New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact, Tristanna Bickford: (505) 476-8027


Deer, elk and exotics hunting rules topic of public meetings

SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the deer, elk and exotics (Barbary sheep, oryx, Persian ibex) rules which opened at the State Game Commission meeting on April 11, 2022.

For deer, the Department is seeking input on adjustments to license numbers and hunt dates and adding some new hunt opportunities. Additionally, the Department is proposing creating an October youth hunt in GMUs 2A and 2B and moving the majority of licenses out of the current November hunt period.

For elk, the Department is seeking input on creating several new hunt opportunities, “Primary Management Zone” expansion in some southwestern GMUs, designating GMUs 34 and 46 as “Secondary Management Zone” and changes to sales procedures for youth encouragement hunts statewide.

For Barbary sheep, the Department is proposing changes to season dates, hunt structure, opening some new hunt areas and increasing licenses. The Department is considering some license increases for oryx. For ibex, considerations include decreasing license numbers and shifting season dates.

The Department is also looking for public input on modifying the definition of a muzzleloader to include only those muzzleloading firearms that do not have a scope for all big game species.

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

Comments on the proposed changes can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Big Game Rule Development, 1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, NM 87507; by email,, or; 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 autumn of 2022. Meeting details and additional information will be available online.