The youth season is open to anyone under 18, but hunters 16 and older must have hunting licenses. Hunters under 16 do not need a license as long as they are accompanied by a license holder age 18 or older. However, youth who have a license or hunter education card may hunt without adult supervision.
A record-high turkey harvest was documented last year, with the statewide harvest increasing by 28 percent and the youth harvest by 110 percent compared to the average of the three previous years. The increase was likely due to North Carolinians spending more time outdoors due to COVID-19.
The season dates are designed to offer the turkeys plenty of opportunity for breeding before the males are harvested. Hunters must report harvests using the Big Game Harvest Report Card at www.ncwildlife.org/hunting/big-game-harvest-reporting.