Enhancement Hunts

All proceeds from enhancement hunts are used solely for habitat enhancement, conservation, research and management projects in New Mexico for the species auctioned or raffled. Authorizations may be used either by the recipient or any individual of the recipient’s choice through sale, barter or gift. These hunts do not count as once-in-a-lifetime hunts.

Big Game Enhancement Packages

2013 big game enhancement package. Mike Gallo’s world record pronghorn score 96 4/8. (Photo: Courtesy of Gallo)

2013 big game enhancement package. Mike Gallo’s world record pronghorn score 96 4/8. (Photo: Courtesy of Gallo)

Two big-game authorization packages will be auctioned by NMDGF — one through the Mule Deer Foundation at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo on February 13–16, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah — and one through The Wild Sheep Foundation at their convention in Reno, Nevada, January 16–18, 2020. Each package will consist of five authorizations, one for each of the following: deer, elk, ibex, oryx and pronghorn. The season dates are: Sept. 1, 2020–Jan. 31, 2021 for deer and elk; April 1, 2020–March 31, 2021 for ibex and oryx (for oryx hunts, WSMR access must be prearranged); and Aug. 1–Nov. 1, 2020 for pronghorn.

Bighorn Sheep Enhancement Licenses

This Wheeler Peak ram was taken by 2009 auction winner Peter Kaindl. (Photo: Courtesy of Peter Kaindl)

This Wheeler Peak ram was taken by 2009 auction winner Peter Kaindl. (Photo: Courtesy of Peter Kaindl)

Two authorizations will be auctioned by NMDGF with the assistance of the Wild Sheep Foundation—one for desert bighorn sheep and one for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep—during their convention January 16–18, 2020.

Two authorizations will be raffled by NMDGF with the assistance of the New Mexico chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation (NMWSF)—one for desert bighorn sheep and one for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

Raffle tickets can be ordered by contacting NMWSF President Bryan Bartlett: (575) 635-3499 or bartlebc@yahoo.com. Tickets will be on sale from April 1–June 20, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Tickets cannot be paid by telephone or email. Tickets are $20 each, and there are no volume discounts. Hunt dates are August 1–December 31, 2020, except in GMU 53 (Wheeler Peak), where the dates are August 1–15, 2020 and September 1–December 31, 2020.

The successful auction bidder for desert bighorn sheep will choose their exclusive hunt area from the desert bighorn hunt area list on page 93, and the successful auction bidder for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep will do the same from the hunt area list on page 92 (excluding Unit 58, Dry Cimarron). Each successful auction bidder must select their exclusive hunt area by June 30, 2020. Raffle winners for desert bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep must do the same by July 20, 2020, however, they may not choose the same exclusive area declared by the successful auction bidders. The units remaining after both the auction and raffle winners have chosen their hunts may be hunted by either or both enhancement license holders.

Deer Enhancement Licenses 

This monster buck was harvested with the 2015 auction deer permit. (Photo: Courtesy of Dave Montoya)

This monster buck was harvested with the 2015 auction deer permit. (Photo: Courtesy of Dave Montoya)

One deer authorization will be auctioned by NMDGF with the assistance of the Mule Deer Foundation at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo on February 13–16, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. One deer authorization will also be raffled with the assistance of the Mule Deer Foundation. Tickets must be purchased by June 11, 2020 to be considered for the June 12, 2020 drawing. The bag limit for these hunts is one fork-antlered deer. The season dates are: Sept. 1, 2020–Jan. 31, 2021.

Elk Enhancement Licenses 

2007 elk auction winner Tod Reichert, San Mateo Mtns. SCI World Record 437 5/8. (Photo: Courtesy Tod Reichert)

2007 elk auction winner Tod Reichert, San Mateo Mtns. SCI World Record 437 5/8. (Photo: Courtesy Tod Reichert)

One bull-elk authorization will be auctioned by NMDGF with the assistance of the Mule Deer Foundation at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo February 13-16, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. One bull-elk authorization will be raffled with the assistance of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation at the NMDGF Santa Fe office in June, 2020. If an enhancement license holder chooses to hunt on Valles Caldera, he/she must arrange access with the National Park Service: (575) 829-4100 at least 2 weeks prior to hunting. For more information please visit the RMEF website: www.rmef.org. The bag limit for these hunts is one mature bull elk. The season dates are: Sept. 1, 2020–Jan. 31, 2021.

Gould’s Turkey Enhancement Permits

One Gould’s turkey enhancement permit will be auctioned by NMDGF with the assistance of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) at the NWTF Convention and Sport Show on February 12–16, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn. Additional information will be available on the NWTF website: www.nwtf.org/convention. A second permit will be raffled by NMDGF with the assistance of the New Mexico chapter of NWTF. Tickets are $20 each. The winner will be drawn on Thursday, March 12, 2020. For more information email: nmturkeyhunt@bajabb.com. Winners of the auction and raffle for Gould’s turkey authorizations also will receive a regular New Mexico spring turkey license with tag(s).

Premium Statewide Deer and Elk Hunts

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish premium deer and elk hunts are in honor of two NMDGF employees, Austin Roberts and Ocie Gray, who were killed in a January 1960 plane crash while delivering hay to starving pronghorn on the snow-covered plains outside of Las Vegas.

Pilot Austin Roberts, 40, of Roswell, was a 14-year veteran of NMDGF at the time of his death. A cause of the accident was never determined. Before joining NMDGF Roberts served as a bomber pilot during World War II and survived 62 bombing runs and being shot down six times. Lake Roberts in the Gila National Forest is named after him.

Ocie Gray, 25, was a NMDGF biologist and a 1959 graduate of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces where a scholarship in his name is available to biology students.

The two premium hunts were authorized by the New Mexico State Game Commission to provide the public an affordable chance at a high quality hunting experience. The hunt codes are DER-1-700 and ELK-1-700 and allow hunting with any big game sporting arm in any unit statewide, including NMDGF’s wildlife management areas and private land with written permission, anytime between Sept. 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021. The hunts are available through the draw and are subject to quota (nonresident and outfitted applicants are extremely unlikely to draw).

Reference (2020-21 NM Hunting Rules & Info pg. 35-36)