New Mexico Wildlife

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

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Hunting Information  

Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Deer Hunting in New Mexico


To legally hunt deer in New Mexico you must have a license.  To hunt deer on public land you must apply through the public drawing and successfully draw a hunt.  To hunt deer on private land (in most areas) you must purchase a private land only license.


Deer licenses are available in several variations to resident hunters. 

General Hunting and Fishing (Jr/Sr/Handicapped) Valid for deer, small game and fishing
General Hunting (Jr/Sr/Handicapped) Valid for deer and small game   
Deer license (Jr/Sr) Valid for deer only


Applying for Deer Hunts

Hunters wishing to hunt on public land may apply for the public deer draw online or by submitting a paper application.  Resident online applicants will have the opportunity to select a combination license in conjunction with the deer application.  If they are successful they will receive the combination license selected.  If they are unsuccessful they will receive the license without the deer (i.e. small game and fishing, small game, or no license). 

Hunters who submit paper applications will be eligible to draw a deer license ONLY; combination licenses are not available via paper draw applications.

Applicants who successfully draw a deer license should NOT purchase any other deer license, general hunting and fishing license, or general hunting license. 


Private Land Hunts

Hunters wishing to hunt on private land may purchase a private land  deer license, a general hunting (private land deer) and fishing license or a general hunting (private land deer) license, from any vendor or Game and Fish office.  When purchasing any private land deer license you must choose a hunt code from a public land hunt in the same game management unit.  The hunt code determines the dates you may hunt, the bag limit etc.  You will need written permission from the land owner on your person while hunting.  You are restricted to the landowner’s deeded acreage and may NOT hunt public land in the unit. 

Exception:  To hunt private land for deer in units 2A, 2B,2C, 4 and 5A you must obtain a specially marked Form 2011 from the landowner and use it to apply for private land hunts through the drawing.


Bag Limit:

The bag limit for most deer hunts in New Mexico is a Fork-Antlered Deer (FAD-any deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points.) Hunts may be fore whitetail deer only (FAWTD) or for mule deer only (FAMD).