Hunting Glossary

Search and sort this hunting glossary of popular terms found on the New Mexico Game & Fish website and in our Hunting Rules & Information booklet (available in print and PDF format).

Active Duty Military (N.M. Resident)Current active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard for a minimum period of 90 days. Members of the National Guard or Military Reserve Component and commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who have completed a minimum of six years of continuous honorable service.
Adult-and-Youth-Only HuntA draw hunt consisting of at least one adult (18 years of age or older) and up to three youth (younger than 18 years of age on the opening day of the hunt).
AggregateThe sum of upland game taken which may include more than one species.
AmmunitionHunters of protected species may use only soft-nosed, hollow-point or plastic-tip bullets. Full metal-jacketed and tracer bullets are not legal. The use of sabots is legal in muzzleloading rifles, except restricted muzzleloader hunts (page 136, 'Restricted Muzzleloaders').
Antler Point Restricted Elk (APRE/6)A legal APRE/6 elk must have six or more points of any length on at least one antler for an APRE/6 hunt. A brow tine or eye guard counts as one point. A burr at the base of the antler does not count as a point.
Antlerless Deer or Elk (A)Any male or female deer or elk without antlers.
ArcheryBows includes compound, recurve and longbows. Sights on bows may not magnify targets or project light. Arrows must have broadheads (fixed or mechanical) with steel cutting edges. No drugs may be used on arrows. Arrows cannot be driven by explosives.
Bag LimitThe maximum number of game animals or birds permitted by law to be taken by one person in a given period.
Big GameSpecies include Barbary sheep, bear, bighorn sheep, cougar, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, oryx and pronghorn antelope.
Bighorn Sheep EweAny female bighorn sheep.
Bighorn Sheep RamAny male bighorn sheep.
Bow and ArrowSee 'Archery' above.
Broken-horn OryxAn oryx of either sex that has one or more horns missing at least 25% of its normal length.
Crossbow and BoltCrossbow use is legal during Any Legal Sporting Arm hunts and Muzzleloader hunts. Crossbows may be used by a certified mobility-impaired hunter during any season. Sights on crossbows may not magnify targets or project light if used by a certified Mobility-Impaired Hunter for an archery-only hunt. Bolts must have broadheads with steel cutting edges. No drugs may be used on bolts. Bolts cannot be driven by explosives.
Depredation Damage FeeA fee required of all big-game hunters that has been included in the price of each big-game license. The fee is $3 for each resident and $10 for each nonresident big-game license. Money generated is being used to develop permanent solutions to chronic wildlife depredation problems throughout the state.
Either Sex (ES)Any male or female of a big-game species.
Either Sex Whitetail Deer (ESWTD)Any male or female whitetail deer.
Established RoadA road built and/or maintained by equipment and which shows no evidence of ever having been closed to vehicular traffic by such means as berms, ripping, scarification, reseeding, fencing, gates, barricades or posted closures.
FalconryThe hunting of game using raptors.
Female or Immature Ibex (F-IM)An ibex with horns less than 15-inches long.
Female or Immature Pronghorn Antelope (F-IM)A pronghorn antelope without horns or with both horns shorter than its ears.
Foot Hold TrapA spring actuated device designed to capture a cougar or furbearer by the foot.
Foot SnareWire or cable with a single closing device set to capture a cougar or furbearer by the foot.
Fork-Antlered Deer (FAD)Any deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork.
Fork-Antlered Mule Deer (FAMD)Any mule deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork.
Fork-Antlered White-tailed Deer (FAWTD)Any white-tailed deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork.
Fourth-Choice Deer or Elk HuntBy selecting a fourth choice, applicants indicate they will accept a deer or elk license for any hunt in a specific quadrant of the state. Be aware success rates for some fourth-choice hunts may be low, due to small and localized populations of deer or elk. A hunter drawing a fourth-choice elk hunt could receive a license with an antlerless bag limit, even if all other hunt choices were for a mature bull. Refunds will not be made to successful applicants. The fourth-choice assignment will always be for the same sporting-arm type as the first choice on an application. Not all draw hunts are included in the fourth-choice pool.
Game Management Unit (GMU)A subdivision of the state used to manage big-game species.
Game-hunting License or Game-hunting & Fishing LicenseAn annual Game-hunting License is valid for hunting all small game and both upland and migratory game birds. An annual Game-hunting & Fishing License is valid for fishing in addition to hunting small game. Both types of licenses may be purchased at license vendors statewide, including all NMDGF offices, by telephone 1-888-248-6866 and online All hunters must purchase one of these licenses in order to apply for any big-game license or before purchasing any over-the-counter big-game or turkey license.
Habitat Management & Access ValidationAll hunters, trappers and anglers 18 years of age and older on any lands must purchase and possess a $4 Habitat Management & Access Validation once during the year (April 1–March 31, 2018). This fee will not be charged to hunters, trappers and anglers younger than 18 years of age, resident anglers 70 years and older and 100% Disabled Resident Veterans in conjunction with their free licenses (page 8).
Habitat Stamp (Habitat Improvement Stamp)All hunters on any Forest Service or BLM lands must purchase and possess a $5 Habitat Stamp once during the year
(April 1–March 31, 2018). All trappers and anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase and possess this stamp, except resident anglers 70 years and older and 100% Disabled Resident Veterans in conjunction with their free licenses (page 8).
Handicapped HunterNew Mexico resident with a severe physical or developmental disability. To qualify, applicants must have one or more disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities.
High-Demand (HD) HuntAn elk or deer draw hunt with at least 22% nonresident applicants for the previous two license years.
Junior Hunting LicenseReduced-fee licenses are available to resident hunters younger than 18 years of age.
Landowner PermissionIt is unlawful, unless otherwise allowed by rule, to hunt, fish or trap on private land without possessing valid written permission from the landowner of the property that the hunter or angler is hunting, fishing or trapping. The landowner's signature including date and telephone number on a valid license, landowner authorization or other paper shall constitute valid written permission.
License YearTwelve month period, beginning April 1, 2016 and ending March 31, 2017.
Mature Buck (MB) Pronghorn AntelopeA pronghorn antelope with at least one horn longer than its ears.
Mature Bull (MB) ElkA male elk with at least one brow tine extending six or more inches from the main beam or at least one forked antler with both branches six or more inches long. A spike bull (page 136) is not considered a legal mature bull elk.
Mentored-Youth Hunter Program After completing a simplified online quiz, first time hunters at least 10 years of age - but younger than 18 years of age - may obtain a Mentored-Youth Hunter number to apply for deer, turkey, javelina and upland game licenses and hunt under the supervision of an adult mentor. The mentor must possess a current hunting license, be 18 years or older and a parent, guardian or adult with parental consent. Mentored-Youth Hunter registration is available one time only and valid for two consecutive license years. For information see page 9.
Military Only HuntApplicants must be on full-time active duty in the military and must provide proof of current military assignment to the Special Hunts Office in Santa Fe by the application deadline.
Mobility-Impaired Hunter (MI)An individual with permanent impairment(s) and/or disabilities with substantial functional limitations. For further information see page 12.
MuzzleloaderIncludes rifles and shotguns in which the charge and projectile are loaded through the muzzle. Only black powder, Pyrodex or an equivalent substitute may be used. Smokeless powder is illegal. Legal muzzleloading shotguns are those capable of being fired from the shoulder only. Muzzleloaders may use in-line ignition, pelleted powder, sabots, belted bullets and scopes. Also see page 136, 'Restricted Muzzleloader'.
NMDGFNew Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Nongame HuntingNongame species include prairie dogs, ground squirrels, Himalayan tahr, porcupine and rabbits (Coyotes and skunks are unprotected furbearers, page 121, and feral hogs are an unprotected species, page 19). Residents are not required to have a license to take nongame species. Nonresidents must purchase a Nonresident Nongame License or a New Mexico Nonresident Hunting License. Nongame hunting is not permitted on Wildlife Management Areas, unless specifically permitted by rule.
Once-in-a-Lifetime LicenseA draw license that can only be issued once in an applicant's lifetime. This license may not be applied for if an applicant has previously held one.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) LicenseA license available from vendors, NMDGF offices and online No drawing is required to purchase these licenses.
Pellet GunHandgun or rifle that propels a single .177 caliber or larger pellet by means of compressed air or gas.
Population Management HuntA hunt designed to manage the number of big game on public or private lands where they have damaged property or may interfere with military operations.
Private-land AuthorizationDocumentation obtained from a private landowner that allows a hunter to purchase a private-land elk or pronghorn antelope license.
Private-land Only Deer LicenseA license authorizing hunters to hunt deer only on private land with written permission. Hunters must enter a hunt code from a public-land hunt for the Game Management Unit (GMU) where the private land is located.
Protected FurbearersA Trapper License is required for all residents 12 years of age and older; all nonresidents who trap protected furbearers; and all nonresidents who trap and possess unprotected furbearers (coyotes or skunks). Residents ages 12-17 may purchase a Junior Trapper License. Protected furbearers include raccoon, badger, weasel, fox, ringtail, bobcat, beaver, muskrat and nutria.
Protected SpeciesProtected species include all big game, turkey, squirrels and game birds. A hunter must have a Game-hunting or Game-hunting & Fishing License. If hunting big game, hunters must have a specific big-game species license. Hunters also may need a Turkey or Bear Draw Permit. Hunters must have in possession all appropriate licenses and/or permits in the field while hunting any of these species.
Public LandsDescriptions of federal and state public lands are listed on pages 29-35.
Quality (Q) HuntThese hunts are designed to increase opportunities for a successful harvest, achieve harvests from wider selections of mature deer or elk, and/or provide a pleasurable experience based on timing of the hunt and hunter density. Quality hunts are determined by the New Mexico State Game Commission.
Restricted Muzzleloader (for specific deer hunts)Any muzzleloading rifle, including a smoothbore flintlock or musket, using open sights in which the charge and projectile are loaded via the muzzle. Only black powder, Pyrodex or an equivalent substitute may be used. Smokeless powder, inline ignition, pelleted powder, sabots, belted bullets, multiple projectiles and scopes are illegal.
Senior Hunting LicensesReduced-fee licenses are available to New Mexico resident hunters 65 years of age and older.
Spike Bull ElkA spike bull elk is a male elk with antlers having a single beam without branches. A spike elk may be legally harvested only with an either sex license.
Standard (S) HuntDeer or elk hunts which are charged a regular license fee rather than a Quality or High-Demand fee.
State Trust LandLands administered by the Commissioner of Public Lands and granted to the State of New Mexico from the Federal Government for the economic support of public institutions such as public schools and universities.
U. S. Military (N.M. Resident)Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or their Reserve Components, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and commissioned members of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Upland GameSpecies include dusky (blue) grouse, Eurasian collared-dove, quail (bobwhite, Gambel's, Montezuma, and scaled), pheasant and squirrel (Abert's, red, gray and fox).
Veteran (N.M. Resident)New Mexico resident veteran with a minimum of 90 days active duty service in the U.S. Military, or six continuous years in the National Guard, Military Reserve Component, or U.S. Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Veterans must have been honorably discharged from military service.
Wildlife Management Area (WMA)Properties owned or managed by and under the control of the State Game Commission.
Youth-Only HuntTo be eligible for a Youth-Only Hunt, each applicant must be younger than 18 years of age on opening day of the hunt.
Reference (2017-18 NM Hunting Rules & Info pgs. 135-138 )