New Mexico Makes Big Changes for 2009-10 Seasons

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New Mexico big-game hunters will see significant rule changes for the 2009-2010 seasons that affect the way hunters apply and pay for licenses and permits.

The new rules, adopted Dec. 4 by the State Game Commission, are in the 2009-2010 Big-Game Rules and Information Booklet, now available on the Department of Game and Fish Web site, A printed version of the booklet will be available in early January at more than 200 license vendors statewide, and at Department offices in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Raton, Roswell and Las Cruces.

Rule changes and important dates include:

2009-2010 seasons

  • * Customer ID number: Beginning in 2009, everyone applying for a public-land license or permit, or purchasing a license via a private land authorization or the Valles Caldera must first obtain a Customer ID Number online at or in person from any Department office. Customer ID numbers will be available in early January. This number must be included on each application, or the application will be rejected.
  • * Application deadlines: Feb. 4 is the deadline to apply for oryx draw licenses, bear WMA permits, population management hunts, and turkey draw permits. April 8 is the deadline to apply for public deer permits; and elk, pronghorn antelope, ibex, Barbary sheep, javelina, and bighorn sheep draw licenses. Online applications must be made before 5 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadline day. Online and paper applications will be available in early January.
  • * Full fee up-front: Everyone applying for a pronghorn, bighorn sheep, ibex, javelina or Barbary sheep draw license must pay the full license and application fee when applying. Online applicants will be charged for the full license fee, plus the nonrefundable application fee at the time of application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive refunds.
  • * New application fees: The new nonrefundable application fees are $9 for residents and $12 for nonresidents.
  • * Youth encouragement elk hunts: These hunts will be made available to youth hunters who applied for big-game hunts and were unsuccessful in the draw. These hunts will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • * New unit boundaries: Several Game Management Unit boundaries have changed, including: the elimination of Unit 44 and the creation of a new Unit 59; and boundary adjustments in units 5B, 41, 45, 51, 52, 54 and 55B.
  • * No deer application fees for resident disabled veterans: New Mexico resident Disabled American Veteran applicants do not need to submit an application fee when applying for a free deer permit.

2010-2011 seasons

  • * Every-other-year restrictions: Beginning in license-year 2010-2011, anyone applying for a pronghorn license, or a public-draw Q (quality) or HD (high-demand) elk or deer license, may not have received a Q or HD public draw elk license the previous year.

Anyone with questions about the new rules or hunting and fishing in New Mexico is encouraged to call (505) 476-8000.