New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JULY 10, 2012:
SANTA FE – Young hunters who did not draw a big-game license will have another shot to go hunting this coming season when the Department of Game and Fish puts more than 2,000 antlerless elk licenses up for sale at 10 a.m. MDT Wednesday, July 18.
The online sale will be first-come, first-served on the department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us. The sale includes almost 1,500 licenses for hunters using any legal weapon and 540 licenses for hunters using muzzleloaders or bows.
According to state law, for the first 14 days, the sale will be open only to New Mexico resident youths younger than age 18 who successfully applied but were unsuccessful in drawing any big-game license this year. The sale will shut down for 24 hours at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and then reopen at 10 a.m. MDT Aug. 2, when the remaining licenses will be available to any youth younger that age 18, resident or nonresident, who did not draw a 2012-13 elk license, whether they applied or not.
New Mexico law requires all hunters younger than age 18 to have passed an approved hunter safety course before purchasing or applying for a hunting license. More information and a list of available classes are available at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
Hunters are strongly advised to obtain or review an online customer account, including a Customer Identification Number, user name and password before the sale begins. Popular hunts sell out quickly, although many licenses are expected to be available after the 14-day residents-only period.
Some wildlife throughout New Mexico have become stressed and or displaced by drought conditions or most recently by wildfires. While at first glance the animals may appear to be lost or abandoned, they usually do not need to be rescued.
The Department of Game and Fish is asking people not to “rescue” animals such as deer fawns, elk calves, bear cubs, baby birds, or others that may appear to be lost, injured or abandoned. Most often, the wild mothers hide their babies while they forage or drink. Usually, mothers are closer than you think.
Removing young wildlife can drastically decrease their chances of survival. It becomes very difficult to return wild animals to their natural habitats once they have been in close contact with humans. Handling wild animals also may increase the risk of picking up diseases and or parasites. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators can legally care for injured wildlife.
“It’s never a good occasion to pick up wildlife that appears to be lost or abandoned,” says Chris Ortega, Las Cruces District wildlife supervisor. “Mothers are never far away from their young and most likely left them alone for protection.”
The department has had an increase in calls from people finding young wildlife. There also has been an increase in young animals brought into area offices.
While the department appreciates public concern for wildlife, people are encouraged to leave wild animals alone. If animals appear to be injured or a safety threat, people should call a local conservation officer or area office. Reports can be made at offices in Santa Fe, (505) 476-8000; Albuquerque, (505) 222-4700; Raton, (575) 445-2311; Las Cruces, (575) 532-2100; or Roswell, (575) 624-6135.
For more information about keeping wildlife alive and people safe, please visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us and click on the “publications” tab in the top-left corner of the page.