New Mexico Big Game Applications Due April 7

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Hunters who want to participate in New Mexico's 2007-2008 public-land deer, elk, antelope, ibex, javelina and bighorn sheep seasons have until midnight April 7 to apply for licenses and permits in the state drawing system. Applicants also are reminded that harvest reports for the 2006-2007 deer, elk and furbearer seasons -- along with an $8 late fee if applicable -- must be received by the Department before they apply or their applications will be rejected.

The 2007 deer season will be the third in which hunters must enter a public drawing to be eligible to hunt on public lands statewide, or on private lands in Game Management Units 2A, 2B, 2C, 4 and 5A. Deer hunters who do not apply or are unsuccessful in the drawing will be able to hunt only on private land -- with a valid permit, license and written permission of the landowner.

Applications submitted via the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, must be received by midnight, MDT, April 7. Applicants who use the website are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to avoid delays due to the high volume of website users.

Hunters also can use paper applications, which may be obtained at any of more than 200 license vendors statewide and at Game Department offices in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Las Cruces and Roswell. All paper applications must be either hand-delivered to the Santa Fe office by 5 p.m. Friday, April 6, or postmarked by midnight MDT Saturday, April 7.

Mandatory harvest reports were due Feb. 15 from all hunters who held 2006-2007 deer or elk licenses, and are due March 31 for all furbearer hunters and trappers. Hunters and trappers who did not report by the deadlines can still participate in the 2007-2008 hunt drawings if they complete their harvest survey and pay an $8 late fee before applying for a 2007-2008 permit or license. Hunters who fail to report their 2006-2007 harvest results -- successful or not -- will have their 2007-2008 applications rejected. Initial reports indicate 81 percent of last year's deer and elk hunters reported their harvest results by the Feb. 15 deadline.

Drawing results will be available in late June on the Department website, or in person at any Department office.

More information about big-game hunting in New Mexico can be found in the Big Game Rules and Information booklet, available at license vendors, Department offices, website, or by calling (505) 476-8000.