Urban Archery Pilot Program

  • Project typePilot Program
  • Project scheduleBeginning 2026

Deer eating shrubs.jpg On June 26, 2024, the Carthage Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of implementing an Urban Archery pilot program within the Carthage town limits. The Administrative staff will be working to establish this program and the parameters by which the Board will measure its benefits to the community.

Anticipated start date for the Urban Archery Pilot Program is January 2026

Please check back for more updates.

What is urban archery?

In North Carolina, each municipality has the option to determine whether it will allow hunting on public property and to establish restrictions for hunting on private property within the municipal limits to assist in controlling deer populations. Cities and towns engaged in urban archery adopt ordinances that outline the rules for urban archery such as where it can occur, what may devices can be used, and other important details.


Why do deer populations need to be controlled?

While the presence of deer may be a welcomed sight to some, deer can be a cause of motor vehicle accidents and carry diseases, such as Lyme disease. North Carolina is home to over 1 million deer and when overpopulation occurs it can result in overfeeding which then leads to habitat loss and increased populations of predators such as coyotes. This is turn has a detrimental effect on the ecosystem as a whole.


What will the rules and requirements to engage in urban archery in Carthage be?

As part of this pilot program, the Board of Commissioners will be considering an ordinance to govern how hunters can engage in urban archery. The full draft ordinance is posted on this page but we have included the rules and requirements here for your convenience as well.

  1. For the purposes of this ordinance, hunting is defined as, "all operations during, immediately preparatory, and immediately subsequent to an attempt, whether successful or not, to kill, pursue, or otherwise reduce to possession any deer." 

  2. Hunters shall follow all state and local laws, rules, and ordinances when hunting deer within the corporate city limits. 

  3. Hunting with firearms is strictly prohibited. Only archery equipment, as defined by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, is permitted.

  4. Hunting dates and times for the Urban Archery Deer Hunting Program, which are established annually by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, shall apply for the purposes of this ordinance. 

  5. Hunters must have in their possession a valid North Carolina Hunting License showing completion of a hunting safety course. 

  6. Hunting is allowed only on private property. Hunters must have in their possession written permission from property owner(s), dated within one year, to hunt on specific private property; or the hunter(s) must be the property owner(s). 

  7. No hunting is allowed on publicly owned property. 

  8. No hunting is allowed on private property within 500 feet of the property line of a school, daycare center, playground, park, or other location where children are likely to be located. No hunting is allowed on, from, or across the right-of-way of any public street or highway. 

  9. Hunters must hunt from an elevated platform at least 10 feet above ground level. 

  10. Hunting is allowed only on a tract or parcel of land which is at least three or more acres. Adjacent tracts or parcels of land may be combined or pooled to meet this requirement, with written permission from each landowner. 

  11. No archery equipment may be discharged unless the hunter/shooter is located at least 100 feet within the allowed property line. This 100-foot buffer within each property line is an area in which no hunting may occur. 

  12. A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor offense pursuant to N.C.G.S. 14-4 Violation of local ordinances misdemeanor.  

How long will the pilot program last?

To get a better understanding of how urban archery will work for our community, the Board of Commissioners are seeking to operate the pilot program for one full urban archery hunting season beginning in 2026.  The NC Wildlife Resources Commission sets the dates for hunting seasons each year and the Town of Carthage does not have the authority to change these dates.