Population Management Hunts

Hunters wishing to be considered for population management hunts for Barbary sheep, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, ibex, oryx or pronghorn must select the 5th-choice option on the draw application for the appropriate species. Applications must be completed online or by telephone by March 17 before 5 p.m.

Applicants must apply for at least one regular draw hunt choice to be eligible for the population management hunt for the same species. By choosing this option hunters are indicating their willingness, if unsuccessful in drawing their 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice, to be contacted by NMDGF if a population management hunt is scheduled for that species.

If a population management hunt is scheduled, a NMDGF official will contact the hunter to notify him/her of the hunt areas, dates, bag limit, allowable sporting arms and any other special restrictions. The hunter will be asked to accept or decline a hunt. If a hunter declines, another hunter will be contacted. Bag limits for population management hunts will be primarily female animals, since these hunts are intended to reduce populations in specific areas.

Choosing a population management hunt option is not a guarantee the applicant will be contacted for a hunt. Population management hunters must file a harvest report.

White Sands Missile Range (WSMR): If selecting the 5th-choice option for oryx, applicants must have arranged to receive a hunt authorization code from an approved WSMR 2021 security sponsor (see page 103). The applicant must enter the hunt authorization code in his/her oryx 5th-choice hunt application. This applies only to population management oryx hunts that occur on WSMR.

Do not select WSMR options if you do not have an authorization code.

Silver City Deer Management

Deer archery hunters in Units 23 (including Burro Mountain Hunts) and 24, who did not harvest a buck during their respective September or January hunt dates may use their existing license to archery hunt for one antlerless deer. The hunt will be restricted to the boundaries of the Silver City Deer Management area (as determined by NMDGF) from January 16 – February 5. This opportunity does not apply to those holding a draw license for Any Legal Sporting Arm or Muzzleloader. Eligible hunts may harvest either a mule deer or white-tailed deer and may hunt both GMU 23 and GMU 24 within the Silver City Deer Management Area, regardless of bag limit and GMU listed on the qualified license.

Eligible hunters are reminded that they must continue to follow all Game and Fish rules and regulations as outlined in the New Mexico Hunting Rules and Information Booklet. This includes obtaining written permission to hunt on private lands and not hunting within city limits (See Map). Notice that most hunting opportunities in this area are on private land, so please begin asking landowners for written hunting permission early. The Department does not keep nor provide a list of landowners who allow deer hunting on their property.

If you are eligible for the Silver City Management Area hunt and selected the E-Tag option, please ensure that you have logged in to the NM E-Tag app and uploaded a copy of your deer license. The app will display the original hunt dates until the end of the hunt, and will then cycle to the extended dates for the Silver City Management Area hunt, but you MUST have internet connectivity for the dates to be updated in the app. Once the hunt dates are updated, you’ll be able to e-tag a deer if you harvest one before February 5. Hunters are still required to submit a mandatory harvest report to be eligible for the following year’s special hunts draw. All mandatory harvest data must be submitted by February 15 annually.

High deer numbers around Silver City, NM have led to increased automobile-deer collisions, damage to landscapes and habitats, and direct conflicts between residents and deer. The goal of this hunt is to reduce excessive deer numbers and conflicts in Silver City. The Department of Game and Fish would like to thank all responsible hunters for their assistance in this management effort. If you have additional questions concerning this hunting opportunity, please contact our customer service hotline at 1-888-248-6866.

Silver City Antlerless Hunt Letter 2020-2021

Silver City Deer Management Area 2021

Population Management Hunt Fees

If unsuccessful for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice, applicants will be refunded the license fee.

If a hunter is contacted and accepts a 5th-choice hunt, she/he will be required to purchase the appropriate license(s) with tag for the species that she/he will hunt (page 12, Draw License Fees).

White Sands Missile Range and Jornada Experimental Range each charge a $150 access fee to all oryx hunters. Other federal agencies may charge access fees. Choosing the oryx population management hunt implies acceptance of additional fees should a hunter be called for one of these hunts. Population management hunters must file a harvest report, and may be required to obtain a carcass tag in person at a license vendor or NMDGF office.

Avoid Late Fees

Harvest Reporting for Late-season Management Hunts

Population management license holders for hunts that occur late in the license year or after the reporting deadlines must submit a harvest report on or before April 7 to maintain draw eligibility. NMDGF recommends reporting by telephone at:1-888-248-6866 to avoid late fees.

Reference (2021-22 NM Hunting Rules & Info pg. 34)