Attention Bear Hunters,

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish would like to remind you that you are required to have your bear pelt tagged by an NMDGF official within 5 days of harvest. However, due to COVID-19 precautions, all of our offices are closed. In order to have your bear pelt tagged, please contact The Bear and Cougar Hotline at (877) 950-5466 and follow the prompts so that we can contact you to make an appointment to either meet an NMDGF employee in the field or at an NMDGF office. Note that NMDGF employees will be observing social distancing protocols including wearing face masks, and anyone bringing a pelt to be tagged must do the same.

NMDGF offices are located here.

New Mexico Black Bear

The name black bear can be misleading. New Mexico’s black bears actually come in a variety of color phases ranging from black and brown, to cinnamon (the most common color), reddish and blonde.

New Mexico black bear photo

An adult male black bear can weigh up to 400 pounds, though the average male weighs about 250 pounds. Female black bears typically weigh between 150 and 180 pounds. Their powerful limbs each have five toes and five short, curved claws for digging and cutting. Their front feet are about as long as they are wide, but the hind feet are long and narrow and resemble a human foot. Black bears have strong muscular necks and are very adept climbers. Black bears can scramble up a tree with remarkable ease!

Black bears’ potential life span may exceed more than 30 years. In New Mexico, bears have been documented to live 20-25 years. In most of their range where they are hunted the average life span is about 7-8 years. Their most frequent causes of death are hunting by humans, predation by other bears, and their becoming a nuisance by getting used to human food and subsequently having to be killed.

For in depth hunting and license information, reference the NM Hunting Rules & Info.