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AlpineClimber's picture
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New Mexico Extension of Hunting Hours

New Mexico has increased the length of time you can hunt this year.  I believe they are giving hunters a 1/2 hour before and after sunrise and sunset.  I have no issue with before sunrise.  It is easy to see if you missed or wounded and animal and you have fresh daylight for tracking an animals that is part of a group or small herd.

My issue is the western bow hunters that take 60 to 80 yard shots, muzzleloader hunters trying to stretch yardage in the best Elk/Deer areas to 250 and 300 yards and rifle hunters who try to "get one in him" before dark.  Evening hunts often present the best opportunties. I'm sure there would always be these same issues with normal shooting times, but extending into the evening hours is really going to push the limits of ethics for a lot of people that don't hunt frequently or feel they may never get another drawn tag or chance.

I attached a picture of an Elk I shot at the end of the day in legal shooting time.  You can still see light in the photo.  Too pull the trigger on an animal like this another half hour later makes no sense.

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British Columbia 09 028.jpg130.62 KB
Critter's picture
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It sounds like they are going

It sounds like they are going with what a lot of other states have been doing.  Quite a few the legal hours are 1/2 hour before official sunrise to 1/2 hour after official sun set. 

As far as people taking unethical shots it is going to happen no matter what time of day it is or how late or early. 

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I agree with Critter here.

I agree with Critter here. That is the same law that applies in Colorado and if you watch the time correctly you can be sure it is not dark at that time.

I take the listed times out of my local paper to be sure I have it right but I have yet to meet another hunter that has any idea and only hunts till it's completely dark.

I can't even remember how many animals we have watched slip away because it wasn't legal to shoot any more.

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In oregon we have had the 1/2

In oregon we have had the 1/2 hour before and after for as long as i can remeber. You will always have those people who will take questionable shot regardless. Me personally I will look thru the scope and when i can make out a target i stop and head back to camp. Even if the sun just went down. All you can do is what you do. There are times i'm deep in a canyon and it may be light enough up top but where I'm at its dark so you just have to know what your personal limitation are.

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I would have to agree with

I would have to agree with critter and the others that it probably won't make any difference and NM is just following what the majority of states have had for their starting/quitting times for years!  I would venture to say that regardless of what it is, the diehard hunters aren't going to be looking at their watch most of the time when they are waiting for a good animal to present a shot before they can't see it any more.

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I have grown up in a state

I have grown up in a state (Vermont) where the hours have always been half hour before to half hour after. 

There is never a problem that I can see.  Sure, there may be people that will try and push the limits, but if they do it then, they will do it other times.  Those are the people that will shoot first, then look for antlers after the deer is down, or something else like that.

Those of us that are responsible will continue to be absolutely sure before we shoot.  Heck, I have actually left the woods 15-20 minutes before legal shooting time ended, cause I just couldn't see any more.  That's the type of hunter I am, and will always be.

Joined: 09/07/2009
Posts: 27
Born in New Mexico, been

Born in New Mexico, been hunting same since I was 9 and have never known nor met ANYONE that quit hunting at sunset. I'm 53 this April. Maybe law is catching up tp practice?!?

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