North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Ruffed Grouse

Scientific Name: Bonasa umbelius 
Classification: Game Species

   

Additional Information

There are nine species of resident small game in North Carolina including, three species of rabbits (Eastern cottontail, Appalachian cottontail, and marsh rabbit), three squirrels (fox, red and gray squirrels) and three birds (quail, grouse and pheasants). Many differences exist between the species including their distributions, abundances, and future conservation challenges. Information about other types of small game species, including woodcock, doves, groundhogs, etc., can be found in other parts of this website.

Habitat changes over the past 40-50 years have presented the greatest challenge to management, and for the most part, have been detrimental to small game. Conservation challenges include urban growth, habitat fragmentation, exotic plants and insects, incompatible farming and forestry practices, and unchecked forest succession. Currently, undisturbed maturing forest conditions are beneficial for most squirrel species. However, habitats are deteriorating for bobwhite quail and grouse which are dependent upon early successional conditions. Remnant populations of pheasants, a non-native gamebird, also continue to decline on the Outer Banks where larger populations once existed.

In situations where habitat is created for these species, small game populations are often quick to respond due to their high reproductive rates and ability to colonize new areas. To address recent declines of these species dependent on early successional habitat, the Wildlife Resource commission has developed programs such as the CURE (Cooperative Upland Habitat Restoration and Enhancement) program.

Many people hunt small game species in North Carolina. Each year approximately 150,000 sportsmen/ sportswomen take more than 1.0 million trips afield in pursuit of resident small game species. Based on a survey of hunters during a recent hunting season, it was estimated that hunters harvested approximately 8,750 grouse, 230,000 quail, 382,500 rabbits, and 482,000 squirrels in North Carolina.


Help Wanted - Avid Bird Hunters

 

Species

Regulations

Additional
Information

Armadillo

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Beaver

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Bobcat

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Coyote

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information

5-County Coyote Hunting & Depredation Permits
 Crow

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

 
 Feral Swine

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
 Fox

Fox Seasons by County

Coming Soon

General Information
Groundhog

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

 
Grouse

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Nutria

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

 
Opossum

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information (PDF)
Pheasant

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

 
Quail

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Rabbit

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

 
Raccoon

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Skunk (striped)

Hunting Regulations (PDF)Trapping Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information (PDF)
Squirrel

Hunting Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Controlled Hunting Preserves

Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon

General Information
Extended Falconry

Regulations (PDF)

Coming Soon