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Duck Hunting in North Carolina

North Carolina, Duck Hunting Nation State, Waterfowl Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

North Carolina



Duck Statewide Harvest


Goose Statewide Harvest


No. Waterfowl Licenses Sold Annually


Ducks Per Hunter


Geese Per Hunter


Cost of Resident Waterfowl Hunting License


Cost of Resident State Stamps and Permits


Federal Duck Stamp

$100 for annual license, but $90 for Tennessee residents, $110 for Virginia residents and $125 for South Carolina residents; $80 for 10-day license, but $60 for Georgia residents, $70 for Tennessee residents, $75 for South Carolina residents and $110 for Virginia residents.

Cost of Non-Resident Waterfowl Hunting License


Cost of Non-Resident State Stamps and Permits


Federal Duck Stamp

Image: ImageBy_Jim_Nelson_redhead

Photo by Jim Nelson

North Carolina waterfowlers shot about 265,000 ducks in 2022-'23, including more than 98,000 wood ducks. The action didn't stop there, though, as hunters also took great numbers of mallards, gadwall, wigeon, bluebills, ringnecks, buffleheads, hooded mergansers, black ducks and green-winged teal. When you add the more than 29,000 geese taken in 2022-'23, it's easy to see why North Carolina merits an A rating.

Oh, and did we mention that you can hunt tundra swans in North Carolina? The state's Wildlife Resources Commission issues 5,000 tags annually, but only about 8,500 people apply each year, so odds of receiving a license aren't that daunting.

Pamlico Sound, between mainland North Carolina and the Outer Banks, is a major stopover for many waterfowl, including good numbers of long-tailed ducks and all three species of scoters. It's not uncommon to shoot divers and even puddle ducks there, too.

The state also has ample public land on which to hunt, including many managed waterfowl impoundments and special-permit areas on state game lands in the coastal region.

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