Hunting Glossary

Search and sort this hunting glossary of popular terms found on the New Mexico Game & Fish website and in our Hunting Rules & Information booklet (available in print and PDF format).

Hunting Glossary TermDefinition
Active Duty Military (N.M. Resident) Discount Current active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard for a minimum period of 90 days. Members of the National Guard or Military Reserve Component and commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who have completed a minimum of six years of continuous honorable service. This definition does not apply to military-only hunts (page 123).
Antlerless (A) Deer or Elk Any deer or elk without antlers. 
Antler Point Restricted Elk (APRE/6) A legal APRE/6 elk must have six or more points of any length on at least one antler for an APRE/6 hunt. A brow tine or eye guard counts as one point. A burr at the base of the antler does not count as a point.
Antler Point Restricted Elk or Antlerless (APRE/6/A) Antler-point-restricted elk (six or more points on at least one antler) or an antlerless elk.
Any Legal Sporting Arm Any firearm, muzzle-loader, compressed air gun, shotgun, bow or crossbow. All firearms, except handguns, must be designed to be fired from the shoulder. Legal sporting arms for each species are defined on pages 28–29.
Arrow or Bolt Only arrows or bolts having broadheads with cutting edges may be used, except that “judo”, “blunt” or similar small game points may be used for upland game and migratory game bird hunting and arrows for bow fishing must have barbs to prevent the loss of fish. 
Bag Limit The protected species, qualified by species, number, sex, age, antler/horn requirement, or size allowed by state game commission rule that a legally licensed person may attempt to take or take. 
Bait Any salt, mineral, grain, feed, commercially produced game attractant or any other organic material which is attractive to wildlife. An area must be completely free of bait (including feeders) for at least 10 days prior to hunting.
Baiting The placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering of any bait on or over areas where any person is attempting to take protected game mammals or game birds as defined in 17-2-3 NMSA 1978.
Big Game Species Includes Barbary sheep, bear, bighorn sheep, cougar, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, oryx and pronghorn.
Bighorn Sheep Ewe Any female bighorn sheep.
Bighorn Sheep Ram Any male bighorn sheep.
Bow Compound, recurve, or long bow, which is not equipped with a mechanical device (draw lock) which locks the bow string at full draw. Sights on bows shall not project light, however, illuminated pins/reticles and scopes of any magnification are allowed. 
Broken-horn Oryx An oryx of either sex that has one or more horns missing at least 25% of its normal length. This may be determined by comparing the broken horn’s length to the remaining horn or where it is readily apparent the terminal end would not taper to a point for another 25% of growth.
Bullet A single projectile fired from a firearm which is designed to expand or fragment upon impact. Tracer or full metal jacket ammunition is not legal for the take or attempted take of any big game species.
Cellular or Satellite Camera Any remote camera which transmits or is capable of transmitting images or video wirelessly via a cellular, Wi-Fi or satellite connection.
Compressed Air Gun Handgun or rifle that propels a single, nonspherical projectile by compressed air. Compressed air guns must be at least .22 caliber or larger for hunting javelina and cougar.
Crossbow A device with a bow limb or band of flexible material that is attached horizontally to a stock and has a mechanism to hold the string in a cocked position.  Sights on crossbows shall not project light, however, illuminated pins/reticles and scopes of any magnification are allowed.
Depredation Damage Fee A fee required of all big-game hunters that has been included in the price of each big-game license. The fee is $3 for each resident and $10 for each nonresident big-game license. Money generated is being used to develop permanent solutions to chronic wildlife depredation problems throughout the state.
Drone Any device used or designed for navigation or flight in the air that is unmanned and guided remotely or by an onboard computer or onboard control system. Drones may also be referred to as “unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)” or “unmanned aerial vehicle systems (UAVS)”.
Either Sex (ES) Any male or female of a big-game species.
Either Sex Whitetail Deer (ESWTD) Any male or female whitetail deer.
Established Road 1.) A road, built or maintained by equipment, which shows no evidence of ever being closed to vehicular traffic by such means as berms, ripping, scarification, reseeding, fencing, gates, barricades or posted closures; or 2.) A two-track road which shows use prior to hunting seasons for other purposes such as recreation, mining, logging, and ranching and which shows no evidence of ever being closed to vehicular traffic by such means as berms, ripping, scarification, reseeding, fencing, gates, barricades or posted closures.
Female or Immature Ibex (F–IM) Any female ibex, or any male ibex with horns less than 15 inches long. This measurement is the length along the top of the horn from the base to the tip of the horn (measurement of the longest horn).
Female or Immature Pronghorn (F–IM) Any female pronghorn or any pronghorn without horns or with both horns shorter than its ears.
Fork-Antlered Deer (FAD) Any deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork. 
Fork-Antlered Mule Deer (FAMD) Any mule deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork. 
Fork-Antlered White-tailed Deer (FAWTD) Any white-tailed deer possessing an antler which has a definite fork, showing two or more distinct points. A burr at the base does not constitute a point or fork. 
Fourth-Choice Deer or Elk Hunt By selecting a fourth-choice quadrant, applicants indicate they will accept a deer or elk license for any hunt in that quadrant of the state. Be aware success rates for some fourth-choice hunts may be low, due to small and localized populations of deer or elk. A hunter drawing a fourth-choice elk hunt could receive a license with an antlerless bag limit, even if all other hunt choices were for a mature bull. Refunds will not be made to successful applicants. The fourth-choice assignment will always be for the same sporting-arm type as the first choice on an application. Not all draw hunts are included in the fourth-choice pool.
Game Hunting License An annual game-hunting license is valid for hunting all small game including upland and migratory game birds. An annual game-hunting & fishing license is valid for fishing in addition to hunting small game. All hunters must purchase one of these licenses in order to apply for any big-game license or before purchasing any over-the-counter big-game or turkey license. Either license may be purchased at license vendors statewide, including all NMDGF offices, by telephone  1-888-248-6866 and online 
Game Management Unit (GMU) A subdivision of the state used to manage big game species and turkey as described in 19.30.4 NMAC, Boundary Descriptions for Game Management Units. 
Habitat Management & Access Validation All hunters, trappers and anglers 18 years of age and older on any lands must purchase and possess a $4 Habitat Management & Access Validation once during the year (April 1–March 31, 2020). This fee will not be charged to hunters, trappers and anglers younger than 18 years of age, resident anglers 70 years and older and 100% disabled resident veterans.
Habitat Stamp (Habitat Improvement Stamp) All hunters on any U.S. Forest Service or BLM lands must purchase and possess a $5 habitat stamp once during the year (April 1–March 31, 2020). All trappers and anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase and possess this stamp, except resident anglers 70 years and older and 100% disabled resident veterans in conjunction with their free licenses.
Handicapped Hunter New Mexico resident with a severe physical or developmental disability. To qualify for a handicapped license, applicants must have one or more disabilities that substantially limit one or more major life activities.
High-Demand (HD) Hunt An elk or deer draw hunt with at least 22% nonresident applicants for the previous two license years. Nonresidents must pay a higher fee (page 12).
Junior Hunting License Reduced-fee licenses are available to resident hunters 17 years of age or younger at the time of purchase. 
Legal Shooting Hours Legal shooting hours for big game furbearers and turkey are from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset, unless otherwise noted. Mountain Standard Time (MST) changes to Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) beginning Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 a.m. and ending Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 at 2 a.m.
License Year The period from April 1 through March 31 annually.
Mature Buck (MB) Pronghorn A pronghorn with at least one horn longer than its ears. 
Mature Bull (MB) Elk A male elk with at least one brow tine extending six or more inches from the main beam or at least one forked antler with both branches six or more inches long (spike bulls are not legal, page 125).
Mature Bull / Antlerless (MB/A) Elk Any male elk with at least one brow tine extending six or more inches from the main beam or at least one forked antler with both branches six or more inches long (spike bulls are not legal, page 125) or any antlerless elk.
Mentor-Youth Hunter Program This program permits youth 10 to 17 years of age to hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter before completing a hunter education course. After completing an online quiz, youths can obtain a mentor-youth number permitting them to apply and/or purchase deer, turkey and javelina licenses. Mentors must be a parent, guardian or adult with parental consent, be 18 years or older and possess a current hunting license. Mentor-youth hunter registration is available one time only and valid for two consecutive license years. For information see page 19.
Mobility-impaired Hunter (MI) An individual with permanent impairment(s) and/or  disabilities with substantial functional limitations that are certified by a doctor. For further information see pages 14–15.
Military-only Hunt Applicants must be on full-time active duty in the military and must provide proof of current military assignment to the Special Hunts Office in Santa Fe prior to application.
Muzzleloader (Muzzle) Sporting arms in which the charge and projectile(s) are loaded through the muzzle. Only blackpowder or equivalent blackpowder substitute may be used.  Use of smokeless powder is prohibited. Also see page 125, Restricted Muzzleloader.
NMDGF New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
Nongame Hunting Nongame species include prairie dogs, ground squirrels, Himalayan tahr, porcupine, rabbits, coyotes and skunks. See page 32.
Once-in-a-Lifetime License A draw license that can only be issued once in an applicant’s lifetime. This license may not be applied for if an applicant has previously held one. 
Over-the-Counter (OTC) License A license available from vendors, NMDGF offices online and by telephone  888-248-6866. No drawing is required to purchase these licenses.
Population Management Hunt A hunt designed to manage the number of big game on public or private lands where animals have damaged property or may interfere with military operations.
Private-land Authorization Documentation obtained from a private landowner that allows a hunter to purchase a private-land elk or pronghorn license.
Private-land Only Deer License A license authorizing hunters to hunt deer only on private land with written permission. Hunters must enter a hunt code from a public-land hunt for the game management unit (GMU) where the private land is located. Not available from license vendors for units 2A, 2B, 2C, 4 and 5A.
Protected Furbearers Protected furbearers that may be harvested during open season include raccoon, badger, weasel, fox, ringtail, bobcat, beaver, muskrat and nutria.  
Protected Species Protected species include all big game, turkey, squirrels and game birds. All protected species are defined in NMSA 1978 Sections  17-2-3, 17-5-2, 17-2-13, 17-2-14 and 17-2-4.2. All animals listed as endangered or threatened species or subspecies as stated in 19.33.6 NMAC are also protected species.
Public Lands Generally, public lands include U.S. Forest Service, BLM and State Trust Lands. Descriptions of federal and state public lands are listed on pages 38–43.
Quality (Q) Hunt These hunts are designed to increase opportunities for a successful harvest, achieve harvests from wider selections of mature deer or elk, and/or provide a pleasurable experience based on timing of the hunt and/or hunter density. Quality hunts are determined by the New Mexico State Game Commission. Nonresidents must pay a higher fee (page 12).
Ranch-wide Agreements (Pronghorn) Ranch-wide agreements allow private landowners to enroll their ranch’s private deeded and public leased acres as one contiguous ranch for access by public draw hunters. Landowners are issued authorizations for pronghorn licenses valid on that property’s deeded and public leased acres. 
Restricted Muzzleloader (for specific deer hunts) Any muzzle-loading rifle using open sights, black powder or equivalent propellant and firing a full bore diameter bullet or patched round ball.  The use of in-line ignition, scopes and smokeless powder are prohibited.
Senior Hunting Licenses Reduced-fee deer, elk and game-hunting and fishing licenses are available to New Mexico resident hunters 65 years of age and older.
Shotgun Any centerfire shotgun or muzzle-loading shotgun not larger than 10 gauge.  
Small game Includes upland game and migratory game birds (See New Mexico Small Game Rules and Information booklet).
Standard (S) Hunt Deer or elk hunts which are charged a regular license fee rather than a quality or high-demand fee.
State Trust Land Lands administered by the Commissioner of Public Lands.
U. S. Military (N.M. Resident) Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, or their Reserve Components, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and commissioned members of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Veteran (N.M. Resident) Discount New Mexico resident veteran with a minimum of 90 days active duty service in the U.S. Military, or six continuous years in the National Guard, Military Reserve Component, or U.S. Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Veterans must have been honorably discharged from military service.
Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Properties owned or managed by and under the control of the State Game Commission as describe in 19.34.5 NMAC.
Written Permission A document (which may include a valid hunting, trapping or fishing license) that asserts the holder has permission from the private land owner or their designee to hunt, fish, trap or drive off road on the landowner’s property.  The information on the document must be verifiable and include the name of the person(s) receiving permission, activity permitted, property’s location and name (if applicable), name of person granting permission, date and length of time the permission is granted, and phone number or e-mail of the person granting the permission.  Licenses issued for private land which have the ranch name printed on them constitute written permission for that property and no other permission is required except for private land elk licenses in the secondary management zone pursuant to 19.30.5 and 19.31.14 NMAC. 
Youth-only Hunt To be eligible for a youth-only hunt, each applicant must be 17 years of age or younger on opening day of the hunt.
Zone Those bear or cougar hunt areas, consisting of one or more GMUs, as described in 19.31.11 NMAC.
Reference (2020-21 NM Hunting Rules & Info pgs. 120-125 )