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Specific Species Regulations

Whitetail Deer and Feral Pig

  1. All hunters must be in their designated stand no later than 1 hour prior to official sunrise for morning hunts and 3 hours before official sunset for afternoon hunts. All hunters must remain in their designated hunting area until 2 hours after official sunrise for morning hunts and 30 minutes after official sunset for afternoon hunts. Hunters who harvest game between 10am and 1 hour before the afternoon stand deadline may leave their area to proceed to check-out location or for assistance in game recovery. Exceptions will be for emergency reasons only!
  2. Bows and pistols may be used.
  3. Hunters who choose to provide their own stand must use a properly maintained stand that is certified by the Tree stand Manufactures Association (TMA) and hunt at least 10 feet off the ground (at waist level when sitting) but no higher than 20 feet above ground within the designated hunting area.
  4. Hunters must use a full-body safety harness at all times while in a climbing type tree stand.
  5. No type of tree stand may be erected on a dead tree (snag) or a tree with the upper 1/3 of the branches dead.
  6. Hunters must wear a safety orange hat and/or vest at all times while on the property.
  7. All food type baits must be approved by the Howell Woods staff before use on the property.
  8. Howell Woods will provide ladder or box type stands and automatic feeders with corn at all designated stand locations.
  9. Hunters wishing to add additional bait to pre-baited sites or to scout their assigned hunting area must make prior reservations with a Howell Woods staff member.
  10. October-December Stewardship/lottery primary hunt days are Friday & Saturday. Additional days may be purchased - days available are Thursday of the hunt week to be taken in that order.
  11. January-March feral pig Stewardship/Lottery primary hunt days are Friday & Saturday, beginning after 12:00pm only. One additional day, Thursday, may be purchased.
  12. All hunters will be expected to provide their own transportation to and from their designated hunting area. Assistance will be provided in retrieval of harvested game only.
  13. All hunters will be expected to clean and dress their harvested animal.  Howell Woods will provide a covered area with lights, several gambrels, running water, ice, skinning tools (except knives), and waste disposal services.  Volunteers may be available to assist with cleaning and skinning services.
  14. There are no bag or size limits for the harvest of feral pigs.
  15. Whitetail deer bag limits are as stated in the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for the current year for the Eastern region.
  16. Only whitetail bucks that meet all three of the following requirements may be harvested (considered "trophy bucks"):
    1. The spread of the rack is wider than the ears (greater than or equal to 14 inches)
    2. The base of the horn is bigger than the eye (approximately 4 inches)
    3. The main beam is longer than the deer’s face (greater than or equal to 13 inches)
  17. There shall be a monetary penalty assessed for harvesting bucks that do not meet the minimum requirements.


  1. All waterfowl season dates, bag limits, and hunting hours are set by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and are strictly enforced while on the Howell Woods property. All hunting/shooting will end by 11:00am (guns must be unloaded with actions open) and all hunters and dogs will be out of the hunting area by 12:00pm.1
  2. Hunting of all waterfowl species is from designated hunting blinds only2, with a maximum of two hunters per blind.
  3. Hunting parties will rotate hunting blind locations each day of the hunt period.
  4. Trained retrievers are allowed and highly encouraged. All dogs must remain on a leash or in a kennel until arriving in designated hunting area.
  5. Any decoy that is legal by US Fish and Wildlife Service/ NC Wildlife Resources Commission standards are allowed in any number or configuration. Decoys may be left in designated hunting area for no more than 12 hours.
  6. Shotguns of 10, 12, or 16 gauge are allowed (20 gauge shotguns are permitted for waterfowl hunting with approval of Howell Woods staff.)
  7. Before arriving to or upon leaving the designated hunting blind, all shotguns must be unloaded with actions open. Shotguns may only be discharged while all hunting party members are within the designated hunting blind.
  8. Non-motor powered boats may be used for transporting decoys and other equipment to and from designated hunting blind. Boats may also be used to transport hunters to and from their designated hunt blind. All boat passengers must properly wear a USCG approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD) at all times while in the boat.
  9. Minimum use of hip boots is required to access all blinds.  Chest waders and/or a trained retriever may be required to retrieve downed birds at all blind locations.
  10. A Howell Woods staff member or designated volunteer may collect wing samples on any bird harvested.  Wing samples will not be collected on any bird that will be taxidermy mounted.

1 Management Partners are allowed to hunt in the afternoons
2 Management Partners are allowed to hunt outside of blinds

Wild Turkey

  1. Wild turkey hunting will be limited to 4 individual hunters or hunter/observer teams (one firearm/bow per team).
  2. Wild turkey hunts will be any two days in a designated five day period. All hunters/teams will be allowed a minimum of one week of scouting (dates and times designated by Howell Woods staff). Shooting hours are 1/2 hour before official sunrise until official sunset. Hunters may be in their hunting area no more than 2 hours before official sunrise and must be out no later than 30 minutes after official sunset.
  3. There shall be a one bird limit per hunter/team.

Gray Squirrel

  1. Gray squirrel hunting will begin after 8:00 am and end 30 minutes after official sunset on the designated hunt days and will be limited to six designated hunting areas with a maximum of two hunters per area.
  2. Shotguns must be no larger than 12-gauge and shot size shall be no smaller than No. 6 size pellets.
  3. Fox squirrels may be harvested. In the event a fox squirrel is harvested a monetary penalty will be assessed.

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