New Mexico2023-08-28T16:31:43+00:00

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New Mexico Hunting Overview

New Mexico offers a variety of big game hunting opportunities for both resident and nonresident hunters. Nonresidents can apply for elk and deer tags as well as antelope and bighorn sheep, but draw odds for the latter are generally lower. The state also offers public hunts for exotic species, including oryx, ibex, and Barbary sheep.

While the draw process can be challenging, New Mexico’s abundance of big game species makes it an attractive destination for hunters. Managed by New Mexico Game and Fish, the draw includes a separate outfitter pool which tends to have better odds. Nonresident hunters who do not apply through an outfitter make up just six percent of tag allocations, while outfitted hunters receive ten percent. The remaining 84 percent is allocated to resident hunters, with any remaining tags distributed among leftover units. With no preference or bonus point system, nonresidents always have a chance to draw an elite tag in New Mexico.

Big Game Species

New Mexico is home to a wide variety of big game species available for hunting, including elk, deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, oryx, ibex, and Barbary sheep. Elk and deer hunting are particularly popular, with thousands of hunters annually pursuing these species. While antelope and bighorn sheep tags are available to nonresidents through the New Mexico Draw, the odds are generally poor. For the exotic species, oryx, ibex, and Barbary sheep, public hunts are available to both residents and nonresidents, and these species can also be hunted through outfitters.

Draw and OTC Sales and Dates

New Mexico Black Bear & Turkey DrawBlack Bear, TurkeyJanuary 17, 2024February 14, 2024
New Mexico Big Game DrawBarbary Sheep, Rocky Bighorn Sheep, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, Coues Deer, Elk, Ibex, Javelina, Antelope, Oryx, Black BearJanuary 17, 2024March 20, 2024

New Mexico Hunting Point System

New Mexico does not use a points system. For non-residents, the only way to improve draw odds is to apply with a guide, which has a distinct pool of tags from non-guided non-resident applications.

Tags, Licenses, and Pricing

An annual Game Hunting License and Habitat Management & Access Validation (HMAV) stamp are required to hunt in New Mexico and apply in the New Mexico Big Game Draw. A Habitat Stamp is required to hunt on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management properties. An application fee is applied per species applied for in the draw, but not applied if acquiring an OTC tag for the same species. In most cases, all licenses must be purchased prior to entering the draw, and are refunded in the case the applicant is not successful in the draw. This does not apply to bear and turkey, where tags can be purchased after a successful draw in the New Mexico Bear and Turkey Draw.

ItemResident PriceNon-Resident Price
Game Hunting License$15.00$65.00
Habitat Management & Access Validation$4.00$4.00
Habitat Stamp$10.00$10.00
Draw Application Fee, per species (does not apply to OTC tags)$7.00$13.00
ItemResident PriceNon-Resident Price
Elk License - Standard$83.00$535.00
Elk License - Quality / High Demand$83.00$760.00
Deer License – Standard$34.00$270.00
Deer License – Quality / High Demand$34.00$355.00
Pronghorn License$53.00$270.00
Bighorn Sheep License - Ram$153.00$3,160.00
Bighorn Sheep License - Ewe$78.00$3,160.00
Oryx License$153.00$1,610.00
Barbary Sheep License$103.00$360.00
Ibex License$103.00$1,610.00
Javelina License$58.00$165.00
Cougar License$43.00$290.00
Bear License*$47.00$260.00
Turkey License (Spring or Fall Season)*$25.00$100.00

New Mexico Hunting Regulations

Hunters Education

  • Required for those under 18 and not accompanied by an adult.

Age Restrictions

  • There is no age requirement.

Archery Limitations

  • Mechanical broadheads and lighted nocks are allowed.
  • Sight lights are prohibited.
  • Crossbows cannot be used during the archery seasons unless you possess a disabled archer permit.
  • Draw locks are prohibited.

Group Hunting

New Mexico allows parties of up to four applicants for deer, elk, antelope, and Barbary sheep hunts and parties of up to two applicants for oryx hunts. Both residents and nonresidents are permitted to apply together, with the exception of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, desert bighorn sheep, and ibex hunts. The party application process begins with the first applicant creating a new application and receiving an application number and attach code. The remaining applicants then attach to the existing application using the provided information and pay separately.

New Mexico Hunting FAQ

What do landowner tags cost in New Mexico?2023-04-18T14:41:18+00:00

The cost of a landowner elk tag in New Mexico varies depending on the specific unit and the quality of the elk population in that area. However, on average, landowner tags can range from $5,000 to $12,000 or more. It’s important to note that landowner tags are limited and highly sought after, making them a valuable commodity for hunters. Additionally, landowner tags allow hunters to access private land otherwise unavailable to hunters on tags through the draw, which can significantly increase the chances of a successful hunt.

Can you buy landowner tags in New Mexico?2023-04-18T14:35:41+00:00

Yes, New Mexico offers landowner tags for sale. Landowner tags for elk in New Mexico are available in two types. The first type is a private landowner tag that allows the buyer to hunt on the specific private land that the landowner tag was granted from. The second type is a unit-wide landowner tag that enables the buyer to hunt all public lands in a designated unit, any private lands that are part of the landowner program in the unit, as well as the specific landowner’s private property.

Waiting Periods

Youth Hunting

Landowner Tag Options

Weapon Restrictions

Return / Transfer Tags

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