113-291.3. Possession, sale, and transportation of wildlife.

(a) Live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds may be taken, possessed, transported, bought, sold, imported, exported, or otherwise acquired or disposed of only as specifically authorized in this Subchapter or its implementing rules. The Wildlife Resources Commission may impose necessary reporting, permit, and tagging requirements in regulating activities involving live wildlife and the nests and eggs of wild birds. The Wildlife Resources Commission may charge a reasonable fee to defray the cost of any tagging procedure.

(b) With respect to dead wildlife:

(1) Lawfully taken wildlife may be possessed and transported as provided in G.S. 113-291.2. Wildlife possessed under any dealer license may be possessed and transported in accordance with the provisions of law and rules applicable to the license, and wildlife may be sold to qualified persons if authorized under provisions governing the license. In other situations, except as this Subchapter may expressly provide, possession and transportation of wildlife may be regulated by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(2) Unless there is a specific restriction on the transfer of the species in question, an individual may accept the gift of wildlife lawfully taken within North Carolina if taking possession does not cause him to exceed applicable possession limits. If he notes and preserves in writing the name and address of the donor and under what license or exemption from license requirements the wildlife was taken, he may possess that wildlife without a permit in the places possession without a permit would be authorized in G.S. 113-291.2 had he taken the wildlife.

(3) A licensed taxidermist or other licensed dealer taking temporary possession of wildlife of another may possess the wildlife that he is authorized to handle under his license in accordance with the rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. A person not a dealer operating a preservation or processing facility, whether commercially or not, may possess the wildlife owned by another without any permit or license if he ascertains that the wildlife was lawfully taken within the State and keeps a written record of:

a. The name and address of the owner of the wildlife and an adequate description of the wildlife left with him. If the description of the wildlife changes as the result of processing, the new description must be recorded.

b. The date, serial number, and type of the license under which the wildlife was taken or the applicable exemption from license requirements which the taker met.

c. The date all wildlife left with him is received and returned to the owner. If the receiving or returning of possession is to an agent or common carrier or otherwise occurs under circumstances in which permit requirements may apply, the type and date of the permit which authorizes the transaction must also be recorded.

(4) The sale of rabbits and squirrels and their edible parts not for resale is permitted. If the Wildlife Resources Commission finds that affected game populations would not be endangered, it may authorize the sale of heads, antlers, horns, hides, skins, plumes, feet, and claws of one or more game animals or birds. In addition, it may authorize the sale of bobcats, opossums, and raccoons, and their parts, following their taking as game animals. No part of any bear or wild turkey may be sold under the above provisions, however, and no part of any fox taken in North Carolina may be sold except as provided in G.S. 113-291.4. In regulating sales, the Wildlife Resources Commission may impose necessary permit requirements.

(5) Lawfully taken fur-bearing animals and their parts, including furs and pelts, may, subject to any tagging and reporting requirements, be possessed, transported, bought, sold, given or received as a gift, or otherwise disposed of without restriction. The skin of deer lawfully taken by hunting may be possessed, transported, bought, or sold, subject to tagging and reporting requirements and any season limits set by the Wildlife Resources Commission. The Wildlife Resources Commission may regulate the importation of wildlife from without the State by fur dealers, and may regulate the sale of fox fur and other wildlife hides taken within the State if sale of them is authorized. Fox furs lawfully taken without the State may be imported, possessed, transported, bought, sold, and exported in accordance with reasonable rules of the Wildlife Resources Commission. Processed furs acquired through lawful channels within or without the State by persons other than fur dealers are not subject to rule.

(6) Nongame animals and birds open to hunting and nongame fish lawfully taken, except as this Subchapter and its implementing rules expressly provide otherwise, may be possessed, transported, bought, sold, given or received as a gift, or otherwise disposed of without restriction.

(7) The possession and disposition of wild animals and wild birds killed accidentally or to prevent or halt depredations to property are governed by G.S. 113-274(c)(1a).

(8) The edible parts of deer raised domestically in another state may be transported into this State and resold as a meat product for human consumption when the edible parts have passed inspection in the other state by that state's inspection agency or the United States Department of Agriculture.

(c) The Wildlife Resources Commission may make reasonable rules governing the marking of packages, crates, and other containers in which wildlife may be shipped.

(d) Any person hiring a hunter or trapper to take game is deemed to be buying game. Any hunter or trapper who may be hired is deemed to be selling game. (1935, c. 486, ss. 19, 22; 1941, c. 231, s. 1; 1973, c. 1262, s. 18; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1285, s. 8; 1987, c. 827, s. 98; 1997-142, s. 15; 1997-456, s. 44; 2015-18, s. 1.)