View Full Version : Handgun hunting in NC

June 17, 2006, 10:23 PM
I've handgun hunted in NC for many years. Last year, while reading the regs, I noticed the wording had changed. They used to specify, for big game, a handgun of no less than 24 caliber and a barrel of no less than 5.5 inches. The 5.5 inch reg appears to be gone, for big bore/big game. Does this mean I can use my 4" .44, too?
The 5.5 reg is still in effect for small game/.22. Any NC hunters ran into this?
I've pasted the section below. I'm going to call the NCWC Monday to find out for sure, but from my reading and interpretation, a 4" barrel should be fine. What do you think?


During the open hunting season for rabbits, squirrels, opossums,
raccoons, furbearing animals and legal nongame animals and
birds, these species may be taken with a pistol of .22-caliber
with a barrel not less than 5.5 inches in length.

A hunter or trapper lawfully taking wildlife by another method
may use a pistol to dispatch the animal or bird taken, except as
noted below.

Pistols may not be carried during the bow-and-arrow and
muzzleloader deer hunting seasons.

Deer, bear and wild boar may be taken with a handgun during the
established gun hunting season provided that the handgun is not
less than .24-caliber. Muzzleloading pistols are not legal for hunting.

It is unlawful to hunt or take wild turkeys with pistols.+

I usually tote a 7.5 SBH along with my .22 rifle while squirrel hunting during deer season. It would be nice to be able to legally take a deer with a more "packable" revolver.

June 20, 2006, 08:52 AM
According to the way I read that Reg, you should be legal. Maybe they changed it because some guys like to use semi-autos, which would be difficult to find in a 5.5"+ barrel :D

June 20, 2006, 11:05 AM
I talked to the NCWC enforcement office yesterday. They did change the law for big game. There is no barrel length limit now, only caliber. The barrel length limit is still in effect for small game/22lr.