Outfitters, Guides and Outfitted Hunts
NMDGF regulates registered outfitters, guides and outfitted hunts. An outfitter is any person who advertises or holds themselves out to the public for hire or is employed or accepts compensation for providing, within the unit where a hunt occurs, facilities, equipment or services for hunting activities. A “New Mexico Outfitter” is a person who has met very specific qualifications as set forth in law to participate in the 10% special drawing pool.
Before hiring an outfitter, hunter-clients should research the preferred outfitter and obtain references. A list of registered outfitters is provided on this web page. If any person claiming to be a registered outfitter is not on the registered list, do not do business with them and contact the department. It is unlawful for guides to book hunts or contract with hunters directly. Guides are not outfitters. Guides must work under the supervision of their outfitter.
All outfitters shall execute a written contract with each hunter-client, signed and dated by all parties before the hunt begins. Contracts shall designate the terms, guide to hunter-client ratio, hunt dates, compensation charged and services to be provided.
All outfitters shall have a copy of the contract available for inspection in the field during the hunt or they must submit an electronic copy of the contract to the guide and outfitter registrar at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled hunt. Email contracts to DGF-Guide-Outfitter@state.nm.us.
10% Special Drawing Pool
New Mexico’s special drawing pool allocates up to 10% of all available big-game licenses for each hunt code. To apply in the 10% special drawing pool, a “New Mexico Outfitter” shall execute a written contract with each special drawing pool applicant. Contracts must be signed and dated by all parties prior to application for any special drawing pool license. It is unlawful for an outfitter or guide to contract with themselves or to guide themselves using a special drawing pool license. A “New Mexico Outfitter” may release a contracted hunter-client to another “New Mexico Outfitter” provided that the original contract was valid, in place prior to the application deadline and only if it is mutually agreed upon and signed by all parties.
A “New Mexico Outfitter” shall ensure that each hunter-client who obtains a license through the 10% special drawing pool is accompanied by the outfitter or their registered guide for at least two days during the contracted dates of the hunt in the area where the hunter-client’s license is valid. Accompanied shall mean that the outfitter or their registered guide physically escorts the hunter-client in the field during the hunter-client’s license hunt dates.
A hunter-client who obtains a license through the 10% special drawing pool, and chooses to hunt beyond their contracted hunt dates must carry a copy of the contract while hunting if it had not been submitted electronically to the registrar at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled hunt. It is unlawful to hunt with a license obtained through the 10% special drawing pool without being accompanied by, and contracted with, a “New Mexico Outfitter” or their guide for at least two days during the hunt.
Any person who purchases landowner permits or private land licenses for a hunter-client or pays for access to a landowner’s deeded property for a hunter-client in any way, shall be considered an outfitter.
A landowner or their agent who is guiding or outfitting on the landowner’s deeded property or pursuant to a landowner permit is exempt from the department’s registration process but may register if they choose.
Agent is a person who is legally authorized by employment or written contract to act on behalf of a private landowner to oversee the landowner’s hunting operation on their deeded property. Agents may not act independently from the landowner. A landowner or their agent must be in compliance with the registration requirements of any pertinent government land management agency when involved with commercial activities on lands controlled or administered by a government land management agency for each hunt code.
To apply or obtain more information, email DGF-Guide-Outfitter@state.nm.us.