Hunting News

Hunting News2019-06-14T12:21:04-06:00

Hunting News

The latest hunting news and press releases, including important reminders for the 2018-2019 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.


New Office Location in Albuquerque

The Department’s Northwest Area Office is now located at 7816 Alamo Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87120. For directions call (505) 222-4700 and press 8.

New 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 15, 2019 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 no longer refundable.

Electronic Tag (E-Tag) Option for Deer and Elk

Hunters may now choose the E-Tag option when purchasing or applying for any deer or elk 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 deer or elk license and carry their phone in the field. A printed license and/or carcass tag are not required. See page 8 for details.

License and Tag combined if purchased online or by phone

This year, 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 15, 2019, a printed copy may be required. This option is not available for license purchases and/or duplicate tags at over-the-counter (OTC) license vendors.

Upland Game now in Small Game Rules and Info booklet

Hunting information for upland game species is not in this booklet. See the New Mexico 2019-2020 Small Game Rules and Information booklet for upland-game hunting (published July 2019).

New Definitions for Legal Sporting Arm Types

Sporting arm types are defined on pages 30–31.

Hunt codes are now listed by Game Management Unit

Hunts for all species are no longer listed by sporting arm type. Please review listings thoroughly before applying.

Private-land Elk Licenses

The private-land elk rule has changed. See pages 67–69 for details.

Private-land Only Pronghorn License

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.

Pronghorn Draw Licenses

Successful draw applicants will no longer be assigned to a private ranch. All draw licenses are valid on public lands and private land with written permission within the Game Management Unit.

New 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 on first day of the hunt). Nonresidents and resident applicants who were successful for any species (except javelina) are no longer eligible. See page 85 for eligibility information.

Duplicate License Fee

A $6 fee 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.

Late Season Archery Elk Hunts Now Offered as Draw Hunts

The late-season archery elk hunts are no longer sold online through secondary sale, but are offered through the draw.

Deer Seasons for Bow

Deer Seasons for Bow

New Open Areas for Spring and Fall OTC Turkey

See pages 111–113.

Valle Vidal: Greenwood Area No Longer Included

Greenwood Area is no longer included in the Valle Vidal hunt area. It is private property, and written permission to hunt is required. See page 43.




Reference (2019-20 NM Hunting Rules & Info pg. 2-3)


Early Purchase Available for 2019–20 Licenses

Licenses for the 2019–20 license year which begins April 1 will be available online, by telephone, and at license vendors and NMDGF offices beginning March 25.

Purchase 2019 Game Hunting License through Draw Application

Draw applicants purchasing 2019 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.”

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 21).

Free Mobile App

Powered by Pocket Ranger®, the mobile app offers easy access to maps, fishing reports, license purchases, rules and regulations, Operation Game Thief and New Mexico Wildlife magazine at: This is not the app needed for the E-Tag option (see page 8).

Free Hunting and Recreation Maps

Free maps of New Mexico big-game hunting units and recreational areas on public lands can be downloaded to your mobile device at:

Mandatory Harvest Reporting. Don’t Forget!

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.

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 11–March 15, Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–6 p.m. and March 18—March 19 from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. The Information Center will close at 4:30 p.m. on March 20.

Premium Statewide Deer and Elk Draw Hunts

Statewide memorial hunts now available by draw for deer and elk (page 39).

Mexican Gray Wolf: Encounters and Identification

Know where wolf encounters may occur and how to distinguish the Mexican Gray Wolf from coyotes (pages 130 and 131).

50% Discounts for Resident Military and Veterans

Residents of New Mexico who are active duty military or veterans can receive 50% discounts on licenses, permits and stamps. See pages 19 and Glossary, pages 135–139 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 17).

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: The Department 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 42–44).

Habitat Stamp

The Habitat Stamp must be purchased prior to hunting, fishing or trapping on BLM and Forest Service properties. To be included in a combined license/tag, the Habitat Stamp must be purchased before May 15, 2019. Proof of Habitat Stamp purchase must be carried while in the field.

Draw Carcass Tags by Mail

uccessful draw applicants will receive the license/tag(s) via U.S. Postal Service in late- May or early-June.

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 check or cash will be refunded by check by the end of May. Game-hunting License and stamp purchases will not be refunded.

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

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


Reference (2019-20 NM Hunting Rules & Info pg. 4-5)


Deadline is Wednesday to apply for big-game hunting licenses

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAR. 15, 2019: Deadline is Wednesday to apply for big-game hunting licenses SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is reminding hunters that Wednesday, March 20, is the deadline to apply for deer, elk, pronghorn, oryx, ibex, bighorn sheep, javelina and Barbary sheep licenses. The department expects more than 200,000 applicants for about 60,000 licenses. Hunters must complete their applications before 5 p.m. MDT March 20. All applicants must create an online account prior to applying. Here’s how to apply: Online: Applicants can access or create accounts via the “Customer Login” link on the department website. From their account, applicants will select “Draw Hunt Applications” in the main menu and then will be prompted through license and application choices. By phone: Hunters without Read more...

Hunters: Don’t forget to file your mandatory harvest report

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact: Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEB. 13, 2019: Hunters: Don't forget to file your mandatory harvest report SANTA FE – Mandatory harvest deadlines are fast approaching for hunters and trappers who held licenses for New Mexico’s 2018-19 seasons. The deadline to file a free report for hunters who held 2018-19 deer, elk, pronghorn or turkey licenses is midnight Feb. 15, 2019, After that date, an $8 late fee will apply. Hunters must report on or before the March 20 application deadline or their applications will be rejected from the big-game draws. The deadline to report for those who held 2018-19 Barbary sheep, javelina, oryx, ibex or trapping licenses is midnight April 7, 2019. The later harvest-reporting deadline allows license holders for those species to submit results after the seasons have closed. Hunters Read more...

Outdoor Adventures Hunting and Fishing Show this weekend in Albuquerque

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEB. 12, 2019: Outdoor Adventures Hunting and Fishing Show this weekend in Albuquerque SANTA FE – The annual New Mexico Outdoor Adventures Hunting and Fishing Show opens at noon Friday, Feb.15 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 17, in the Manuel Lujan Building at the state fairgrounds in Albuquerque. The event is bigger and better than ever with new exhibits and hands-on activities hosted by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. New this year will be a free 'catch and release' pond located in the red barn. Try your luck catching a tagged fish to win a prize sponsored by a vendor. At the start of each day’s show, the first 15 people to catch a tagged fish will win a prize from one of the Read more...

Deadline to apply for bear and turkey permits is Wednesday

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEB 11, 2019: Deadline to apply for bear and turkey permits is Wednesday SANTA FE – The deadline to apply for 2019-2020 bear and turkey permits is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Draw results will be available Feb. 27. 2019-2020 rules and information booklets can be found on the Department of Game and Fish website. Hunters can apply online, by telephone or in person at department offices. For more information or help in applying for the draw, please call the information center at (888) 248-6866. Successful applicants must purchase a 2019 bear or turkey license with applicable stamp(s) after March 25. Draw permits may not be printed before the bear or turkey license is purchased. The draw deadline for big game, including elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, Barbary Read more...

2019-2020 draw hunt application opens today

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866 Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JANUARY 16, 2019: 2019-2020 draw hunt application opens today SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish began accepting applications for 2019-2020 big-game and turkey licenses and permits at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan.16, online and over the telephone. Information about rules, seasons, fees and more is available in the 2019-2020 Hunting Rules & Information booklet online now at and available in print soon at license vendors and department offices. Hunters are encouraged to review season dates, application deadlines and other information before applying for licenses or going afield. The application deadline for bear and turkey permits is 5 p.m. Feb. 13. The application deadline for big-game licenses is 5 p.m. March 20. Hunters need to file all mandatory harvest reports from last season’s hunts to Read more...

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