UPDATED: December 2, 2002



Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce

200 East 7th Street

Portales, New Mexico 88130

October 18, 2002

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 1. Meeting Called to Order

The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. Roll Call
Chairwoman Stevens called the meeting to order and requested roll call:
Director Bell calls roll.
Commissioner Thomas Growney Present
Commissioner Tamara Hurt Present
Commissioner George Ortega Present
Commissioner Steve Padilla Present
Commissioner James Weaver Present
Commissioner Ray Westall Absent
Director Bell states there is a quorum.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. Introduction of Guests

Chairwoman Stevens requested the introduction of members of the audience.

Members of the audience introduced themselves.

Allen Kirby, Representative of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation presented a check to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and NM State Game Commission in the amount of $44, 265.00. This was in regards to the 2001-2002 statewide elk tag raffle that all 4000 Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation members in New Mexico raised for the state.

Director Bell stated there was one request to make a change in the minutes. The request came from Curtis Rhodes who made a presentation at the September 27, 2002 meeting. In his presentation he spoke on the elk hunting situation in the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area and he was in error when he said that. Mr. Rhodes would like the minutes corrected to reflect that it should have been the Barker Wildlife Area in Unit 55.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. Approval of Minutes (September 27, 2002)

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the September 27, 2002 minutes with the correction requested by Mr. Rhodes. Motion seconded by Commissioner Padilla.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 5. Approval of Agenda

Director Bell requested removal of agenda item No. 6. Also in essence of time No. 9 be moved prior to Commission Department Discussion and made the last order of business under new business.

MOTION: Commissioner Growney moved to accept the Agenda with the deletion of No. 6 and also moving Agenda No. 9 to be heard prior to Commission Department Discussion. Motion seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Chairwoman Stevens explained to the audience the procedures to be followed for the meeting. Big Game Regulations would be reviewed species by species. Show of hands would be taken from the public indicating agreement or opposition with Department’s recommendations. Those with detailed comments only would come before the Commission.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 6. Consent Agenda

Removed from Agenda


AGENDA ITEM NO. 7. 19.31.8 NMAC, the Big Game Rule for 2002-2003.

Presented by Kerry Mower - The Department is recommending that the Commission approve amendments to the 2002-03 Big Game Rule NMAC 19.31.8. The proposal will affect deer entry hunt code DER-8-102 which will occur in the Organ Mountains of Southwest New Mexico, the general area where Chronic Wasting Disease was discovered recently. The Department has developed a plan for determining the prevalence of CWD infection in the mule deer herd of the area, which includes testing as many animals as possible. The Department is seeking approval of measures that will assure testing of deer harvested in the area as well as prevent any transportation of deer bone and neurological tissue outside of the hunt area. The proposal will include mandatory check-in and out of the hunt area, mandatory testing of all harvested deer, and mandatory transportation of only boned meat and cleaned skullcaps out of the hunt area. The recommendation is to soak skullcaps for 15 minutes in a 1/3 Clorox and 2/3 water solutions.

Director Bell, for clarification stated the skull plate would apply to all hunters, as they are required to keep the antlers and/or both ears of any animal taken as proof of sex in the Manner and Method Regulation.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation. Those in opposition were afforded the opportunity to speak before the Commission.


Doug Auckland – For clarification, asked if there would be no capes and no heads other than skull plates removed from that particular area or any area that would be tested positive in the future for Chronic Wasting Disease. Mower stated that was correct, however, as a part of the cape they can remove the hide.


MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Department’s recommendation as presented. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 8. Biennial Review

Presented by Chuck Hayes - The Department is recommending no change to (maintain) the current list of 125 state Threatened, Endangered or Restricted species. This is the same recommendation the Department made in its informal presentation regarding the biennial review to the Commission in May 2002, and in its updated recommendation in September 2002. The Department is recommending some changes to the taxonomic nomenclature for some of the species on the list, including the 2 species (Alamosa and Koster’s springsnails), which were approved for uplisting in 2002. Changes in nomenclature serve to keep the regulation listing all of the state Threatened and Endangered species ( NMAC) updated and consistent with the accepted scientific nomenclature.

Chairwoman Stevens stated since this had been presented before the Commission on a number of occasions and was open for public comment no public comment would be taken on this item at this time.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Weaver asked Hayes what his opinion of the current status of the peer review process of the peregrine falcon, what is holding it up and where the Department currently was in that regard. Hayes stated the Department had an endangered species coordination meeting with some of the state land managers, primarily in the Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service about the beginning of October. The topic was presented to them and they were asked to provide input regarding the Department’s suggestions, which consisted of review of the methodology being used was sound and possibilities of revising the existing Memorandum of Understanding. A two-week comment period was given and no response has yet been received. Commissioner Ortega asked Hayes if anything was yet in process as far as obtaining personnel for research as mentioned in the briefing presented to the Commission. Hayes stated at this point there was none. The process, within the law, states one of the early steps in doing a listing or de-listing investigation the Director designates a researcher who leads that investigation, compiles the information and moves forward with the process of developing a report. In the past, a member of the non-game endangered species staff that has expertise in that area has normally done the research. Commissioner Ortega felt there was some indication that the Endangered Species Act is going to get over hauled at the federal level.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept the Department’s recommendation as presented with the addition that the Commission is given an update at each Commission meeting regarding the progress on the peregrine review. Commissioner Growney asked, in regards to the motion, if it was limited exclusively to the Peregrine Falcon. Commissioner Weaver stated that was so. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Director Bell stated prior to Mr. Rios giving his presentation this was the point in time the Department has allotted Commissioner Nivison to give an update on Unit 34 as to the County Commission perspective.

Mike Nivision, Otero County Commissioner relative to Unit 34

Commissioner Nivison presented to the Commission an executive summary evaluating forest restoration opportunities on the Lincoln National Forest. The research was done by David and Pamela Garrett, Principals and consisted of the following: Lincoln Forest Reserve woodland/forest watershed conditions; Impacts of increased tree densities on forest physical and biological resources; USDA Forest Service Southwest Region fire suppression expenditures: 1990-2000; Societal costs related to destructive forest wildfire and minimal average annual cost of forest wildfire in the southwest. The study shows fuel loads of about 30 tons of biomass on the floor when there should only be 3, this shows the forage loss is about 3 to 4 hundred percent. If 12 thousand acres are thinned 700 million gallons of new water will be created. Nivison went on to say there are 4 communities in his county that are in a state of emergency because of water. The Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Rey has put the plan forward as pilot projects in the Lincoln, Apache Sitgraves and G Mug in Colorado. They have been funded for ongoing science, but the concern is over the last 7-8 years, the counties have developed a human environment that is very definitive, there is a lot of valuable information that needs to be transferred from the counties to the Department. It is believed the human environment has been developed so that the social economic is not affected and consequently drastic changes through custom and culture will not be seen. Dr John Valor has done an extensive study through Dr. Byron Wright. The study indicated that the elk were consuming about 72 per cent of the forage. Nivision suggested that if decisions are to be made on best science the Lincoln National Forest Report, the Department’s information and Dr. Fowlers science be combined and come up with plans that are based on science and less emotional. Nivision stated he has families in his community that have permits that are living off their social security. They bought the forage, they own the water and reparations have to be made to them and also need to take that into consideration when numbers are assigned. He saw on the Department’s tally sheet they have looked at 2002-2005 and realizes those assessments have to be done as the number of takes are found out during the hunts but feels there is an opportunity on the Lincoln because of the studies done to sit down and put a model together. Nivison requested the Department join them in the pilot restoration project to get the forest in some sort of order so the additional 3 to 4 hundred percent of forage is obtained. Nivison emphasized that in the human environment it is not felt enough weight and enough care is taken when talking about endangered species. It seems like the endangered species takes precedent over the health and welfare.

Agenda Item Number 10 Attachment

AGENDA ITEM NO. 10. 19.31.8 NMAC, the Big Game Rule; 19.32.3 NMAC, the Trapping and Furbearers Rule; 19.30.4 NMAC, the Boundary Descriptions for Wildlife Management Units Rule; 19.31.10 NMAC, the Hunting and Fishing-Manner and Method of Taking Rule. Presented by Luis Rios

The Department has been involved in a public input process regarding the Big Game and Turkey Rules for 2002-2005. The process involved talking with different groups for input in an attempt to encompass their concerns into the drafts of the Rule. Most of the comments and requests received, when biologically viable, were accommodated. DEFINITIONS:

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1

19.31.8 NMAC, Pages 1-2.

Chairwoman Stevens stated the initial definitions would be voted on for adoption at the end of all the rules. POPULATION REDUCTION HUNTS: (Antelope, deer, elk, javelina or oryx)

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 2-3.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands from the public indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for Population Reduction Hunts.

None were in opposition.

No public comment was taken.

Chairwoman Stevens entertained a motion to adopt the Population Reduction Hunts.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION – Commissioner Padilla asked Rios if there had been any population hunts on javelina. Rios stated no. Commissioner Padilla felt since none had been held it should be removed from the recommendation. Rios stated the opportunity is provided in the event there are problems with the species in the future. Commissioner Padilla suggested an * be placed stating no hunts have occurred as of yet in the proclamation stating none have been held. Commissioner Padilla also asked, on the private land oryx population reduction hunt those landowners that receive 4 private oryx authorization certificates shall allow access to those public lands within the boundaries of their ranch for any legally licensed public off range oryx hunter, if that landowner will have to sign any contract or agreement similar to antelope? Steve Henry stated there would be an agreement signed.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept the Department’s recommendation on as presented. Seconded by Commissioner Padilla.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. DEER

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 3 through 6.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for Deer (2003-2004)

None were in opposition.


Jess Rankin, Outfitter in Unit 36-34 - Concerned with having an over the counter unlimited license deer hunt at the same time as a high demand muzzleloader elk hunt (Units 34 and 36). Takes away from the quality experience. Recommended if the muzzleloader deer season is going to be the same time as the elk season that rather then make it unlimited the Department also put in a drawing or require a hunter have an elk license before being able to purchase a deer license.

Bob Rickliffs, Philmont – His ranch is divided between Unit 54 and 55. They said you could hunt only in unit 54 or unit 55. The upshot of that is 2/3 of the ranch is hunted and 1/3 is not and that is reflected in the number of hunters the ranch takes in. There is an entry hunt in the Colin Neblett where the hunters could work both sides, 54 and 55. It works for the game management units where they can cross over between game management units but is not possible for private land hunters. Mr. Rickliffs felt this was not fair. A rancher should be able to hunt his entire deeded property if there is a game management unit that crosses through the property.

Commissioner Padilla agreed with Mr. Rickliffs. The Philmont is one of the best run deer operations he has seen and felt this put them at a serious disadvantage if some change of rule was not granted.

Doug Auckland, San Juan Archers, Four Corners Bow hunter –Feels there is a lack of predator control through the entire state of New Mexico. This is something that needs to be addressed by the Commission in the forthcoming time or there will be no deer left to hunt.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Weaver asked Rios what the difficulty was with the Philmont. Is it a difficult thing to deal with? Are there serious reproductions to that kind of a change? Rios felt if it was allowed in one unit it would have to be allowed statewide. Director Bell stated that becomes more of an issue on those over the counter licenses. A system could be designed for the private land licenses or the deer entry. An example given follows: If you were putting in for a hunt in Unit 54/55 through deer entry your license could read that it is valid for the public land in Unit 54 or valid in private lands contained within the same ranch within 54 and 55. It will be a lot of writing on a license or information sheet but could be accommodated if necessary. Commissioner Weaver asked if there would be some way that would be the choice of the ranch itself if they wanted to be that involved in order to streamline that process? Director Bell felt the easiest way to streamline the process would be to put an exception in the rule that the licenses shall be valid only for unit for which they are assigned and/or the exception would be, as to those private lands within more than one game management unit your license would be valid within the ranch properties. Commissioner Padilla asked if a motion would be necessary to accomplish this. Director Bell stated a motion would be necessary asking for that exception to be put into the regulation.

Chairwoman Stevens entertained a motion with any amendments to the Department’s recommendation Commissioner Padilla asked if he was to assume that all deer hunts were buck only. Rios stated that was correct. Commissioner Hurt felt if wording was to be added where they could be on private land, written permission should be obtained from landowners. Director Bell mentioned the Department is dealing with those special drawing types of things and that system would not work for the general over the counter type licenses.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moves to accept the recommendation of the Department with the suggestion time is spent to clarify the mechanism for rewarding reasonable game management activities such as the Philmont and somehow come up with a solution to that problem. Chairwoman Stevens requested clarification from Director Bell on the proper wording for this motion.

MOTION REITERATED: The recommendations be adopted as presented and return to the Commission with precise language to accommodate the multiple units within a single ranch boundary and have further discussion on that recommendation at the December Commission meeting. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. TURKEY

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 6-7.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

2 were in opposition.


R.L. Posey – Not in agreement with spring turkey hunt. Requested it be removed.

Lilly Rendt – Asked why the trappers and furbearer regulation had not been addressed.

Director Bell stated the rule is scheduled to be addressed later today.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla is not opposed to a spring hunt, 2-turkey bag limit, but has had conversations with members of the Wild Turkey Federation going along with 2-turkey on spring hunt with the addition of a $10.00 fee for the second tag. Commissioner Padilla asked if this could be done through regulation or if it is necessary to go through the legislature. Director Bell did not have a definitive answer. There is a section within Chapter 17 that allows the Commission to charge a reasonable administrative cost for all licenses, certificates and permits not otherwise indicated by statute. A reasonable fee of $10.00 can be charged for a second turkey tag under administrative rule. That would require a rule adoption by the Commission that could be brought forward in December. Commissioner Padilla asked if an amendment would need to be placed on the motion in order to adopt the recommendation. Director Bell stated that was correct. If the Commission chose to make a motion to accept the Department’s recommendation relative to turkey and further instructing the Department to develop the appropriate language for a rule change adding a $10.00 second turkey tag and in the absence of that prepare the appropriate legislation by the December meeting. In the event the Department is unable to accomplish this by current statute a second turkey tag fee could be requested at the legislative session. Chairwoman Stevens mentioned she had also spoken with 2 Wild Turkey Federation Members over the last month and they have not seen this as a real issue. It seems they are completely satisfied with the 2-turkey bag limit.

MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moves to accept as the Department presented on with the amendment to increase the fee for the second turkey to be $10.00. Commissioner Ortega seconded if Commissioner Padilla adds the word “administrative fee”. Commissioner Padilla agrees.

MOTION AMENDED: That the $10.00 be an administrative fee. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. BEAR

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 7-8.


Doug Auckalnd, San Juan County Archers, Four Corner Bow Hunters – Supports option 1 as presented by the Department.

Davis, Sandia Bear Watch – Feels bears need a rest from hunting Units 8 and 14. Emphasis there should be on conservation, preservation, habitat management, research and education. He feels the Department is moving in that direction and is supportive of that. In terms of the options that were put up, the one that states no hunting in the Sandia’s appeals to them. Statewide, Bear Watch is opposed to an August hunt and also an August pursuit season.

George Hobbs – Feels bear population has not decreased. Over run with bear in the Gila. Would like to see the Commission consider an August, September and October bear hunt.

John Boretsky – Would like to see an option to maintain season as last year. Against closing Unit’s 8 and 14.

Bill Feranti, Double H Ranch – In favor of August 15 through 31 hunt.

Leslie Gilliland – Request hunting season remain as is at least for the next 2 years.

Jeff Gilliland - Request hunting season remain as is at least for the next 2 years.

Lilly Rendt, Bear Watch Member – Asked Commission promote corridors be placed on underneath I-40 because of the constant killing of bears.

Tim Marquez, President of Unit 57/58 Elk Management Group – Commented on large numbers of bears in Raton area. One problem with hunting bears is it comes before the elk season and a lot of the landowners do not want hunters going into disturb the elk so consequently they do not get a change to hunt the bears. A longer hunt in their area would help to control some of the numbers.

Bob Rickliffs, Philmont – Feels bear population is healthy this year. Requested Commission keep seasons as they were last year particularly in the Raton Area. If unable to do so, agrees with Option 4.

Marlin Horton, Houndsmen – Would like to see the bear season remain the same as is.

David H., Roswell - Would like to see the bear season remain the same as is.

Gary Washburn, Retired Biologist – Bear population has increased over the last years due to the management of the Game Department. Request hunting season remain as is at least for the next 2 years.

Elizabeth Hobbs – Recommended leaving season as is and also would like to see the Department work on a well defined population study of bear.

Ed Machin – Spoke on Unit 8-14. Nuisance bears are looking for food and that indicates the food available to them in their natural habitat is not present. If a moratorium is placed on hunting what is that going to do to the bear population and also the habitat if it cannot handle what there currently is. Not in favor of closing season?

Chairwoman Stevens felt it was obvious that the Commission’s attempt with the August hunt has been, if not successful, somewhat successful as a result of the findings of the Department. It is felt the season needs to be maintained for another year minimum, if not two in order to completely get all of the data and see where to go from there. Many times things are changed too rapidly before giving the Department ample time to gather all of the data in order for the Commission to determine if they are going in the right direction. Bears are opportunist. The public, Department and Commission have been concerned about the drought and condition of the bears. These particular bears that the Department have captured are a good representation of the bear population, they seem to be in a good to fairly good healthy condition. Most females have cubs with them that are also in good condition. That is a good sign that the Commission is headed in the right direction and needs to keep going forward in that direction by giving the Department some time to complete their data.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moves to keep the season the way it was this year with three exceptions. 1.) Limit the bag limit to 1 bear; Add an archery only hunt from August 30-September 22; and 3.) Separate out GMU’s 8 and 14 and do an October 15 through November 15 hunt. Seconded by Commissioner Padilla. Commissioner Padilla asked Commissioner Hurt if the Archery Only was without dogs. Commissioner Hurt stated that was so. Director Bell stated, if as stated by Commissioner Hurt, the Department made the initial statewide season August 1 to 31 there would be an overlap with the archery season. For clarification it would eliminate that if the initial statewide season were made to be August 1 thru 29 statewide except units 8 and 14 and Wildlife Management Areas. That would be followed by an August 30 through September 22nd archery hunt without dogs. A September 24 to November 15 statewide bear season would be allowed except Unit’s 8 and 14 with any legal weapon. Isolate out Unit’s 8 and 14 for an October 15 through November 15 hunt period and conduct bear hunts on a wildlife management areas as presented in this recommendation by the Department. The other would be just to eliminate the 2-bag limit and go to a 1-bag limit statewide for all hunts. Chairwoman Stevens asked, for clarification, if the statement without dogs if that meant they had an option to hunt with or cannot hunt with dogs. Commissioner Hurt stated no dogs in the archery hunt. Commissioner Weaver, on Unit’s 8 and 14 as option 2 was presented, asked if dogs only and boars only on April 14 would be acceptable. Chairwoman Stevens reiterated one other clarification. During the October 15 to November 15.

Chairwoman Stevens requested Director Bell reiterate the motion.

Director Bell stated as a point of order, if the motion accepted Commissioner Weaver’s amendment and asked if the Second would accept that. Commissioner Padilla seconded the original motion and indicated he would accept Commissioner Weaver’s amendment.

MOTION REITERATED: The motion on the floor is to amend the Big Game Rule providing for an August 1st through 29th statewide bear hunt with a bag limit of 1 bear. Excepted from that are Unit’s 8 and 14 and all Wildlife Management Areas. The motion would provide for an August 30th through September 22 archery hunt for bears, 1 bear bag limit, no dogs for pursuing during that season. Would allow for a September 24th through November 15th hunt, statewide except Unit’s 8 and 14 and except the Wildlife Management Areas. That would be open with dogs, any legal weapon. A hunt would be provided in Unit’s 8 and 14 of October 15th to November 15th for hunting of 1 male bear, with dogs only for that hunt. The Wildlife Management Areas would be the framework as presented and the number of permits as presented in today’s recommendation by the Department.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Commissioner Padilla asked why the bear application date is earlier than all the other application dates on the Sargent Humphrey’s. Director Bell stated that goes to the license year that begins April 1.

Rios commented the regulation numbers for the 2nd year of the regulation does change somewhat and so the Commission would actually be adopting the 2 years, not only the 1 year currently being referred to. COUGAR

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 8-9.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for


Lilly Rendt – Asked how one could tell the female with or without kittens. It is hard to see that even with a riflescope. Would like to have hunter follow cougar to its den, spot the animal for kill before hand to see if it has kittens.

Doug Auckland, San Juan Archers, Four Corner Bow Hunters – In Unit 2A and the northern part of Unit 2B there is a large migratory deer herd based upon the winter conditions. As deer come out of Colorado he is sure mountain lions follow them, that is the prey base. Questioned 14 quota in Unit 2 and Unit 7 as being possibly low and asked if there was any data to support the number of cougars that may follow the migratory deer herd. Would like to see it higher.

Director Bell was not sure there would be data on how many cougars followed the deer herd, if any at all, but the Department will have information on what the harvest on that zone has done over the last several years as to if they are filling the existing quota or not.

Rios did not know if the quota had been reached but was obtaining the information for the Commission.

Chairwoman Stevens suggested moving ahead and assured Mr. Auckland his question would be answered as soon as the Department obtained the information.

George Hobbs – Feels Department needs to look at quota being on females in cougar management. As long as a female population is maintained a cougar population will be maintained. In favor of decreasing cougar population in order to increase the deer population. Would like to see the hunt start the 1st of April until the quota is met for that area instead of waiting until October.

No name – Would like to see the Commission ease off on the cougar take.

R.L. Posey – Asked if any of the zones have reached their limits for the number of cougars allowed to be taken?

Director Bell replied that as a general rule yes.

Caren Cowen, NM Cattle Growers – Support’s Department’s recommendations.

Chairwoman Stevens asked if the Department had obtained an answer to the earlier question by Mr. Auckland. Rios stated the information had not yet been obtained and apologized to the Commission.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla felt the Commission could not move forward until an answer was obtained on Zone A.

Chairwoman Stevens suggested moving forward. Rios added the quotas as they are now, as pointed out earlier, are reached late in the season. Also the quotas and zones as they are were included in the management plan that was adopted. The Department looked at cougar management and cougar zone quotas and determined they were appropriate. The only difference is to split Zone D into 2 zones and that is only to accommodate some social issues.

Commissioner Stevens suggested the Commission go forward with the next presentation and cougar could be voted on at the conclusion of the next presentation. This would allow the Department time to locate the requested information. ANTELOPE

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Page 19.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

3 were in opposition.


Tim Harkness, President of Northeastern Unit 57/58 Elk Management Group – In part are in favor of what was recommended. Feel antelope are still in rut during the proposed September 20-22 hunt and would like to see majority of hunting occur after the rut.

John Boretsky, NM Council of Outfitters and Guides – Would like to see large bucks allowed to breed before they are killed. It is good management for the herd itself. With a stronger genetic background more trophies can be grown which means more income to the state and more opportunity for the resident sportsmen.

Bill Feranti, Double H Ranch – The Department’s recommendations was born out of a meeting held in Datil from the Unit 12 landowners. They appreciated the Department listening to them and fully support the recommendation for the handicapped and bow hunting

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked Rios to explain the rational of having female and immature hunts. Padilla stated for the last 7 years he has heard Joanna Lackey say that there is almost zero fawn survival in the NE. There is drought and coyotes. Michael Catanach, Game Manager for the NE Area, informed the Commission that there were no doe hunts in the NE. Rios clarified the 2 female immature hunts are in the SE Youth Hunts only and only a few permits available, not in the NE. Commissioner Padilla also concurred with the speakers that feel antelope are being hunted too early. The mature bucks are needed to breed the does. Need to look at the entire antelope hunt structure and hunt a little later. Rios added the Department believes the abundance of antelope populations is more weather related than the hunt during the rut. There have been abundant antelope populations in the past and they have always been hunted before the rut. Rios stated the Department would look into changing those hunts. Commissioner Padilla asked when this would be looked into. Rios stated the recommendation as of now stands as is. More information can be sought as to when the actual rut occurs in antelope. There are several opinions as to when this occurs and it very likely changes from latitude to latitude. Chairwoman Stevens as a matter of clarification mentioned the only antelope hunts in August are either handicap or archery and that in it self will limit the success ratio. Darrel Weybright added the Department went back about ten years on the population surveys, particularly for the NE antelope units and the areas surveyed exceeded the minimum buck to doe ratios of 20 bucks per 100 does and in many cases are up in the 50/60’s. Even in the cases where they have dropped to the 20’s they rebound. In one case antelope Unit 53, had a low buck to doe ratio and in 3 years rebounded to 45 bucks to 100 does. This does not quite get to Mr. Boretsky’s comment about trophy, but it does provide information that there are sufficient bucks out there for hunts even though there are August hunts in the NE. Weybright stated he did not disagree with the biology, there are bucks breeding the does and certainly if they are not shot the bigger older ones, which are important for the population as well as to hunters are removed from the population. The Department does not believe the population is declining; the number of trophy bucks is a different issue. What the Department is looking at the population level, number of bucks available for hunters are sufficiently covered with the August hunts. Chairwoman Stevens asked that even with the August hunt if the Department continued to reach its management goals for antelope. Weybright stated that was correct, for the buck portion. Commissioner Padilla asked, biologically speaking, if the antelope herds were in good shape. Weybright stated there were two parts to that, the buck to doe ratio and the total number of population. Populations are down and the Department feels those are tied to rain fall patterns. One thing the Department can do is monitor and manage for that buck to doe ratios and ensure that those ratios remain adequate or more than adequate. Director Bell, for other points of clarification informed the Commission that in other data buck ratio has gone down as low as 7 bucks per 100 doe and within 3 years rebound to over 40 buck per 100 does. Currently the majority of antelope populations are being maintained at or above 20 bucks per 100 does. There is always a struggle, particularly in the NE. Following last months commission meeting, officers in the NE, based on the requests heard, called a number of landowners and those landowners were very split, about 60/40 as to changing the season dates even one inch out of August. Over 16 of the signed up ranches were contacted and about 6% wanted a later season and the others did not want it changed. The struggle is they are going into shipping cattle, state fair time, and do not want to mess with antelope while they are doing those other activities. Further, they start other hunts on there property, such as elk. If those are moved too much, then those same ranchers have to decide if they want to have elk or antelope hunted on their property. Director Bell stated those are some of the struggles but is open to the commission to act as they will.

Commissioner Ortega asked the Department go back in history and see where the hunts used to be 15/20 years ago. Rios had no information as to when the hunts occurred 20 years ago. He reinforced Director Bell’s comments that at least part of the reason they are in the current timeframe is to accommodate other hunts occurring, landowner requests and also the data. Chairwoman Stevens felt there were a number of factors and one that was not mentioned is the enforcement. If the antelope are continually backed up into deer and elks seasons the Department could well be facing an enforcement issue.

MOTION: Commissioner Growney moves to accept the recommendations on as presented by the Department. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Chairwoman Stevens asked if the Department was ready to return to cougar. Rios stated the information was still in the process of being obtained. BARBARY SHEEP

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages19-20.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

None were in opposition.



MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved to accept the Departments recommendation in regards to Barbary sheep Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. BIGHORN SHEEP

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Page 20.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

None were in opposition.


Doug Auckland – Asked if he was authorized to put in for lottery/raffle if he has already hunted bighorn. Chairwoman Stevens stated he could do so.

Lilly Rendt– Leave species alone until herds are built up. So few animals left.

Director Bell for clarification for Ms. Rendt, currently the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep populations in the Pecos are nearly at or above carrying capacity for that range. As to Wheeler Peak, it is rapidly approaching that due to the limited amount of winter range. The same success is expected in the Latir as the result of a recent transplant effort. As to the Desert Bighorn Sheep, the Department is putting forth tremendous effort, including transplant of Desert Bighorn Sheep from Arizona into New Mexico to increase those sheep populations. There is a very active and aggressive management approach that has been very successful in bighorn sheep. Director Bell felt it was a bit of a misnomer to state that the sheep populations are in some kind of trouble. They are not.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Departments recommendation on Big Horn Sheep Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. COUGAR (continued)

Bill Dunn informed the Commission the Department did reach the quota in the last 2 years and it was reached reasonably early in the season. The season extends until March 31 and the quota is reached in late January, early February, both of the last 2 seasons.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla felt if the quota was reached that early in Zone A it should be increased.

MOTION: Commissioner Padilla on Cougar moved that the Department’s recommendation be accepted with the amendment to Zone A be increased from 14 quota to 18 and accept the recommendation of Option 1 creating Zone P. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. JAVELINA

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Page 20

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

None were in opposition.


COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Growney asked Rios if he had any idea of what the success rate on permits was as far as yield. Information is available but not on hand. Commissioner Hurt asked why the Department was moving from January 1 to January 15 for the start of those hunts. Rios replied that was to attempt lessening the impact of hunters in the field during the deer rut.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Department’s recommendation on Javelina Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. ORYX

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 20-21.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

None were in opposition.



MOTION: Commissioner Ortega moved to approve the Department’s recommendation on Oryx Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried. PERSIAN IBEX

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Page 21.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for

None were in opposition.


COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked if he was to assume that the recommendation was on the Floritas only, once in a lifetime and no other changes. Rios stated that was correct and off the range hunts still remain.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Department’s recommendation in relation to Ibex 19.31.819. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

Meeting resumed at 12:30 p.m. ELK:

See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 1 NMAC, Pages 9 through 18

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for


Maggie Trujillo – Asked why proposed boundary for unit 54 had not been mentioned. Director Bell stated boundary presentation would be forthcoming.

John Boretsky, NM Council of Outfitters and Guides – Thanked Department for cooperation on Unit 4 and the work put into it by Commissioner Padilla, Director Bell and Luis Rios. Boretsky also thanked the Department for working with the landowners in Units 12, 13 and 17. That is another area that has shown a great deal of improvement. Speaking also as a member of the Jemez Seeking Common Ground Project, Boretsky stated they are wishing to increase the elk population on the west side of the Jemez and decrease it on the east side. Two options were presented before the Commission. For outfitters, in general, opening the season particularly in the Gila Units the second week in October is cutting them out of the week. The time could be used if they could market it and would like it to begin earlier.

George Hobbs – Feels elk herd is really low in the Gila Wilderness and quality bulls gone. Utilization is about 5% or less. Either sex has been hunted too heavy in there. There is a great opportunity to stop the either sex hunt there and help build herd back up.

Lilly Rendt – Felt the coloring on the map indicating tribal lands and state lands could be improved. Asked what the permit situation of the Indian lands was. Director Bell informed Ms. Rendt that he State of New Mexico maintains no jurisdiction on any Indian reservation within the State of New Mexico. The permits the Department is proposing are exclusive of any tribal lands.

Caren Cowen, NM Cattle Growers – Complemented the Department on hard work done on preparing Big Game Rule. Concerns with number of permits that have been reduced particularly in Unit 34 and the southeastern area. Half of the permits being cut statewide are in those 2 units. Requested the Department review this as they move forward in the process.

Doug Auckland – San Juan Archers, Four Corner Bow hunters – Voiced 3 concerns: 1.) Adding anterless elk permits to Unit 9 will encroach over to the mature bulls. Recommended increasing archery opportunities in that unit; 2.) Asked what the reason was for changing 15A and 15B to Unit 15; 3.) Asked what the reissue issuance of elk landowner authorization certificates in GMU 4 meant.

Director Bell explained that Unit 4, except for 3 wildlife management areas, is exclusively a private land unit. The way the formula allocates permits, often times the large ranches get permits that they’re incapable of using. The proposed system would allow those landowners to return those permits to the Department, they would then be reauthorized to some of the smaller landowners that would otherwise not be receiving permits or that get only 1 or 2 permits. It is a community based distribution process to bring more parity into the license issuance than what is granted through the formula. Kevin Rodden, SW Area Game Manager, responded to the question on GMU 15. It was more of a simplification process than anything else. GMU 15 was split right down the middle of that one elk heard that the Department wanted to go back to increasing.

R.L. Posey – Supported Caren Cowen’s comments on Unit 34. Also recommended the Department and the Commission review the science in Unit 34 as far as the forage utilization and the aerial surveys for the estimated number of elk.

Mike Nivison, Otero County Commissioner – Agrees with Ms. Cowen and Mr. Posey’s concerns on permit reduction. Would like decision based on sound science as opposed to public comment. This should be based upon caring capacity, not public opinion and he feels they can put that science forward. Also pointed out that bringing it down to 800 over the 3 years (1998-2000) there is a 47% success rate, however the number of elk have continued to go up. There is enough elk out there that there is not enough forage, meadows are being lost at a rate of 1 to 2 percent a year.

Jess Rankin, Hunting Outfitter – Impressed with numbers the Department has come up with especially in Unit 34. Concerned with Unit 34 first rifle hunt being converted to youth only hunt, feels it should be a hunt at a time frame when school kids can get out of school. Thanksgiving or Christmas would be a more appropriate time to have a youth hunt. Another concern with the numbers is no arrangements have been made to have an elk hunt in Unit 37. Feels Unit 37 should be added to Unit 36 and increase the number of public permits.

James McDaniel, landowner in Unit 37 – The 15 property owners named in the petition submitted in August have all the elk they desire on private lands and forest permits. They are in the business of raising livestock, not elk on their private lands in Unit 37. The landowners are requesting that the Department of Game and Fish to implement annual private land and public land either sex elk hunts in Unit 37 to curtail the increase of cow elk numbers. The spur of the moment depredation hunts are not an acceptable management tool as far as they are concerned. The landowners cannot stand by in acquiescence of the increase in elk numbers and their encroachment on private lands. As a result of the drought conditions the last 3 years they have reduced their cattle numbers by 60 to 100 percent. Yet, with no management the elk numbers are on the increase and they use their forage. McDaniel’s requested the Department implement the hunts requested by them for 2003-2005, otherwise the Department’s elk on their private land are in trespass.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked when the Department was going to speak on boundary descriptions? Director Bell stated it is listed under Item 10. The Department’s intention is to go through the Big Game Rule as a rule adoption process. When that is completed, move on to the next rule which is the Boundary Description, then on to the Manner and Method Rule and then the License Application Rule and that will complete the package required for a full adoption of what is needed to implement 2003-2005 hunt seasons. Commissioner Hurt stated in Chama Unit 34 was discussed and the number of permits was changed in that unit. At that time the Department was recommending over 3000 permits and the sportsmen wanted around 2,200 so there was a compromise of approximately 2,800. How come the Department is now coming back with a recommendation of 1,031 total permits down from the 2,800 in a 5-month period of time? Director Bell stated the reason is, when the Department went from the 3000 down to the 2,000+ that were for the maximum draw for this falls hunting season. Following that, in the Big Game Rule process comes in what are we going to do for the next year. All the information presented is correct; it is known there is a forage problem in that unit. The Department has worked very successfully to bring the opposing views in that area together to agree on direction to take the Unit 34 elk herd. The general agreed upon direction is to take the herd down. What is not agreed upon is how fast and how far. The Long Range Management Plan calls for reduction of that population to 1000. Through this Big Game Rule making process a number of sportsmen have voice their opinions and asked the Department consider changing that herd objective to 2000 with intensive continued monitoring and be ready to bring it lower than that once it reaches the 2000 if the continuing monitoring indicates it needs to be reduced further. At the last meeting in September, the sportsmen from the area had submitted to the Commission a proposal, including permit proposals, and the direction the Department received from the Commission was to bring back the sportsmen recommendation for those permit numbers. Those are the numbers that are being presented before the Commission today. It is important the population be brought down, it is a social decision on how far to take it and how fast to get there. Director Bell stated he firmly believed there is a grazing issue in that area; there is a long-standing agreement with the forest service that requires that wildlife and cattle be treated coequal as to the forage. Elk are currently consuming way above that amount so the Department runs the risk of being challenged over that original agreement. The Department’s monitoring indicates that elk are eating excessive amounts of forage in relation, not only to the cattle, but also into what is available. Proper grazing regime for Unit 34, that grass should be being grazed at 35% total grazers, it is currently being grazed at an excess of 72%. The question comes in on how long can you continue to sustain a population of elk at current numbers or even reduced numbers without further damaging the long term capability of that forage. That is the reason the recommended permit numbers are as is. Commissioner Hurt understood what was stated by Director Bell but also felt there was conflict in what was said in that if there is trouble with overgrazing and it is known a lot of that is because of more elk permits should be issued in that area. Chairwoman Stevens asked Commissioner Hurt if she had a recommendation. Commissioner Hurt recommended 1,800 permits allocated the same percentage wise that they are now. Chairwoman Stevens asked if that was being made in a form of a motion for the overall elk presentation with that one amendment. Commissioner Hurt had one more question, which was a point of order. Could anything be done with Unit 37 where it has not been in public before now? Director Bell stated the entire Big Game Rule is open for amendment; it is legally proper for a Unit 37 discussion to occur and adopt a rule relative to Unit 37 if so desired. The public side of that is that they may not have heard of that and there could be some controversy. Chairwoman Stevens felt if this was to be addressed she preferred it be placed on the agenda for next year giving the public time to comment. Commissioner Padilla added that it had been discussed in Chama and also at the last few commission meetings so the public has had an opportunity to comment. Chairwoman Stevens said it had been brought up by the public but has not been a presentation on the agenda from the Department and the Commission for consideration. Commissioner Padilla, as he sees it, felt there is an elk population problem in Unit’s 37, 36, 35 and 34. Those units are one continuous mountainous area where the elk herd will migrate. In managing all those units need to be looked at as one. Director Bell stated when the Department designed the elk booklet for information, they looked carefully to where it was believed elk movement occurred. Unit 34 may receive some movement form Unit 35 off of the reservation but very little movement really occurs off of that so elk in Unit 34 move within Unit 34. It is also felt biologically there is little movement between Unit 36 down into Unit 34. Commissioner Ortega feels there is a great deal of migration from Unit 36 to Unit 37 and wondered if it could be considered to be opened together with what was proposed for Unit 36. Roy Hayes, Division Chief, SE Area Operations informed the Commission that when the Department did public input meeting throughout the SE Area, Unit 37 did not come up as an issue to be opened. Comments were received from the Lincoln County Commission to manage elk. Hayes stated they have not seen a petition, have not received any requests for landowners to open Unit 37. They did get wind this was coming about and do have a proposal if the Commission wished to open it. Two options were mentioned. 1.) What the area would present was to open Unit 37 with limited numbers (25 MB Rifle; 25 A Rifle; 40 Bow and 25 Mzl. Permits); and 2.) Add those numbers and combine Unit 36 and Unit 37.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Department’s proposal on elk as recommended with the amendments to increase Unit 34 for a total of 1,800 elk to be proportionately divided and to add Unit 37, option number one (1) 25 MB Rifle; 25 A Rifle; 40 Bow and 25 Mzl. Permits on Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

Rios informed the Commission of a typographical error on page 16 under H-2, Unit 54 is private land and has always been 30 consecutive days year round. It was improperly listed as closing on January 31. It should be March 31. Rios also clarified turkey is being removed from the Big Game Definitions and that is included in the Big Game Rule.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.


See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 2

19.32.2 NMAC, Pages 1 through 3

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for 19.32.2

None were in opposition.


MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept the Department’s recommendation in regards to Trapping and Furbearer Rule 19.32.3. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.


See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 3

19.30.4 NMAC, Pages 1 through 21

Michael Catanach, NE Area Game Manager was called upon to describe the boundary change for Unit 54 as brought up earlier in the meeting. Beginning at U.S. 64 NM 21which is right there at Cimarron and then proceed through properties along NM Highway 21 to Philmont and to Miami and then back to Springer. Then from Springer back up to French Tract and then west back up to Highway 64 at Cimarron. This includes Mr. Trujillo’s request for a portion of Unit 54 in the unlimited time frame for elk hunting in the Big Game Regulation just passed.

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for 19.30.4

None were in opposition


Doug Auckland, San Juan archers, Four Corner Bow hunters – In the 2002-2003 Navajo Big Game Proclamation they show their Unit 14 as being in the State’s Unit 2 and Unit 7. Auckland requested for clarification on this.

Director Bell was not aware of what their boundary was or what the reason behind them extending the boundaries of the reservation would be. It is something the Department should be aware of and will visit with them to make sure they are not overlapping into other public lands of New Mexico. Tod Stevenson felt it might be just the fact that the reservation boundaries run through completely different places both in Unit 7 and Unit 2. There is Navajo Indian property throughout both of those units and it is a scattered boundary. So those portions, when the Department is talking about Unit 7, excludes those portions that are under the Navajo boundary.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla, on boundaries 6A and 6C, asked if Rios

remembered them attending the Jemez meeting of the outfitters where it was expressed that the boundary between those two was wrong and needed to be changed and asked if any proposals addressing the question was being made? Rios stated that did not make it into the rule and apologized. Commissioner Padilla asked Rios and John Boretsky if they recalled what was recommended? John Boretsky stated they were talking about moving it to a road rather down the canyon because it was clearer but there were a number of things discussed. Boretsky informed the Commission that the reason Mr. Rios did not remember is because it did not come in from the Council’s recommendation. Boretsky stated it was discussed there but somehow missed.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept the 19.30.4 boundary descriptions as presented. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.


See Agenda Item No. 10

Attachment No. 4

19.31.10 NMAC

Chairwoman Stevens requested a show of hands indicating those in agreement/opposition of the Department’s recommendation for 19.31.10

1 in opposition


Doug Auckland, San Juan Archers, and Four Corner Bow hunters – As animals become more hunted and there is greater hunting pressure they become more nocturnal. Recommend hunting 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes past sundown as the hunting hours.

John Boretsky – Agreed with Mr. Auckland’s recommendation.

Lilly Rendt – Recommended Commission require trappers and hunters to take the fur when trapping instead of just taking a few claws.


MOTION: Commissioner Growney moved to accept the Department’s recommendation as presented in regards to 19.31.10. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Chairwoman Stevens entertained a motion to accept the overall Big Game Rule with the amendments that were made and this will encompass the whole Big Game Rule that will also include those definitions that were given at the beginning at the presentation.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moves to accept the overall Big Game Rule with the amendments that were made and this will encompass the whole Big Game Rule that will also include those definitions that were given at the beginning at the presentation. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 11. 19.31.3 NMAC, the Hunting and Fishing License Application Rule.

Presented by Dan Brooks - The above rule was open for input for future adoption or action on May 10, 2002. Now, recommended changes to the Hunting and Fishing License Application Rule were presented to the Commission for consideration for action or adoption including, but not limited to: Allowing 2 applicants to apply on the same application for oryx; Rejection and unsuccessful criteria be described in the rule to allow for greater understanding and in preparation the next hunting season proclamation; The regulations reflect that a resident and non-resident be able to apply on the same application (which is already occurring administratively, but not captured explicitly in the rule); and If applicants are to submit a license fee when applying for deer entry, then some language needs to be deleted and a change in the deadline to apply be moved up to February to coincide with the Depredation hunt deadlines. This new change will include applicants purchase of a license and will occur before the license year, minimizing confusion and is an administrative effort to keep hunters from mistakenly purchasing a second (unneeded) license over the counter, which has been the tradition up to this point. The new requirement would make deer entry applicants submit a total of $32.00 for residents, $196.00 for standard non-resident or $316.00 for non-resident Quality/High Demand hunts. Residents and non-residents will have to submit the whole license fee with their application. Move draw for all oryx, depredation, special turkey, deer entry and wildlife management area bear to February so hunters don’t but 2 deer licenses. Also recommend was striking “in the Santa Fe Office” out. There are public drawings, but the drawing actually takes place in Las Cruces and could go to other places depending on computer needs and how that all works. Brooks stated they have not been able to solicit much public input; Unit 4 customers don’t like the February deadline and March is traditionally when they book hunters and general hunting and fishing license buyers won’t be able to participate (as deer license) is included with this option. Brooks asked the Commission’s latitude if approval received that prior to submitting the rule he be allowed to make the proper editorial changes as far as numbering, letters, etc. to comply with the requirements of State Records and Archives.


John Boretsky – NM Council of Outfitters and Guides – Drawing in February (Unit 4) would not give them enough time to market hunts.

Jess Rankin – Hunting Outfitter – Drawing in February would not give them enough time to market hunts. Promotion period is not until the 3rd Saturday in April. Heard several years ago that the Department had never been granted the authority from the state Legislature to refund deer license money.

Harley Leeson, Lindrith Conservation Association - – February deadline brings up concerns. Asked for clarification as far as the entry application for the deer draw. Leeson stated the Association sent a letter, it was on the application regulation change and he did not know if it was addressed today. Dan Brooks stated what is now on the Big Game Rule states “designated application and valid written permission for the 5A and the 4” and the course of action that the Department may take is there is going to be a certain number of applications that the landowners from 5A and 4 can pick up. They will be stamped and there is going to be a place for them to sign. Brooks felt those concerns were addressed both in Rule and by working with the group. One of the other items mentioned was he believed the letter Mr. Leeson is referring to is an October 10th letter sent to the Director. The Department is in the process of addressing some of their concerns and feel it has been done through this regulatory process but are also trying to concentrate and place more officers in the field at that critical time as well. Leeson asked if this was still going to be based on what was discussed as far as a landowner list down at the NW office? Brooks stated yes. The landowners will be able to pick up the applications. People will be allowed to come in and identify themselves as a landowner. What will not be done is going to the courthouse to verify everybody’s records, deeds or titles. Leeson had a problem with people stating they were landowners and they did not own any land. That is why they were requesting the list. Director Bell replied the Department would come to whatever agreement on that. If you allow a landowner to bring in some proof of ownership of his property via a courthouse document or a filing of a deed the Department can restrict it to those people. Director Bell told Mr. Leeson the Department needs their help in working with the people up there to assure they do not show up at the Albuquerque office and just spend the rest of the day trying to convince the Department they are landowners. Director Bell asked Mr. Leeson if they would do that the Department would be happy to look to see if they don’t have some kind of deed or proof of land ownership with them applications will not be given.

Bob Rickliffs – Expressed appreciation with Department willing to work on that particular issue and the way he reads the language fully supports the Department.

Bill Feranti, Double H Ranch – On the elk issue on Unit’s 12 and 14 they have said they can move a ranch from unit to another and bring it in. How does the new rule affect that because they have lands that are in 12 and 13 with different hunt strategies? Is it only deer or all species? Director Bell stated it would not affect that because under the landowner type contracts the Department is allowing that a ranch can be signed up that spans more than one GMU as if it all existed in the other unit. You still get to pick and hunt the whole ranch under that strategy of the one signed up under.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked Brooks on submitting the entire fee; he understood the concern that someone might buy 2 deer license and that is why the February date was preferred. But, what if it were to be left the same date as all the other applications and if someone has already purchased their deer license they simply include that license number on the application. Brooks stated that was a good idea. Patrick Block, Chief, ASD stated that was done with the 2nd ibex tag but the reason that is able to be done is because the only vendors that issue those ibex licenses are the Department of Game and Fish offices and that data goes directly into the department’s computers and that can be checked immediately upon the sale of the license. Block went on to say a deer license may be bought on the 26th of the month, the vendor will not report that for another 30 days, then it takes 10 days to get in to the Department, another 10 days to get key entered by the contractor and so the time lag is such that the department would not be able to verify that it was indeed a valid license. Commissioner Hurt voiced a logistics concern on paying the deer fee in advance. A lot of the reason the public purchases those permits on the 1st of April is so they can get their general hunting and fishing for the reduced amount. She felt if this was to be done the Department should make some kind of accommodation so the residents are not penalized and is not in agreement with paying the whole fee in advance. Chairwoman Stevens was in agreement and felt it was a real concern that the person that will be hurt is the average Joe that cannot afford to pay that amount at that time of the year. Brooks mentioned to the Commission that the license fees are set by statute so that is the framework the Department is currently in. It would be difficult to try to develop something else because those are statutorily in place. Commissioner Padilla, as to Commissioner Hurt’s comments, felt it was the hunter’s choice. This request has come from a lot of hunters, particularly in Unit 2, that are upset with the large amounts of block groups of applications that are going in from the outfitters making it almost impossible for the general public to draw. Chairwoman Stevens reiterated she understood what the concern was but has not heard great numbers of concern in Unit 2 and feels the problem being addressed with the concerns that this is not going to take care of it. There are obviously some constituents with concerns and feels the Department should continue to look at ways to address the concern, but does not feel this is the answer and is not going to take care of the problem that they are seeing. Commissioner Weaver, in view of the fact that the Commission is about to address an issue of a refund license (Agenda Item No. 14) under Section J (restrictions), asked if that would be a good place for some clarification of what the Commissions responsibilities are with extraordinary situations. Director Bell stated Section J does address some of the concern from the public is when the special hunt process is allowed to go on and you submit your full application fee with any applications, if you are unsuccessful in that drawing there is a full refund. What Section J addresses is if you are successful in that drawing there are no refunds issued. Once you hold a license and it has been issued pursuant to the application you sent in there is then no mechanism for a refund. This clearly addresses the ability to issue refunds for unsuccessful applicants. All but the $6.00 entry fee would go back to any unsuccessful deer entry permit applicant. The Attorney General’s interpretation of the Statutes states there is no mechanism for a refund of a license once it has been issued. But as a practical matter, even with that legal guidance, the Department has adopted a policy that refunds will be issued under extraordinary circumstances and those circumstances are currently defined within that policy as “a death in the immediate family, a natural disaster such as hurricane, flooding, tornado’s that prevent you from having travel to your assigned area to hunt and call to active military duty”. The Department has taken an exception to the Attorney General’s opinion saying the Department will go ahead and run the risk in issuing it for those cases only. The thing in Agenda Item No. 14, is someone that does not meet that criteria and the Department has held that the refund should not be granted because of things like Section J and the Attorney General’s interpretation in the law. Commissioner Ortega agreed with Commissioner Padilla in that the hunters will have a choice and that is important. Chairwoman Stevens felt you could argue that for some people the $15.00 may not be a choice for them, they may just not have it whereas for others it would be a choice. For some people a general hunting and fishing license is the most they can do and if that is taken away from one person then the Commission has not done their job. Commissioner Padilla stated if the Commission was to try to pass regulations that would address every single situation for every single person regulations would never get passed.

MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved to accept 19.31.3 as presented. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. 4 voted in the affirmative; 1 in opposition (Commissioner Hurt). Motion carried.

Rios requested the Commission pass the application deadlines for next year. They are February 2003 for oryx, deer depredation, turkey, and bear entry permits and April 26 for all other special hunts. Director Bell, as a point of clarification, stated the way the current rule is written states application deadlines will be set by the Commission. They are not set as part of the rule. What the Department is requesting is for the Commission to see if the deadlines are acceptable for the special hunt applications as listed. This is in order for the Department to receive the applications, processed and back in the hands of the hunters by the time they leave to attend their hunts. It is not a formal rule adoption, but the rule does require the Commission approve the application deadlines.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Ortega felt February 1 was too early. Chairwoman Stevens mentioned that was what was just discussed with the motion just passed. Commissioner Ortega asked if it has ever been that early. Rios answered the Department typically has an early February deadline. Rios also stated he failed to include depredations hunts which also should be included. Patrick Block stated it has always been the first Saturday in February. In 2003 the first Saturday is the 1st. The Department also considered using the 8th of February as the deadline but looked at the fact they would be dealing with 25,000 additional deer entry applicants during this time frame and given the additional work load tried to avail themselves of the additional week.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept Special Application Deadline as presented. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. 4 voted in the affirmative; 1 opposed. (Commissioner Growney.)

AGENDA ITEM NO. 12. 19.30.5 NMAC, the Private Land Elk License Allocation Rule.

Presented by Robyn Tierney – The Department is proposing initiation of a pilot project for the next 2 years that would allow larger landowners to transfer their unused authorizations to the Department for redistribution to the Unit 4 Cooperative ranch. In turn all ranches in GMU 4 who are members of the Cooperative ranch and who have signed up in the Landowner Signup System would be able to apply to the Cooperative for an authorization. Each authorization would be valid for the member Cooperative ranches and on other private lands within Unit 4 when the permit holder has written permission from the landowner or person in control of the land, to access that land. The approach would provide for: 1) a more equitable distribution of a limited number of mature bull authorizations; 2) greater opportunity for the smaller landholdings in Unit 4 to make use of available unused authorizations; 3) greater protection of spike bulls; and, 4) more optimal use of the resource. The proposed changes to the Private Land Elk License Allocation Rule will include language related to the adoption of a cooperative ranch pilot project in GMU 4 to begin in the 2003-2004 hunt year. Additionally, the use of the words “authorization” and “permits” have been changed to “authorization certificates”. Authorization certificates are non appealable has been added. It is inevitable people do want additional certificates and if there are no more certificates to be allocated in Unit 4 once all these reissued certificates have been redistributed then the pond is essentially dry.


COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Ortega asked how long the pilot program would last. Tierney stated 2 years in order to monitor and see how efficient and effective it is. Commissioner Ortega asked what the feedback would be. Tierney replied the intention is to enter into some kind of Memorandum of Understanding or agreement with the Landowner Cooperative and work out a mechanism where this is monitored by the Department and the Cooperative.

MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved to accept the Department’s recommendation. Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.


AGENDA ITEM NO. 13. 19.35.7 NMAC, the Importation of Live Non-Domestic Animals, Birds and Fish Rule.

Presented by Kerry Mower – The Department is requesting a waiver of the tuberculosis (TB) testing requirement in 19.35.7 NMAC, the Importation of Live Non-Domestic Animas, Birds and Fish Rule, to facilitate the importation of desert bighorn sheep from Arizona into New Mexico. There has been no documentation of bighorn sheep carrying TB and the testing methods would prove to be extremely stressful on the sheep. Testing for TB may result in a very high mortality rate because of the 3-6 day captivity period during the test. Without the waiver, the sheep transplant could be jeopardized. Both the Arizona and New Mexico Departments of Game and Fish approved a proposal to transplant Arizona desert bighorn sheep to New Mexico in exchange for transplanting Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep to Arizona. Arizona plans to send a transplant of 30 ewes to New Mexico during November 2002. While desert bighorn sheep thrive in Arizona, there are very limited opportunities to obtain Mexican bighorn from outside sources as they only reside in Arizona and Mexico.

Chairwoman Stevens informed the public that since this is not a change in the rule, but a waver, no comment will be taken


MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the Department’s recommendation as presented in regards to 19.35.7. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 14. Consideration of License Refund.

Presented by Patrick Block - Mr. Septh was scheduled to go on an elk hunt. He made application in April, drew in June and was diagnosed with cancer in July. At this time he requested a refund on the license from the Department and consistent with the policy discussed earlier, as it did not meet one of the criteria for a refund, the request was denied. Mr. Septh is appealing to the Commission.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Chairwoman Stevens understood this was a great hardship but feels the letter of the law has to be followed as had been done in the past. A denial to a request before the Commission in September was mentioned and given as an example. Andrew Vallejos, Attorney to the Commission reiterated the Attorney General’s Opinion on reimbursements to the Commission and pointed the areas of authority held by the Commission. Director Bell pointed out the Commission adopted Rule under Restrictions and Paragraph J of that relative to refunds which states “refunds will not be made for any license or permit after it has been awarded or issued”. What the Department is up against is what is not by rule, but by policy are the 3 exceptions wherein they have agreed to continue those types of refunds. Maybe that section is actually the part Mr. Vallejos is looking for as to a clear cut rule adopted by this Commission as to the disbursement of that money pursuant to 17.1.14 as adopted by rule. Vallejos felt if the Commission wanted to take a conservative approach felt the Commission could continue as they have always done until more information is obtained and possibly a change of policy done. He felt if the Commission did find this was a compelling circumstance he felt the Commission had general power over disbursements over the monies and thought it would include giving a refund if so inclined. Chairwoman Stevens understood the Commission has latitude but was concerned with what has been read and the decision made back in September. Commissioner Ortega felt some sort of proposed rule should be submitted to the Attorney General to evaluate and give the Commission further guidance. Commissioner Weaver stated this went back to his earlier comment about the amending of the rule to give some discretionary powers over extraordinary circumstances beyond the three exceptions already allocated. He did not know if it was too late to go back now but it would certainly take care of this particular gentleman at this time. Chairwoman Stevens agreed and asked, on these two instances both pertaining to the same license hunting year, if it would be a problem to address this years license timeframe and if not is it felt like the Commission is opening itself up to litigation from the person denied in September if this one is now approved? Director Bell, as to Commissioner Weaver’s question felt council had given sound legal advise that he believes the Commission has latitude to act in issuing refunds in extraordinary circumstances. Director Bell cautioned as to some kind of retroactive payment because each case needs to stand or fail on its merits. Director Bell felt this case needed to be looked at based on the merit before the Commission, if rule change is required for better dealing with these in the future such a rule will be prepared. The risk in going retroactive is that the Department routinely denies refunds based on the three elements in that policy and a number of those people do not request a hearing before the Commission, they merely accept that no refund is possible. Were they to know that the Department is to go retroactive and allow now for them to come in and there is a whole new process the Department could be opening virtual Pandora’s box. The recommendation would be for the Commission to look at this on its value, make a decision based on legal councils advice that you can have latitude on issuing refunds on extraordinary circumstances, the Department will prepare the new rule and move forward with other options or a more general language giving the Commission authority for those extraordinary situations to be prepared for the December meeting.

MOTION: Commissioner Ortega moved to accept the consideration of the license refund with direction made to ask the Attorney General’s office for clarification with a proposed rule and the Department spells the circumstances. The refund will be given in the meantime. Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 9. Adoption or Consideration of the Six Principals of Wildlife Management.

Presented by Director Bell – The issue was brought before the Commission previously for consideration of the Six Guiding Principles in the role of Wildlife Management for the future of New Mexico and its wildlife resource. The Department asked for the Commissions consideration and adoption of those six principles. Director Bell felt they send a good message to the public of what is important to this Commission, the types of things they feel they should consider in their deliberations, it give authority to states rights and continues to support that notion. Director Bell added he felt they received a very good suggestion from a member of the public, Dr. James Bailey, and while the preface of the document talks largely about habitat there is not a guiding principle for habitat. It was further recommended to the Commission that they consider the adoption of the following language. “In addition to the six principles listed by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife that the Commission also remains diligent in advocating the maintenance and enhancement of public wildlife habitat and supports development of new and innovative means with broad public and private support to develop, maintain and enhance wildlife habitat on public and private lands in New Mexico.” Director Bell asked this be considered as a seventh principal.


MOTION: Commissioner Growney moves to accept the Six Principles of Wildlife Management with the one amendment as noted. Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 15. Commission Department Discussion

Director Bell reminded the Commission the Legislative Finance Committee Hearing is October 24, 2002 in Santa Fe, New Mexico at 2:30 p.m. and would appreciate the attendance of any of the Commissioners. Chairwoman Stevens polled the Commission on who might be able to attend. Commissioner’s Ortega, Padilla and Growney indicated they would attend along with Chairwoman Stevens.

The Department is planning the kokanee spawn and invited the Commissioners to attend. A being planned is a Bighorn Sheep transplant from the Red Rock facility to the San Andreas facility, that is where rams will be placed with the ewes that Arizona is giving New Mexico, and that is currently scheduled December 5 through 7, 2002. There is a NM State Game Commission meeting scheduled for December 6, 2002 but perhaps there could be a one-day attendance prior to or after if any Commissioner’s would like to participate in that activity

Dan Brooks informed the Commission, under Agenda 15, he placed an insert from the cattle growers. This consisted of proposed language on criminal trespassing. They have concerns about the criminal trespass issue and would like to see the language strengthened. Brooks stated what was presented was a rough draft and the Department would like some latitude from the Commission to work on that and come back to the Commission with recommendations.

Commissioner Padilla complemented Director Bell and his staff for the room setup today.


MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to have a tentative meeting January 16, 2002, Santa Fe, NM and February 28, 2003 meeting, Santa Fe, NM. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 16. General Public Comments (comments limited to 2 minutes).

Ed Machin, NM Wildlife Federation – Suggested it not be made a requirement to have a license prior to obtaining a habitat stamp. Director Bell stated it is just with the individual vendors. It is currently not within regulation. There is no requirement currently that you have a license prior to purchasing a habitat stamp. The vendors are just not clear on that and the Department will do its best to correct it.

Doug Auckland, San Juan Archers, Four Corner Bow hunters – On behalf of the people he represents he thanked the Commission and the Department for working with them throughout the year to come up with a set of Big Game Regulations that they can all live with. He felt there was a better working relationship and much less confrontational. A special thanks was given to Luis Rios for setting up meetings and discussion.

R.L. Posey – At the last legislative session the Department asked for funds for extensive aerial surveys and that was denied. Mr. Posey wondered if the Department is planning on asking for additional funds this year. Director Bell stated the Department did ask for some minor budget increases in all survey categories.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 17. Closed Executive Session

Chairwoman Stevens entertained a motion to enter into Closed Executive Session pursuant to NMSA 10-15-A (H-2, H-7 and H-8) of the Open Meeting Act in order to discuss limited issues of personnel matters, litigation and land acquisition.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to enter into Closed Executive Session pursuant to statue. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

Director Bell calls roll:

Commissioner Growney Yes

Commissioner Hurt Yes

Commissioner Ortega Yes

Commissioner Padilla Yes

Commissioner Weaver Yes

Director Bell states the Commission is in Closed Executive Session.

Chairwoman Stevens entertains a motion to enter back into public session and stated the matters discussed in the Closed Executive Session were limited to the items on the agenda for the closed session and no action was taken in the Closed Session.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to enter back into open session. Seconded by Commissioner Padilla.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 4:38 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:


Larry G. Bell, Secretary to the Commission

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish


Karen Stevens, Chairwoman

New Mexico State Game Commission

 Agenda Item Number 10 Attachment