New Mexico Spring Turkey Hunters: Buy Your Game-Hunting License Early, Don't Request Refund When Applying Big-Game Draw

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Spring turkey hunters are reminded that beginning this year, they are required to purchase a Game-hunting license before they can purchase a turkey license or apply for big-game licenses. Although hunters can request a refund in case they are unsuccessful in the draw, those who plan to hunt turkeys this spring are advised not to request a refund or they risk having to pay for a second Game-hunting license if they are successful in the draw.

Hunters who apply for big-game licenses must purchase their Game-hunting or Game-hunting and Fishing license online – not from a license vendor. Turkey licenses may be purchased online or from a vendor.

“If you plan to hunt turkeys this spring and you are applying for big-game licenses, your best option is to purchase a 2012-2013 Game-hunting or Game-hunting and Fishing license and plan to use it all year,” Department Director Jim Lane said. “The licenses not only will allow hunters to apply for big-game licenses, but also allow them to purchase a turkey license before the season opens April 15, and to hunt small-game during the license year.”

Game-hunting and Game-hunting and Fishing licenses are available only on the Department website,, until March 29 when they will go on sale at license vendors statewide.
The deadline to apply for big-game hunting licenses is March 28. Spring turkey season opens April 15. Hunters who select the “refund” option and are successful in the draw will not receive their Game-hunting license until the draw results are available in May. That means they will have to purchase a separate Game-hunting license to be eligible to buy a turkey license.

Game-hunting licenses cost $15 for residents and $65 for nonresidents. Turkey licenses cost $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents.

For more information about turkey hunting, license fees and requirements, or the big-game draw, please contact the Department of Game and Fish toll-free at (888) 248-6866.