Dates for bear seasons across North Carolina, especially in the eastern third of the state, can be so different as to confuse hunters, often changing from one county to the next.

In the western third of the state, it’s easy. The season is split into two segments: Oct. 13-Nov. 22 and Dec. 15-Jan. 1, 2015. In the Piedmont and Foothills, seasons match the existing gun seasons for deer: Nov. 15-Jan. 1, 2015 in Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Granville, Guilford, Lee, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Orange, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties; Oct. 18-Jan. 1, 2015 in Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Hoke, Moore,  Richmond, Scotland, Vance, W,arren and Wake counties; Nov. 22-Jan. 1 in Alexander, Catawba, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Stokes and Yadkin counties.

In the coastal plain, it can get confusing. The season is Nov. 10-Jan. 1, 2015 in Bladen, Carteret, Cumberland, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Pamlico and Sampson counties. It’s Nov. 10-15 and Dec. 15-27 in Beaufort, Camden, Chowan, Craven, Dare, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne and Wilson counties. In Bertie, Currituck, Gates, Hertford and Perquimans counties, it’s Nov 8-15 and Dec. 15-27, and in Columbus, Brunswick and Robeson, it’s Dec. 1-20.

Hunters can harvest one bear per season, with a minimum size of 50 pounds. Sows with cubs cannot be taken, and hunters must have a special Bear Management Stamp in addition to a hunting license and big-game license.