Spring turkey season in the state of North Carolina runs from April 10 to May 8, 2021 with the youth season running from April 3 to April 9.
If you’ve never gone hunting for turkey before, this guide will help you get started so that you can go out there with confidence. Each type of game has a different set of rules, so it’s good to know these things before you head out or even before you apply for your license.
The rules for Hunting during Spring Turkey Season are easy
During the youth season, individuals under the age of 18 can hunt turkeys. People ages 16 and under must be properly licensed, and although those under the age of 16 do not need a license, they must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years of age. During youth season, the daily limit is one turkey and the limit per season is two. When it comes to the regular season, the limits are roughly the same: one turkey per day and you can only take or possess a total of two turkeys during the entire season.
There are other rules and suggestions that should be followed as well, and they include:
- Do not wear red, white, blue, or black. These are tom turkey-related colors and might result in you being mistaken for game.
- Never stalk a turkey because this could be dangerous.
- If you walk through the woods with a turkey or even a decoy, either make sure it is wrapped and therefore hidden or dressed in bright orange to make it more noticeable.
- You must report a harvested turkey using the Big Game Harvest Report Card. You can do this either online or by calling 1-800-I-GOT-ONE (446-8663). If you are a youth who is license-exempt, make sure you use the report card designed for this group of hunters.
- When another hunter approaches the area you’re in, make sure you announce yourself in a loud, clear voice so that both of you are safe.
- It is illegal in the state of North Carolina to use rifles, pistols, black-powdered rifles, dogs, or even recorded or electronic calls during spring turkey season when you’re hunting.
- You cannot take a turkey that is within 300 yards of any type of bait.
- You cannot possess a live wild turkey, or any other type of live bird, that looks like other wild turkeys.
Naturally, you also have to hunt male or bearded turkeys only, and you should already be familiar with gun safety to hunt turkey every spring. The state always assumes that their hunters know at least the basics when it comes to hunting these animals during spring turkey season, which includes basic gun-handling and gun safety procedures.
Other things considered important
The state also encourages all hunters to be aware of their surroundings, not just to be safe, but also to be on the lookout for poachers or any other suspicious behavior. There is even a hotline that hunters can call 24/7 to report these individuals. The number to call is 1-855-WILDTIP (945-3847). You can also go online to do this, by visiting ncwildlife.org/wildtip.
When you call these hotlines, you can remain anonymous if you like. If there is a reward, of course, you’ll have to leave your contact information to receive it. Most rewards range from $100 to $1,000.
You can also sign up for various virtual classes that are specifically geared toward spring turkey season, and they start on March 2, and whether you’re new to hunting or you’ve been doing it for years, it is a great idea to take at least one of the classes before youth season arrives.