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cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129
NM deadline 3/28

The deadline to apply for 2012 in New Mexico is next Wednesday.  I know a lot of you are hesitant because of the rule changes.

The bad new is the DIY NR quota for elk, deer, and pronghorns has been cut in half and you are now required to buy a general hunting license on top of your big game license in order to hunt in NM. 

The good news is that exotics and bighorn sheep do not have a separate NR quota.  The cost is very step, but the odds of drawing for a non-resident are equal to that of a resident.  The Desert Bighorns were delisted this year in NM, as a result the number of tags increased from 2 to 14 (shows what happens when you manage a few kitties). 

The other bit of good new is that if you are not drawn all you have to pay is the application fee. It was decided the $65 general hunting license could be refunded along with the tag fee. All you have to do is check the refund box. 

Finally some people have threatened to boycott NM this year, so the odds may get a little better for these species.  Those who have put in for Oryx in the past, may have better odds this year.  You never know.




Barnacle Bob's picture
Location: Los Lunas, NM
Joined: 11/05/2011
Posts: 21
Please explain...

Please explain how the odds work. This will be my first hunt (for anything) since I was a kid. There wasn't a draw then, and the only odds of getting a deer was if you found one and shot him (lol).

I was under the impression that it was a "draw", like a lottery. how can I increase my chances of getting "drawn".

Thanks in advance.


cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129
I miss the days of OTC deer.

There are no longer  over-the-counter (OTC) deer hunts in NM.  The reason there are no more OTC hunts is the deer herd in NM has declined significantly the last 2 decades. .  To hunt deer you need to either put in for a hunt and get drawn, or buy a left-over tag. The NM draw process is a little complicated. 

You must choose a unit and weapon type you want to hunt, you get 3 choices which you must rank as the most preferred (1st choice) to least preferred (3rd choice). You can leave the 2nd and 3rd choice blank if you choose. You can also put in a 4th choice, which will be at the discretion of the G&F, in other words they put you in units with an excess supply of tags (unpopular units). 

When you put in for a species, the computer assigns you a random number then all hunters are ranked from low to high.  When your number comes up the computer checks to see if your 1st choice has reached the quota, if it had reached the quota the computer will check your 2nd and 3rd choice if necessary.  If all the quotas for your choices had been filled before your number comes up, you will be unsuccessful.  If your number comes up and there are still tags from one of your choices left you get the tag. 

Given the way the draw works you may be better off choosing the unit with the worst odds as your 1st choice and the best odds of the three as your 3rd choice.  Let me know if you need any help choosing a unit. :thumbsup1:


You can download the proclamation for this year at the G&F website.  Each unit and weapon choice combination has a hunt code assigned.  All the Deer hunt code start with DER which is in the proclamation.  The link is below. 



You can look up last year's draw odds at the following link.  Since you are a resident the odds should be a little better this year than last.  Be careful because sometimes the hunt codes change from year to year.  If you need last year's proclamation send me a private message with your email address and I will send you a PDF copy. 



The cost of a resident deer tag is $42, you also have to buy a $15 general hunting license.  If you are not drawn you will be refunded everything minus a $8 app fee.  If you plan on hunting birds or small game you may want to keep the general license, if not make sure you check the refund box.  Finally you have to buy habitat stamps, but you can do that after you get drawn.   I think the process is complicated enough, to do everything at once your first time. 

You can apply online at




Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 167
OTC hunting licnses

I hunted New Mexico every year for 20 yrs,when I lived in El Paso, till I transfered to the DFW area with my job with American Airlines in 1982.

What a mess the system has become in the last 31 years. Man I know New Mexico like the back of my hand, and was thinking of buying a license for next season, but this thread changed my mind! I'll simply go back to Alaska instead it's cheaper and far less trouble.

My staying away will give someone else one more chance of being drawn! Too bad because I love the state of New Mexico and have hunted all over the state from east to West, and South to North!

................................................................................... Cry baby

cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129
only 70k apps in so far.

Everyone expected less apps this year than last, maybe the odds for NRs will be much better than anybody thought.   I am sure there are many who wait until the last minute, but the system is new this year.  I wonder how many apps they can handle in one day. 






Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
online draw system

The system has been swamped with all the last minute folks trying to file. I have been using it for 6 years with no problems,but I apply earlier than most folks. And the advice about how to file for your 3 choices is good,I've never not been drawn for elk or deer. Just don't put in for the best hunts and you will draw. There are some great bulls in most units,and some of the sleeper units have them too. Deer are hit and miss in most of NM it seems these days.

cantgetdrawn's picture
Joined: 10/07/2011
Posts: 129
less than 24 hours

The deadline is 5pm Mountain Daylight Time. 


A few years ago the system went down and they extended the deadline.  This is the first year they are not accepting paper apps so  it has to be online or by phone.  Hopefully the system is upgraded to handle the extra volume.    I wonder if the phone lines are overloaded? 

I have been putting in for unit 36 as my 1st choice for elk for the last 14 years.  Every year I say to myself this has to be my year.  Hence my handle here. 


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