally.


Embarking on a hunting expedition in the picturesque landscapes of North Carolina is an experience like no other. To fully enjoy all that this state has to offer, obtaining the right hunting license is paramount. From the Annual Inland Game License to the Sportsman’s License, North Carolina provides options to cater to various hunting preferences.

Remember, the cost of your hunting license depends on factors such as residency, license type, and age. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, North Carolina welcomes you to explore its bountiful hunting opportunities and natural beauty. So, before you head out into the wild, ensure you have your NC hunting license and are well-versed in the state’s hunting regulations.

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