New Mexico Wildlife

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

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Last Updated: 09/15/2014

HUNTING RULE DEVELOPMENT

For

The 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, And 2018-2019 Hunting Seasons

 

 

COMMISSION MEETINGS 2014

JANUARY

MARCH

MAY

JUNE

AUGUST

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

Javelina,

Barbary Sheep,

Oryx, & Ibex

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule Changes

Presented

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

 

       

Turkey,

Migratory Game

Birds

 

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

 

Final Rule

Waterfowl

Rules and Information

Book Published

   

Pronghorn Antelope,

Bighorn Sheep

 

Initiate Rule

Development

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

 

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

   

Deer,

Elk

   

Initiate Rule

Development

 

Proposed

Rule

Changes

Presented

Final Rule

Changes

Presented

Resident Game

Rules and

Information Book

Published

 

Rule development has been finalized for: Javelina, Barbary Sheep, Oryx, Ibex, Pronghorn Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Turkey, and Migratory Game Birds. 

 

The Department is currently seeking public comment on big game hunting rules including deer and elk.  The Department revises rules for big game hunting every 4 years.  Involving hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts is invaluable during the review to ensure that their perspectives help influence hunting seasons and license numbers for the next four years.  As the process develops, proposed adjustments to the various rules will be available for public review.  The State Game Commission, when finalizing the rules later this year, will consider all public comments, harvest and survey data, as well as biological information on population sustainability and management goals.

 

During rule development, the Department will follow a 3-stage process for each RULE at meetings of the State Game Commission:

Initiate:      Beginning of rule development, the Department will clarify early ideas for any changes expected/proposed.

 

Propose:   Presentation of proposed rule.  The Department will present a basis for the proposed changes.

 

Final:         The Department will use biological and public input to develop a final rule to present to the Commission. 

Your comments are important to us on every proposed rule change.  Please click the link for each rule you wish to provide input on.

 

The Department will routinely update the website as new rule proposals become available; be sure to check back often for updates.

 

If you or an organization you represent would like to schedule a meeting with Department personnel please contact Wildlife Management Division at 505-476-8038 or at this email to request a date, time, and location of a meeting.      

 

 

CURRENT PROPOSED CHANGES (Date changes reflect shifts in the calendar and are standard across all Rules):

 

Deer 19.31.13 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Deer rule are as follows:

  • Reduce deer licenses by 11.5% statewide beyond 2014-2015 license numbers.  Please see the presentation linked below for details.
  • Continue to allow archery hunters to hunt in both September and January in GMUs where a split season presently exists.
  • Extended all September archery hunts from September 1 to September 24. 
  • Adjust muzzleloader hunts following the first archery season (presently September 24-30) to September 27-October 3 to accommodate the extended archery season.
  • Extend all hunts held over the Thanksgiving holiday from 4 to 5 days.  Starting the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and continuing until Sunday. 
  • GMU 8: Add a private land archery hunt
  • GMU 28 McGregor Range: Adjust rifle hunt dates to fall the Saturday and Sunday prior to Thanksgiving every year due to military activity on McGregor Range.
  • GMU 31/33 Brantley, Seven Rivers, and Huey WMAs: Adjust the bag limit of the first muzzleloader hunt to Either Sex (ES) to increase opportunity and better manage populations.
  • GMU 34: Shift season dates to separate MI and YO hunts from general rifle hunts.
  • GMU 43: Shift muzzleloader hunts to late October to increase hunter success and reduce crowding from overlap with elk hunts
  • GMU 45: Combine all licenses from the second muzzleloader hunt into the first to reduce crowding from overlap with elk hunts.
  • GMU: 48: Create a new muzzleloader hunt with 20 licenses
  • GMU 51:  Combine all licenses from the first rifle hunt into the second to reduce crowding from overlap with elk hunts.
  • GMU 54 and GMU 55: Add a 5-day youth-only hunt on private lands over the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • GMU 57 Sugarite Canyon State Park: Reduce archery hunt license numbers by 50% at the request of Park staff due to crowding and safety concerns
  • Adjust season dates for calendar shift and to minimize overlap in deer and elk hunts.

Click to see presentation given at the August 21st commission meeting on proposed changes

Click to see final recommendations for the Deer rule.

 

Elk 19.31.14 NMAC: Comment Now!

Notable proposed changes to the Elk rule are as follows:

  • Standardizing archery hunts to be a 2-hunt period statewide, September 1-14 and 15-24
  • GMU 5B: Add 2 new mature bull (MB) & 1 new A hunt and offer some hunting opportunity in Nov./Dec.
  • GMU 6C: Reduce antlerless licenses by 15%
  • GMU 9: Reduce antlerless (A) licenses by 60% (and make all antlerless hunts muzzleloader)
  • Northcentral herd: Redistribute antlerless licenses in Northcentral herd (GMU’s 4, 5B, 50, 51, and 52) to account for elk distribution across Northcentral landscape (see presentation for details)
  • GMU 12: Make public hunt start dates consistent with private (Oct. 1) and add more public opportunity (30 more antlerless and 30 more MB public draw licenses)
  • GMU 21 & 23: Create new A hunt in each GMU
  • GMU 24: Include new youth only hunt on Ft. Bayard
  • GMU 30: Increase total licenses from 30 to 40 and distribute equally into 1 ES archery and 1 ES rifle season
  • GMU 34: Increase A licenses by 17% because of high recruitment
  • GMU 36: Increase MB licenses (by 9%) and ES archery licenses (by 15%), the herd can sustain higher bull harvest
  • GMU 43: Decrease ES rifle licenses by 50% (limited opportunity to encounter elk)
  • GMU 53: Develop new late (Dec./Jan.) hunt in northern portions of GMU 53 (of 40 licenses) to address elk movement and use
  • Valle Vidal: Increase MB licenses by 10% and ES archery licenses by 25% resulting from increased recruitment.
  • GMU 55 (Uracca): Move 3rd MB rifle hunt into new Sept. archery hunts
  • GMU 56: Add new Sept. archery hunts of 5 licenses each
  • Slight COER changes in GMU’s 45, 49, 50 and 53 (see presentation for maps)

Click to see presentation given at the August 21st commission meeting on proposed changes.

Click to see final recommendations for the Elk rule.

 

Several deer and elk hunt dates were adjusted in the final recommendations linked above in an effort to reduce overlap in these hunts.  These date changes were proposed to address hunter concerns, reduce crowding, and increase hunter success and satisfaction.  Despite every attempt, minor overlaps could not be avoided in the hunts listed below. 

  • GMU 6A and 6C: Deer MI rifle hunt and Elk first rifle hunt
  • GMUs 5B, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, and 36:  Deer YO Thanksgiving rifle hunt (last 3 days) and Elk antlerless hunt (first 3 days).
  • GMU 34: Deer YO and MI rifle hunts and Elk second MB rifle hunt.  However, the date change underlying this conflict eliminates overlap in deer MI/YO hunts and a much larger number of deer general rifle hunts.
  • GMU 51B: Deer first rifle hunt and Elk third MB rifle hunt.
  • GMU 55 Colin Neblett WMA: Deer first rifle hunt and Elk final MB rifle hunt.

Please revisit this website frequently as the Department will update any proposed changes as they become available.

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