Wildlife Questions and Concerns


North Carolina Wildlife Resource Information

Animals causing property damage or found within a residential structure (house, apartment, etc.) may be trapped without a permit (depredation) only during the current trapping season for that species. Animals trapped in this manner may be released on the property, treated as a legally-trapped furbearer, buried or disposed of in a safe and sanitary manner on the property where trapped.

The killing and method of disposition of every alligator and bear taken without a permit, shall be reported to the Wildlife Resources Commission within 24 hours following the time of such killing.

BEFORE YOU CALL, FOLLOW THESE STEPS!—nuisance wildlife

  • Identify the wildlife species involved.
  • Before contacting for assistance be certain the problem is sufficiently severe and persistent so as to require action.
  • Consider the alternatives in the following order:
    • Remove food sources, cover materials or vegetation, overhanging tree limbs, or other means of access that initially attracted and is now holding wildlife in your location.
    • Establish protective structures or barriers to prevent wildlife from entering and damaging property.
    • Humanely remove wildlife from buildings and grounds. (If trapping, transporting or killing wildlife is involved, a Wildlife Depredation Permit will be needed.)
    • Permanently repair buildings to prevent re-infestation.
    • Monitor buildings and grounds periodically for recurring problems, taking appropriate, immediate attention to control and prevent damage.

If these measures fail to resolve the wildlife-caused damage, contact a Wildlife Damage Control Agent.
Citizens are advised to contract for the services of a WDCA in the same way one selects a vendor for carpentry, plumbing or other repair services. For example, an explanation of the service to be provided, the expected cost involved, and references can be requested of WDCA prior to entering into a contractual agreement.

Citizens may wish to control wildlife damage themselves. Information on techniques is available from:

  • Each County Extension Center
  • NCWRC and USDA - WS at (919) 786-4480

NC Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers, NCWRC Wildlife Biologists, and WDCAs can issue wildlife Depredation Permits to citizens at no charge.

It is unlawful for any person to take, or have in possession, any nongame mammal or bird unless you have a collection license or collecting fewer than 5 reptiles or fewer than 25 amphibians that are not endangered, threatened, or special concerned species. (see 15a ncac 10b .0200 for more information)

  1. DEER-abandoned wildlife
  2. Just because the fawn is alone and the parent cannot be seen, doesn’t mean the fawn is orphaned. As stated before, fawns are left alone by the doe for long periods of times. A good rule of thumb is to leave the fawn completely alone for 24 hours to determine if the parent is not returning.
  3. After leaving it completely alone for 24 hours, and the fawn is in the same location, clearly distressed and bleating (crying) loudly, then go to the bottom of this section to find a Fawn Rehabilitator near you.
  4. If the dead parent is found close by the baby, then go to the bottom of this section to find a Fawn Rehabilitator near you.
  5. Just because a young animal is alone and the adult cannot be seen doesn’t mean the animal is orphaned. Many juvenile animals are left alone by the adult for long periods of times or merely have fallen out of their nest. Since it’s always best to give the adults the opportunity to re-establish contact and take care of their own offspring, a good rule of thumb is to leave it alone for 24 to 48 hours to determine if parent will return.
  6. If the dead adult is found close by to the young animal and is not one of the high risk for rabies listed above, then go to the bottom of this section to search for a Wildlife Rehabilitator.
  7. If the animal is able to move on its own, then it’s not injured. Best thing to do is just leave it alone.
  8. If it’s still alive and just not moving, then it’s still not necessarily injured. Certain species have a tendency to become very still when they think they're threatened or cornered. The best thing to do is leave it alone for at least 24 hours and allow it to move on its own.
  9. If it is obviously injured and is not one of the high risk for rabies listed above, then go to the bottom of this section to search for a Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Please note:  It is illegal in North Carolina to keep most wildlife species without a permit. Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators are the only individuals that have proper licenses and training to provide care for wild animals until they can be released back into their natural habitat.
Property owners are responsible for disposing of dead animals on their property. The animal can be buried or left to decompose naturally. DOT may remove dead animals on state-maintained roadways if causing traffic concerns. Wildlife Damage Control Agents can be hired to remove dead animals, however not all agents offer this service.

Wildlife Rehabilitator Contacts
Kelly Carpenter—Ellenboro—small mammals (828)453-8316
Donna Henson---Ellenboro—small mammals (828)748-3361
Dee Ullrich—Rutherfordton—Birds, songbirds, small mammals (828)447-3986
Carolina Raptor Center—Huntersville—(704)875-6521

Fawn Rehabilitator Contacts
Linda Williams—columbus—(828)817-5225
David Penley—Morganton—(828)438-3731
Nancy Whisenant—Morganton—(828)433-1437
Sharon Smith—Morganton—(828)443-0200

NC Wildlife Hotline 1-866-318-2401
****If you have more questions you can mind lots of information on the State Wildlife Webpage. 

Wildlife Damage Control Agents
Harrison McFarland—Casar—(704)600-8596
Larry Conner—Lake Lure—(828)289-5887
Tyrone Phillips—Mill Spring—(828)691-0694
Clinton Calhoun—Rutherfordton—(828)429-0953
David Harmon—Rutherfordton—(828)980-1009
Chad Wall—Rutherfordton—(828)429-5379
Michael Greene—Shelby—(704)477-8205
Brandon Whitaker—Spindale—(828)755-1114
Michael Herman—Tryon—(828)817-4049