New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUG. 30, 2010:

PROGRAM OPENS PRIVATE LAND FOR PUBLIC DOVE HUNTING

New Mexico landowners and the Department of Game and Fish are working together to provide New Mexico hunters more opportunities to pursue game on private land across the state, including more than 102,000 acres available just in time for the Sept. 1 opening of dove season.

The 5-year-old program is funded by $4 Habitat Management and Access validations required with every hunting and fishing license. This year, 19 landowners have enrolled in the program to offer public dove hunting.

“This program is great for dove hunters because some of the best dove hunting is around water tanks and agricultural fields on private land,” said Aaron Roberts, coordinator of the Open Gate Program. “At the same time, it benefits the landowners by putting some money in their pockets and keeping the birds off their crops.”

Participating landowners are paid for allowing hunters or anglers access to their property or for allowing access across their property to landlocked public land. Lease agreements are negotiated individually and can vary according to property descriptions, easements and hunting opportunities. Statewide, landowners have enrolled more than 105,000 acres for dove, quail, turkey, waterfowl, javelina and deer hunting, and some angling.

A list of Open Gate properties, including maps and rules is available on the Department Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us under “Events and opportunities.” Information about the program also is available by calling Aaron Roberts at (505) 476-8043.

The Department is always looking for new acreage to enroll in the program. Interested landowners can contact Roberts at (505) 476-8043 or aaron.roberts@state.nm.us.

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