SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the Bear and Cougar Rule (19.31.11 NMAC), which opened at the State Game Commission meeting on April 28, 2023. 

For bear, the Department is seeking input on harvest limits, zone boundaries and season start dates. Additionally, the Department is proposing increasing the number of draw permits for some fall hunts and allowing deer or elk hunters who draw wildlife management area hunts to harvest a bear or cougar during their hunt if the zone is open and they possess a bear and/or cougar license.  

For cougar, the Department is seeking input on adjusting harvest limits in Cougar Management Zones based on recent research.  

The Department is also seeking input on changing zone closure requirements when closing a zone based on the female harvest limit such that zones close when the female harvest limit is reached. 

To gather public comments, four in-person public meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and locations: 

  • July 17, 2023: Raton, 6-7:30 p.m.
    • 215 York Canyon Road, Raton, NM
  • July 18, 2023: Albuquerque, 6-7:30 p.m.
    • 7816 Alamo Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM
  • July 19, 2023: Las Cruces, 6-7:30 p.m.
    • 2715 Northrise Drive, Las Cruces, NM
  • July 20, 2023: Roswell, 6-7:30 p.m.
    • 1615 West College Boulevard, Roswell, NM

Comments on the proposed changes can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Bear and Cougar Rule Development, 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507; by email,, or in person at one of the meetings listed above. 

These topics will also be discussed at several State Game Commission meetings over the summer and fall of 2023. Meeting details and additional information will be available online.