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).

Hunting Glossary TermDefinition
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. This definition does not apply to Military-only Hunts (page 138).
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 139, Restricted Muzzleloaders).
Antlerless (A) Deer or ElkAny deer or elk without antlers.
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.
Antler Point Restricted Elk or Antlerless (APRE/6/A)Antler-point-restricted elk (six or more points on at least one antler) or an antlerless elk.
Bag LimitThe maximum number of game animals or birds permitted by law to be taken by one person in a given period.
BaitAny salt, mineral, grain, scent or other feed, commercially produced game attractant or any other organic material which is attractive to wildlife.
BaitingTo place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any bait on or over areas where any person is attempting to take protected game species. All bait must be completely removed at least 10 days prior to hunting.
Big GameSpecies include Barbary sheep, bear, bighorn sheep, cougar, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, oryx and pronghorn.
Bighorn Sheep RamAny male bighorn sheep.
Bighorn Sheep EweAny female bighorn sheep.
Bow and ArrowIncludes compound, recurve and longbows. Sights on bows may magnify targets but cannot 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. Draw locks are not legal.
Broken-horn OryxAn oryx of either sex that has one or more horns missing at least 25% of its normal length. This may be determined by comparing the broken horn's length to the remaining horn or where it is readily apparent the terminal end would not taper to a point for another 25% of growth.
Compressed air gunHandgun or rifle that propels a nonspherical projectile by compressed air. Compressed air guns must be at least .22 caliber or larger for hunting javelina and cougar.
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 bow season. Sights on crossbows may magnify targets but cannot project light. 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.
Female or Immature Ibex (FÐIM)Any female ibex, or any male ibex with horns less than 15 inches long.
Female or Immature Pronghorn (FÐIM)Any female pronghorn or any pronghorn without horns or with both horns shorter than its ears.
FirearmAny handgun, rifle, muzzleloader or shotgun.
Foot SnareWire or cable with a single closing device set to capture a cougar or furbearer by the foot.
Foot Hold TrapA spring actuated device designed 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 quadrant, applicants indicate they will accept a deer or elk license for any hunt in that 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-hunting LicenseAn annual Game-hunting License is valid for hunting all small game including upland and migratory game birds. An annual Game-hunting & Fishing License is valid for fishing in addition to hunting small game. 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. Either license may be purchased at license vendors statewide, including all NMDGF offices, by telephone 1-888-248-6866 and online
Game Management Unit (GMU)A subdivision of the state used to manage big-game species and turkey.
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, 2019). 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.
Habitat Stamp (Habitat Improvement Stamp)All hunters on any U.S. Forest Service or BLM lands must purchase and possess a $5 Habitat Stamp once during the year (April 1-March 31, 2019). 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.
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 17 years of age or younger at the time of purchase.
License YearTwelve month period, beginning April 1, 2019 and ending March 31, 2020.
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.
Mature Buck (MB) PronghornA pronghorn 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 (spike bulls are not legal, page 139).
Mature Bull / Antlerless (MB/A) ElkAny 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 (spike bulls are not legal, page 139) or any antlerless elk.
Mentored-Youth Hunter ProgramThis program permits youth 10 to 17 years of age to hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter before completing a hunter education course. After completing an online quiz, youths can obtain a Mentored-Youth Hunter number permitting them to apply and/or purchase deer, turkey and javelina licenses. Supervising licensed hunters 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 18.
Mobility-impaired Hunter (MI)An individual with permanent impairment(s) and/or disabilities with substantial functional limitations. For further information see pages 15-16.
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.
Muzzleloader (Muzzle)Includes 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 139, Restricted Muzzleloader.
NMDGFNew Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Nongame HuntingNongame species include prairie dogs, ground squirrels, Himalayan tahr, porcupine, rabbits, coyotes and skunks. 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 or Nonresident Trapping 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 online and by telephone 888-248-6866. No drawing is required to purchase these licenses.
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 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. Not available from license vendors for units 2A, 2B, 2C, 4 and 5A.
Protected FurbearersProtected furbearers that may be harvested during open season include raccoon, badger, weasel, fox, ringtail, bobcat, beaver, muskrat and nutria. A Trapper License is required for all residents 12 years of age and older; all nonresidents who trap protected furbearers; and all nonresidents who trap unprotected furbearers (coyotes or skunks). Residents ages 12Ð17 may purchase a Junior Trapper License.
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, tags and/or permits in the field while hunting any of these species.
Public LandsDescriptions of federal and state public lands are listed on pages 42-47.
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.
Ranch-wide Agreements (Pronghorn)Ranch-wide agreements allow private landowners to enroll their ranch's private deeded and public leased acres as one contiguous ranch for access by public draw hunters. Landowners are issued authorizations for pronghorn licenses valid on that property's deeded and public leased acres.
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, sabots, multiple projectiles and scopes are illegal.
Senior Hunting LicensesReduced-fee deer, elk and Game-hunting and Fishing licenses are available to New Mexico resident hunters 65 years of age and older.
Small gameIncludes upland game and migratory game birds (See New Mexico Small Game Rules and Information booklet).
Spike Bull ElkA 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.
Wildlife Management Area (WMA)Properties owned or managed by and under the control of the State Game Commission.
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.
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.
Youth-only HuntTo be eligible for a Youth-only Hunt, each applicant must be 17 years of age or younger on opening day of the hunt.
Reference (2018-19 NM Hunting Rules & Info pgs. 137-140 )