Attention Bear Hunters,

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish would like to remind you that you are required to have your bear pelt tagged by an NMDGF official within 5 days of harvest. Please arrive at a NMDGF office no later than 4 p.m. to allow sufficient time for tagging.

NMDGF offices are located here.

New Mexico Black Bear

The name black bear can be misleading. New Mexico’s black bears actually come in a variety of color phases ranging from black and brown, to cinnamon (the most common color), reddish and blonde.

New Mexico black bear photo

An adult male black bear can weigh up to 400 pounds, though the average male weighs about 250 pounds. Female black bears typically weigh between 150 and 180 pounds. Their powerful limbs each have five toes and five short, curved claws for digging and cutting. Their front feet are about as long as they are wide, but the hind feet are long and narrow and resemble a human foot. Black bears have strong muscular necks and are very adept climbers. Black bears can scramble up a tree with remarkable ease!

Black bears’ potential life span may exceed more than 30 years. In New Mexico, bears have been documented to live 20-25 years. In most of their range where they are hunted the average life span is about 7-8 years. Their most frequent causes of death are hunting by humans, predation by other bears, and their becoming a nuisance by getting used to human food and subsequently having to be killed.

For in depth hunting and license information, reference the NM Hunting Rules & Info.

Harvest & Statistic Updates

Check for Bear Zone Closures
Toll-free Harvest Hotline (877) 950-5466

Icon of Bear Season Harvest Limit (12-12-2022) Bear Season Harvest Limit (12-12-2022)
Icon of Bear Nonsport Mortality (12-12-2022) Bear Nonsport Mortality (12-12-2022)

NOTE:  Harvest and depredation reports update frequently. To refresh this page in most browsers (such as Internet Explorer) hold down the Control key and press F5.

Annual Bear Mortality by Zone 2012-2021

Annual Bear Mortality Statewide 2001-2021

Bear Management Strategy Hunting Seasons 2020-2024 (Updated 08-21-2020)

Bear Hunt Table & Zone Map 2022-23

Bear Publications

See also Publications Hunting Rules & Information

Estimating Black Bear Density In New Mexico, Gould et al, 2016

Bear (Black Bears of New Mexico)

Bear (Keeping Bears Alive and You Safe)

Predator (Living with Large Predators in NM)

New Mexico Black Bear Study, Costello et al. 2001