New Mexico Hunting Season

John Lewis

2024-2025 New Mexico Hunting Seasons Latest Dates & Regulations

new mexico, New Mexico Hunting Season, NM Hunting Season

To help you plan your next hunting trip to New Mexico, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to the state’s game seasons. We’ll discuss about the important regulations, the kind of animals you may pursue, and any restrictions on your part.

When to Go Hunting in New Mexico?

Late September and early October mark the prime time for pursuing elk, particularly during their rut. Mule deer are most effectively observed during the winter months. For quail, grouse, and pheasant, the ideal seasons are fall and spring, while waterfowl sightings peak between October and January.

NM Hunting Seasons




Barbary Sheep





Mexican Gray Wolf


Mountain Lion



Badger, Bobcat, Fox, Ringtail and Weasel




Upland Birds




Migratory & Waterfowls



Sandhill Crane

New Mexico Hunting Seasons

Hunting license

Outdoor activities in New Mexico need a license. Deer-related activities need a Habitat Management and Access Validation.

Get tags and licenses easily online, via phone, or in person. Applying is essential to enter the drawing and win huge gaming possibilities. Not all hunters can get licenses, so having backup plans is vital. Optimize your outdoor experience with backup plans.

Online licenses and permits must be printed. Regular paper works great. Deer hunting requires a tag. You may also use an E-tag.

If you decline the electronic tag, you’ll get a combination license/tag. This document may replace another you may still bring. Pre-ordering licenses allows for mailing. License delivery may take 14 days.

Anyone engaging in outdoor pursuits in this region must have an authorized permit. Specific game categories might entail permits and fees at an elevated cost.

New Mexico Hunting License Fees

Place to Go Hunting in New Mexico

The state has several public hunting sites. In certain places, public property may have restrictions. Before searching, know them well.

  • BLM-managed regions: BLM-managed lands allow hunting. Each BLM preserve has regulations.
  • Forest Land areas: State national forests cover 9,000,000 acres. This area is used for hunting and trapping. Some National Forest areas may have vehicle restrictions. Certain places are periodically prohibited for controlled burning.
  • Reserved for public use by the state: Game Commission and Commissioner of Public Lands control hunting on State Trust Lands. Site-specific regulations apply.
  • Personal Property: Game and Fish, State Property Office, and/or BLM cooperate to allow outdoor activities on private property. Residents and visitors may enjoy private estate recreation under these arrangements. Annual changes may be made to these particular layouts.
  • Reserves for the Military: Military reserves allow recreational activities. Activity supervision and cancellation are their responsibility. Before engaging in military reserve activities, read the rules.

Hunting Regulations


Underage participants aren’t permitted. Deer and bear hunting seasons are restricted to 13- to 15-year-olds unless accompanied by a licensed adult, and take techniques are limited.

13- to 15-year-olds may engage in a Columbus Day weekend hunt. Youths may shoot one deer and one bear. Adults supervising young hunters aren’t allowed to join them or carry firearms.

General Regulations

Avoid the following:

  • Dumping & Polluting
  • Gun misuse
  • Neglecting & Carelessly ignoring a fire
  • Unlicensed hunting.
  • You shouldn’t shoot more than one deer a day unless necessary.
  • Using bright lights around cattle or wildlife.
  • Making prank calls using electronics.
  • Camping within 300 yards of a well, tank, or watering hole.
  • Vehicle-based attacks.
  • Driving in restricted streets.
  • Hunting by aircraft.
  • Shooting within 150 feet of an occupied building (including vacated and abandoned buildings).
  • Cameras used for remote animal spotting.
  • Interfering with legal hunters.

Other Regulations

  • The state of New Mexico has its own set of rules regarding the disposal of wasted game. Any food you plan on eating while out in the field will need transport. However, you are under no obligation to remove the internal organs or ribcage.
  • Any injured animal must be located and treated as quickly as possible by the hunter.
  • To waste an animal is to take little more than its head and antlers and leave the rest of the corpse for waste.




1 Wildlife Way, Santa Fe, New Mexico-87507.

Phone Number

(505) 476-8000

(888) 248-6866


[email protected]


When does the hunting season begin in New Mexico for 2023-2024?

It begins in early September. Game species determine the commencement date. Deer archery season begins in early September, whereas general deer season begins later in September.

Can non-residents participate in the New Mexico hunting season?

Yes, non-residents may hunt in New Mexico with a non-resident hunting license. License prices vary by kind and game species. Big game, upland game birds, waterfowl, and fishing non-resident permits are available. Junior permits for various game categories are available to 12–15-year-olds.

Can I use electronic devices or tools during the New Mexico hunting season?

The use of electronic devices and equipment is prohibited in the state. Hunting-specific GPS, night vision, and thermal imaging gadgets are prohibited. The restriction prevents hunters from acquiring an unfair edge, which might hurt game animals and compromise their outdoor experience. Violating this law may result in $500 penalties and permit revocation. Except for GPS for navigation and thermal imaging for study, sportsmen should not use electronic devices or instruments during defined times to follow rules and ethics.

John Lewis
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