The New Mexico Oryx Hunting Season 2023-2024 is the perfect opportunity to explore the wild and embark on an adventure of a lifetime. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish provides a varied variety of hunting opportunities for numerous game species, including Oryx hunts in collaboration with the US Department of Defense and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Hunting Oryx in New Mexico is an action-packed experience, and is the only place in North America where these animals can be hunted free range.
New Mexico Oryx Hunting Season 2023-2024
New Mexico’s Oryx 🦌 hunts run for half the year, with the off-range portion opening for the same amount of time and the on-range portion giving hunters an additional month to complete their tags. Although the optimum time to go on an Oryx hunt in New Mexico is in the months of August and September, the season does not close until the end of February.
Broken-Horn Oryx Hunts Season
|Broken-Horn Oryx Hunts Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
Note: These are not Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunts
White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) – Resident Veterans Only
|White Sands Missile Range – Resident Veterans Only Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
Youth-only Oryx Hunt Season
|New Mexico Youth-only Oryx Hunt Seaason||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Stallion Range – Stallion Range – Youth Only||6-Oct||8-Oct|
Note: This is a Once-in-a-Youth Hunt
Once-in-a-Lifetime Oryx Hunt Season
|New Mexico Once-in-a-Lifetime Oryx Hunt Season||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Stallion Range -Mobility Impaired Only||6-Oct||8-Oct|
McGregor Range Oryx Hunts Season
|Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Unit 28 (McGregor Range)|
|Any Legal – Military Only||16-Dec||17-Dec|
|Any Legal – Military Only||6-Jan-24||7-Jan-24|
Note: These are not Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunts.
|Off-Range Oryx Hunt (Statewide)||Hunting Start Date||Hunting End Date|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Jun||30-Jun|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Jul||31-Jul|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Aug||31-Aug|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Sep||30-Sep|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Oct||31-Oct|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Nov||30-Nov|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Dec||31-Dec|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Jan-24||31-Jan-24|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Feb-24||29-Feb-24|
|Any Legal – Age 70 And Older||1-Feb-24||29-Feb-24|
|Any Legal – Youth Only||1-Mar-24||31-Mar-24|
Note: These are not Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunts
Oryx Draw Licenses
Applicants for Oryx draw licenses have until March 22, 2023 to apply. A maximum of two people can apply per application and successful applicants will receive a license/tag by mail unless they choose the E-Tag option. The hunts will occur on the White Sands Missile Range and are three-day hunts with check-in on Friday. A $150 per hunter access fee will be charged, with a 50% military discount available. Hunters must attend a mandatory safety briefing, provide proof of liability insurance and hunter education certification, and follow WSMR regulations. The access fee must be paid by the specified deadline, and the hunting is subject to military activity and may be delayed or canceled.
Oryx Hunting Regulations
- All hunters who are awarded a WSMR hunt, along with their visitors, are required to pass a security check since safety is of the utmost importance at the White Sands Missile Range. All successful license holders will be provided the relevant paperwork for this check in advance of the hunt. Security personnel have the right to inspect any vehicle entering WSMR. Failure to comply with these limits or other rules may result in the suspension or revocation of hunting rights and the forfeiture of license payments on the WSMR. To guarantee a secure and safe hunting experience on the White Sands Missile Range, hunters must be aware of and abide by certain safety procedures.
- Hunts for either sex of Oryx on the WSMR are regarded “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities and cannot be reapplied for after the fact. A hunter who has had a different sort of Oryx license (not a lifetime license) in the past may still apply for a lifetime license to hunt Oryx.
- Call 1-888-248-6866 if you’re a hunter and have questions regarding membership.
- Any WSMR Oryx hunt with a bag limit of either sexes must be applied for and accepted on a strictly once-in-a-lifetime basis. Even if an applicant has previously had a different kind of Oryx license, they are still eligible to apply for lifetime permits.
- A maximum of three guests is allowed to accompany each licensed hunter for cleaning and loading a downed Oryx. The guests must be U.S. citizens or accompanying a foreign national with an official escort and cannot assist in killing the Oryx.
- Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for once-in-a-lifetime Oryx hunts, but if they are selected, they must be accompanied by an authorized WSMR official at all times while on the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).
- Hunters and accompanying guests must wear at least 244 square inches of blaze-orange clothing while hunting on the White Sands Missile Range.
- Outfitted hunts are only allowed for once-in-a-lifetime, broken-horn, youth-only, and mobility-impaired Oryx hunts on White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), and only registered outfitters and guides are allowed to operate. It is the responsibility of the hunter to ensure that the outfitter or guide is following WSMR policies. Contact WSMR for further information on registration requirements.
- New Mexico resident veterans are eligible for a once-in-a-lifetime hunt with a limit of two people per application, which must be submitted by March 22, 2023.
- Applicants for the Resident Veteran Hunts (Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunts) must provide proof of military service in the form of a DD-214 prior to applying. The DD-214 can be submitted via email, fax, or mail.
- Hunters can apply for McGregor Range Oryx hunts (ORX-1-225 and ORX-1-227), but proof of passing a hunter education course and a blaze-orange vest are required. Active-duty military personnel must provide proof of status, but veterans, reservists, and military contractors are not eligible for military-only hunts. Access to the hunting range may require visiting El Paso, Texas for a security pass. Contact Fort Bliss for more information.
- Off-Range Hunts are hunting opportunities that are not Once-in-a-Lifetime Hunts, and are allowed in open areas such as lands administered by the Forest Service, BLM, State Trust Land and private property with written permission. Hunting is prohibited in closed areas such as GMU 28, White Sands Missile Range, Jornada Experimental Range, San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, Holloman Air Force Base, Fort Bliss/McGregor Range in GMU 19 and other lands closed to hunting.
- Population management hunts for Oryx may take place either off or on White Sands Missile Range, with possible restrictions.
- If applying for an off WSMR Oryx hunt (excluding White Sands Missile Range and McGregor Range), the applicant should select the 5th-choice Oryx hunt option and leave all other options blank.
- To be eligible for population management Oryx hunts on White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), applicants must choose the 5th-choice Oryx hunt option when applying for draw hunts and must have a valid authorization code from an approved 2023 WSMR security sponsor. Only US citizens may apply, and hunters without a sponsor will be denied access. Contact NMDGF for more information if uncertain about eligibility.
- Hunters must have written permission from a private land owner to hunt on deeded private land using a private-land Oryx license, which must correspond to the dates, eligibility requirements, restrictions, sporting-arm type and bag limits listed for statewide off-range hunts. Statewide private-land off-range licenses are available for April and May and can be purchased online, over the phone or in person, 14 days prior to the hunt start date. Draw applicants are not allowed to purchase a private-land license before the draw results are released.
About Oryx Hunt
Oryx primarily live in herds of 10 to 40 animals, consisting of one dominant male, a harem of females, and a few non-dominant males, while some males remain solitary and defend their territory. New Mexico Oryx hunts offer the opportunity to hunt these beautiful animals, with exceptional trophy potential and delicious meat. The hunts for Oryx in New Mexico are regulated by the estimated number of Oryx in the area, and are offered on the White Sands Missile Range as Once-in-a-Lifetime trophy Oryx hunts and broken-horn Oryx hunts.
FAQs related to New Mexico Oryx Hunt
What is New Mexico Oryx hunting and what are the options available for hunters?
New Mexico Oryx hunting is a hunting activity for the Oryx antelope species in New Mexico. Hunters have a few different options when applying for New Mexico Oryx tags. One option is the White Sands Missile Range Hunt which is a once in a lifetime tag offered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). The draw odds for this on-range hunt are tough, but for those lucky enough to draw, the hunt offers a near 100% success rate.
Is there a difference between on-range and off-range Oryx hunting in New Mexico?
Yes, there is a difference between on-range and off-range Oryx hunting in New Mexico. On-range Oryx hunts occur on the White Sands Federal Missile Range and are once-in-a-lifetime hunts that occur 6 months out of the year. Off-range Oryx hunting options run for a full month and offer an entire month to hunt but with fewer animals spread out over a larger area.
When does hunting season start in New Mexico?
The hunting season in New Mexico depends on the species being hunted. The premium statewide deer hunt is from September to February.