Hunting News

Hunting News2020-05-01T08:19:05-06:00

Hunting News

The latest hunting news and press releases, including important reminders for the 2020-2021 hunting season, from the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish. See additional wildlife news in Conservation News. Department-wide news can be found under Home → NMDGF News.

Social distancing is a challenge for all outdoors enthusiasts; the itch to get outside just keeps growing. But this is a time for all New Mexicans to pull together for the overall health of all our citizens and stay home. The Department reminds recreationists it is their responsibility to be aware of closures and contact land managers for properties of interest when restrictions are lifted.

To help prevent the transmission of COVID-19, all Department offices, all Department hatcheries, Bernardo WMA Tour Loop, Bear Canyon Reservoir, Bill Evans Lake WMA, Rio de los Pinos WMA, Morphy Lake Open Gate property, Monastery Lake Open Gate property and Rio Costilla Open Gate property are closed to the public.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): www.blm.gov/new-mexico
U.S. Forest Service (USFS):  www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
New Mexico State Lands: www.nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/
New Mexico State Parks: www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/
New Mexico Open Gate Properties: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/
New Mexico Wildlife Mgmt Areas: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/state-game-commission-lands/

Outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town lake and recreation area access.

 

Hunt season closure social media posts are hoax

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 26, 2020: Hunt season closure social media posts are hoax Department working hard to process 2020-2021 big-game draw SANTA FE – Despite false rumors floating around on social media, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish reassures New Mexico hunters the results of the 2020-2021 big-game draw will be released by April 29, 2020, if not earlier. Hunt season closure social media posts are hoax. Over the past week, there have been prank posts on social media stating that the 2020-2021 hunting season in New Mexico has been canceled. This is false, and the Department recommends not clicking on the links provided in this or any other hoax. Director Michael Sloane stated “the Department is working diligently to audit the draw and provide [...]

Migratory Game Bird rule changes topic of public meetings

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 25, 2020: Migratory Game Bird rule changes topic of public meetings SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the Migratory Game Bird rule. The Department is proposing small changes in migratory game bird hunting, including incorporating federal recommendations on migratory bird seasons and adjusting season dates for calendar shifts. To gather public comments, one public meeting will be conducted via conference call. The conference call will occur March 31 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Call 800-747-5150, and then use access code 4499417. Presentation slides will be posted to the Department’s website, prior to the meeting so attendees can follow along. If you do not have access to the website to view the presentation, please contact DGF-Waterfowl@state.nm.us [...]

Courts Order Department To Release Customer Names, Email, Addresses Today

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 19, 2020: Courts Order Department To Release Customer Names, Email, Addresses Today SANTA FE – A First Judicial District Court judge has ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to turn over the names and addresses of all successful big-game applicants for the years 2015 through April 23, 2019 to Los Alamos County resident James Whitehead. Additionally, the New Mexico Court of Appeals ordered the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to turn over the email addresses of individuals who applied for state hunting licenses for the years 2015 through 2016 to former Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. Both decisions conclude that information collected from the public in connection with the administration of its public duties falls within the meaning of public records and [...]

Services available for NM’s hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationalists

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 18: Services available for NM’s hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationalists SANTA FE – It’s important for agencies like the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to do their part to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and you can help too. At this time the Department encourages hunters and anglers to utilize the many online and phone services available. Customers seeking general information including; license sales and harvest reporting can still reach the Department by phone at 505-476-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-248-6866. They can reach the Department by email, ispa@state.nm.us or visit online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased online at onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us. The New Mexico Game and Fish Department offers educational activities for youth and families. New Mexico wildlife and [...]

Hunters urged to complete draw applications online or by phone to protect public health

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 tristanna.bickford@state.nm.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 17, 2020: Hunters urged to complete draw applications online or by phone to protect public health SANTA FE – Following the New Mexico Department of Health’s public health order regarding mass gatherings and in an effort to prevent transmission of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish requests draw applications be completed online or over the telephone whenever possible. As the 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, deadline approaches, there are long lines forming at many of our office locations throughout the state to apply for the draw; an unnecessary health risk when there are several remote application options available. Applications can be completed online at https://onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us/ or by calling either the Information Center (1-888-248-6866) or one of our Area Offices. The Information [...]

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New Office Location in Roswell

NMDGF’s Southeast Area Office is now located at 1615 West College Boulevard, Roswell, NM 88201. For directions telephone: (575) 624-6135.

New Unit-wide Ranch Mapss

Unit-wide elk hunting property maps are now available online: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/

New Furbearer Rulebook

Coming in June

New Bear and Cougar Rules

(pages 108–116)

New Requirements for Military Documentation

Proof of service for all military only hunts and returning Iraq/Afghanistan veteran oryx hunts must be received by NMDGF prior to application.

New Electronic Tag (E-Tag) Option for All Big Game and Turkey

Hunters may now choose the E-Tag option when purchasing or applying for any big-game or turkey hunts. You will not receive a carcass tag if you choose this option. Hunters who choose to E-Tag will be required to download the e-tagging app on their phone, upload their license and carry their phone in the field. A printed license and/or carcass tag are not required but the animal or turkey must still be physically tagged. See page 8-9 for details.

NM E-Tag app allows hunters to tag an animal in the field using their smartphone.NM E-Tag allows hunters to tag an animal in the field using their smartphone. Upon submitting the date and time of kill for their license, the hunter will receive a tag number to hand-write on durable material to be attached to the animal.

Installation: Search for “NM E-tag” in the App Store or click the icon below:App Store Google Play

New: No Electronic Check Payments

Electronic check payments are no longer accepted. Payments may be made in person by cash or credit card, and online and by telephone by credit card only.

Mandatory Harvest Reporting

All Barbary sheep, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, oryx, pronghorn, turkey and trapper license holders must submit a harvest report, whether they hunted or not. Deadlines for species are listed on page 6. Harvest reports may be submitted online, by telephone or in person at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices.

Purchase 2020 Game Hunting License through Draw Application

Draw applicants purchasing 2020 game-hunting licenses to apply for draw hunts must click “Draw Hunt Applications” in the main menu and purchase the license as part of the application process. Do not click “License Sales.”

Duplicate License Fee

A $6 duplicate license fee will be charged for all duplicate tags/licenses in accordance with New Mexico state law. This fee will only be charged when a duplicate tag is obtained requiring reprinting of the license with a new tag number. Big-game and turkey hunters are advised not to purchase their licenses online if they plan to obtain the tag(s) at a license vendor.

Draw Refunds

Draw license fee refunds for unsuccessful applicants will be processed shortly after draw results are released in April. Applications paid by credit card will be refunded directly to the credit card used for the transaction within 10 business days. Applications paid by cash will be refunded by check by the end of May. Game-hunting license and stamp purchases will not be refunded.

Early Purchase Available for 2020–21 Licenses

Licenses for the 2020–21 license year which begins April 1 will be available online, by telephone, and at license vendors and NMDGF offices beginning March 23.

Game Hunting License Options

Big-game draw applicants will be required to purchase a habitat management and access validation (HMAV) with their game-hunting or game-hunting and fishing license. Applicants will have the option to add the habitat stamp, harvest information program (HIP) number and/or second rod validation, if applicable, to their purchase. Hunters must purchase the habitat stamp prior to
May 18, 2020 to avoid having to print it separately.

Game Hunting Licenses Are Nonrefundable through the Draw Application Process

Game-hunting license and stamp purchases made through the big-game draw application are nonrefundable.

License and Tag combined if purchased online or by phone

Hunters who choose to receive a physical carcass tag may not need to carry a separate license. If purchased online or by telephone, the top section of the carcass tag will display all annual license and stamp purchases, and will serve as a valid license. Hunters must carry the license/carcass tag with them in the field while hunting (details, page 8). If you do not purchase the habitat stamp through the draw, or prior to May 18, 2020, a printed copy may be required. The combined license/tag is not available for license purchases and/or duplicate tags at over-the-counter (OTC) license vendors.

Habitat Stamp

The habitat stamp must be purchased prior to hunting, fishing or trapping on BLM and Forest Service lands. To be included in a combined license/tag, the habitat stamp must be purchased before May 18, 2020. Proof of habitat stamp purchase must be carried while in the field.

Donate an Unused License

A license may be donated to NMDGF for transfer to a youth (17 years of age or younger), a resident veteran or a resident first responder who has been qualified through a nonprofit organization that promotes hunting (page 20).

Information Center Extended Hours

The NMDGF Information Center is open year-round, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (except holidays) to answer your questions and assist with license issues and harvest reporting. Extended hours are March 9–March 13, Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and March 16—March 17 from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. The Information Center will close at 4:30 p.m. on March 18.

Private-land Elk Licenses and Fees

See pages 65–68 for private-land elk hunting rules, fees and information.

Pronghorn Draw and Private-land Only Licenses

Successful draw applicants are no longer assigned to a private ranch. All draw licenses are valid on public lands and private land with written permission within the game management unit(s).

Most private-land only pronghorn licenses are now available over the counter. A public-land hunt code must be selected when purchasing this license. These licenses are not valid on any
public land. Written permission from the landowner is required.

Eligibility Rules for Encouragement Elk Hunts

Only eligible resident youth hunters may purchase these hunts for the first 14 days of the sale. Licenses remaining after the first 14 days of the sale will also be available to eligible resident seniors (65 years and older). Nonresidents and resident applicants who were successful for any species (except javelina) are no longer eligible. See page 81 for eligibility information.

Free Hunting and Recreation Maps (page 126)

Free maps of New Mexico big-game hunting units and recreational areas on public lands can be downloaded to your mobile device at:
www.blm.gov/maps/frequently-requested/new-mexico/hunting-maps

Premium Statewide Deer and Elk Hunts

Statewide memorial hunts are available by draw for deer and elk (page 36).

Mexican Gray Wolf: Encounters and Identification

Know where wolf encounters may occur and how to distinguish the Mexican gray wolf from coyotes (pages 117 and 118).

50% Discounts for Resident Military and Veterans

Residents of New Mexico who are active duty military or honorably discharged veterans are eligible for 50% discounts on licenses, permits and stamps. Proof of service may be requested to verify eligibility. See pages 16 and Glossary, pages 120–125 for eligibility requirements and details.

Online Hunter Education Course (Residents only)

New Mexico residents 11 years of age or older can take New Mexico hunter education online (page 18).

Contact Land Management Agencies Before Hunting

Prescribed burns and/or other activities that could affect hunting may be conducted by land management agencies during hunting seasons (visit: nmfireinfo.com). NMDGF recommends contacting the appropriate management agency prior to your hunt for information on activities that may affect access or animal behavior in your hunting area. For contact information, please see Federal Lands (pages 38–40).

Draw Carcass Tags by Mail

Successful draw applicants who did not choose the E-Tag option will receive the license/tag(s) via U.S. Postal Service in late-May or early-June.

Over the Counter (OTC) Licenses for Some Species Available July 1

OTC licenses for javelina, fall turkey, private-land deer, private-land pronghorn, private-land Barbary sheep, secondary management zone private-land elk, and federal duck stamps will be available beginning July 1.

Bear and Turkey Draw Permits

Bear and/or turkey draw permits cannot be printed until all appropriate licenses have been purchased.

Legal Shooting Hours

Legal shooting hours for big game, furbearers and turkey are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless otherwise noted.

 

 

Reference (2020-21 NM Hunting Rules & Info pg. 2-5)