New Mexico Wildlife

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

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Last Updated: 07/29/2014

HUNTING RULE DEVELOPMENT

For

The 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, And 2018-2019 Hunting Seasons

 

 

COMMISSION MEETINGS 2014

JANUARY

MARCH

MAY

JUNE

AUGUST

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

Javelina,

Barbary Sheep,

Oryx, & Ibex

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule Changes

Presented

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

 

       

Turkey,

Migratory Game

Birds

 

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

 

Final Rule

Waterfowl

Rules and Information

Book Published

   

Pronghorn Antelope,

Bighorn Sheep

 

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

 

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

   

Deer,

Elk

   

Initiate Rule

Development

 

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

Resident Game

Rules and

Information Book

Published

 

The Department is seeking public comments on several big-game hunting rules like Barbary sheep, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, pronghorn antelope, and oryx.  The Department is also seeking comments for the turkey and migratory bird rules.  The Department revises rules for hunting game every 4 years and migratory game birds (waterfowl) each year.  Involving hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts is invaluable during the review to ensure that their perspectives help influence hunting seasons and license numbers for the next four years.  As the process develops, proposed adjustments to the various rules will be available for public review.  The State Game Commission, when finalizing the rules later this year, will consider all public comments, harvest and survey data, as well as biological information on population sustainability and management goals.

 

During rule development, the Department will follow a 3-stage process for each RULE at meetings of the State Game Commission:

Initiate:      Beginning of rule development, the Department will clarify early ideas for any changes expected/proposed.

 

Propose:   Presentation of proposed rule.  The Department will present a basis for the proposed changes.

 

Final:         The Department will use biological and public input to develop a final rule to present to the Commission. 

Your comments are important to us on every proposed rule change.  Please click the link for each rule you wish to provide input on.

 

The Department will routinely update the website as new rule proposals become available; be sure to check back often for updates.

 

If you or an organization you represent would like to schedule a meeting with Department personnel please contact Wildlife Management Division at 505-476-8038 or at this email to request a date, time, and location of a meeting.      

 

Migratory Game Bird Meeting Schedule

Date Time Location
8/1/14 1-3 PM Albuquerque
8/5/14 7-9 PM Farmington

 

 

CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGES (Date changes reflect shifts in the calendar and are standard across all Rules):

 

Turkey 19.31.16 NMAC: Comment Now!

No adjustments are proposed to the current license numbers.

 

Proposed rule amendments are:

  • Combine the text of the Gould’s Turkey Enhancement Permits Rule (19.31.20 NMAC) with the Turkey Rule (19.31.16 NMAC) to simplify and make it consistent with enhancement hunt rules for other species.
  • Simplify hunt tables for greater clarity.
  • Close Sugarite State Park to fall turkey hunts due to excessive pressure and habitat damage from fire.
  • Close W.S. Huey WMA fall draw hunt (TUR-1-109).
  • Make permits available on W.S. Huey WMA spring draw hunts TBD.
  • Open GMU 8 to an archery-only spring draw hunt (10 permits). Bag limit is one bearded turkey.
  • Rattlesnake Canyon closure area on GMU 2A: youth-only draw hunt (5 permits).  Bag limit of one bearded turkey. Make permits also valid for GMU 2 Draw Hunt.
  • GMU 2 Draw Hunt: add 15 draw permits to spring turkey hunt.
  • Statewide youth hunt: extend for one day (Friday) prior to spring season.
  • GMU 5B open during fall season.

 

Click to see final recommendations to the Turkey rule.

 

Migratory Game Bird 19.31.6 NMAC: Comment Now!

The Department proposes amendments for the 2014-2015 hunting season, including the federal migratory bird requirements and allowances for the Central and Pacific Flyways, and request Commission approval of the application deadline for these hunts. Season selections and bag/possession limits are determined through the annual flyway meetings.

 

Timeline for Migratory Game Bird Regulation Setting:

March:

Flyway Technical Committee and Council meetings to develop early season recommendations; State Game Commission meeting; initiate annual rule.

May:

State Game Commission meeting; propose initial amendments.

June:

USFWS Service Regulations Committee meets to decide on early season frameworks.

July:

 

(Early) Proposed early season frameworks published in the Federal Register followed by a public comment period.

Flyway Technical Committee and Council meetings; develop late season recommendations;

USFWS Service Regulations Committee meeting to decide on late season frameworks.

August:

(Early) Proposed late season frameworks published in the Federal Register followed by a public comment period.

Final early season frameworks published in the Federal Register;

State Game Commission meeting.

Aug.-Sept.:

Final late season frameworks published in the Federal Register

 

Proposed Amendments:

  • Expected reduction in sandhill crane harvest allotment from 248 last season to 217 for the upcoming season.  
  • Propose reduction in MRGV and SW hunt permits.
  • Add authorization to cancel one or more hunts if the harvest is expected to exceed our federal allocation of greater sandhill cranes.
  • Add “ADJUSTMENT OF LICENSES, PERMITS, AUTHORIZATIONS, AND HARVEST LIMITS: Director’s authority, with the verbal concurrence of the chairman or his designee, to adjust the number of licenses, permits, authorizations, or harvest limits, up or down by no more than 20%.
  • Adjust dove season in the south zone to allow for hunting on fall break.   
  • Remove Eurasian Collared-Dove from Migratory Game Birds 19.31.6 NMAC and add to Upland Game 19.31.5 NMAC.
  • Adjust snipe season to allow for hunting after duck season ends.
  • Eliminate the December 24 and 26 youth waterfowl hunts on Bernardo and open the Bernardo Pond Unit to general hunting on those dates. Only 1 hunter applied for each hunt in 2013 while most of the other youth hunts were full or nearly full.
  • Add exception to 19.31.6.8D to clarify that supervising adults may hunt during Bernardo Pond Unit youth hunts; change “Bernardo Pond Unit youth-only” to “Bernardo Pond Unit youth”
  • Increase September teal season by 7 days.
  • Adjust season dates based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowances.

Sandhill Crane Harvest Reduction:

The objective for the Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) of greater sandhill cranes is to manage for a stable population index of 17,000-21,000 cranes determined by an average of the three most recent, reliable September (fall pre-migration) surveys.  The harvest allocation is developed by the Central and Pacific Flyway Technical Committees, using a formula in the RMP Sandhill Crane Management Plan that includes a three-year running average of the September survey and the recruitment index. Final determination of allocation is decided by the USFWS Service Regulations Committee. The three-year population average for the RMP sandhill crane fall index is 17,757, a decrease from the previous three-year average of 17,992. As a result, the total allocation for all states in the range dropped. The New Mexico portion is expected to be 217 for the 2014-2015 season.

Click to see final recommendations to the Migratory Game Bird rule.

 

Upland Game 19.31.5 NMAC: Comment Now!

  • Remove Eurasian Collared-Dove from Migratory Game Birds 19.31.6 NMAC and add to Upland Game 19.31.5 NMAC.
  • Add pellet guns as a legal sporting arm for Grouse, Squirrel, and Eurasian Collared-Dove.
  • Open season on Eurasian Collared-Dove statewide from April 1 - March 31 with no bag or possession limits.

 

Pronghorn Antelope 19.31.15 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Pronghorn rule are as follows:

  • Move public F-IM hunts outside of private Mature Buck (MB) hunt windows in the Northeast area
  • Move select hunts in the Northeast area to occur later in the season due to concerns over heat in late July and early August 
  • Combine GMU’s in Southwest that have the same hunts dates, weapon types, and bag limits.
  • Eliminate the Adult-Youth-Only muzzleloader hunt in GMU 29 (due to the new mentored-youth hunting program for all species) and allocate tags to the youth only muzzleloader hunt occurring in GMU 29.
  • Increase the youth only hunt in GMU 32 from 3 to 5 licenses.

Click to see presentation given at the May 15th commission meeting on proposed changes

Click to see final recommendations for Pronghorn Antelope rule.

 

Bighorn Sheep 19.31.17 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Bighorn rule are as follows:

  • The Department is analyzing different approaches restructuring licenses available per hunt code for bighorn sheep.  The Department presented three options to the commission at the May 15th meeting: 1) No change to the current structure. 2) create a hunt code for rocky bighorn rams, a hunt code for desert bighorn rams, and a hunt code for rocky bighorn ewes (under each hunt code there would be 3 choices for desired locations). 3) This option would be similar to option 2 but hunters would be assigned to a location rather than having the ability to choose 3 desired locations.
  • Extend the length of all rocky bighorn hunts (rams and ewes).
  • Create a new archery only ewe hunt in the Latir’s of 12 licenses (one license  would be reserved for youth only)
  • Open ram hunting in the Rio Grande Gorge population.  
  • Open ram hunting in the Dry Cimarron population
  • Reopen the ram hunt in the Turkey Creek/San Francisco population 

Click to see presentation given at the May 15th commission meeting on proposed changes.

Click to see final recommendations for Bighorn Sheep rule.

 

Deer 19.31.13 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Deer rule are as follows:

  • Proposing deer license reductions in select GMUs (see presentation link below for specific GMU’s under consideration). The exact license reductions have not been determined, but as further data becomes the Department will update the website with specific proposed license reductions.
  • Proposing allowing archery hunters to select either a September or January hunt.

Click to see presentation given at the May 15th commission meeting on proposed changes

 

Elk 19.31.14 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Elk rule are as follows:

  • Standardizing archery hunts to be a 2-hunt period September 1-15 and 16-24 (except GMUs that currently have 1 archery hunt period)
  • Reduce GMU 9 antlerless (A) licenses (and make all antlerless hunts muzzleloader)
  • Redistribute antlerless licenses in Northcentral herd (GMU’s 4, 5B, 50, 51, and 52) to account for elk distribution across Northcentral landscape
  • Add new mature bull (MB) & A hunts in 5B (2 hunts in Oct., 1 hunt in Nov., 1 hunt in Dec.) and equally distribute licenses across 4 hunt periods
  • Develop new late (Dec/Jan) hunt in portions of GMU 53 to address elk movement and use
  • Increase Valle Vidal MB licenses slightly in GMU 55A resulting from increased recruitment.
  • Increase A licenses in GMU 34 (herd can sustain higher harvest, has high calf:cow ratios)
  • Slightly increase MB licenses in GMU 36 (herd can sustain higher bull harvest, bull:cow ratio is currently >50:100)
  • Multiple changes to Valles Caldera, mainly restructuring hunts  (see link to presentation below for specific proposed changes)
  • Reduce 6C licenses due to low hunter satisfaction ratings and low elk numbers
  • Create new A hunts in GMU’s 21 & 23 (currently no A hunts in these units, preliminary data suggest elk could sustain more A harvest in GMU’s 21 & 23)

Click to see presentation given at the May 15th commission meeting on proposed changes

 

Please revisit this website frequently as the Department will update any proposed changes as they become available.

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