New Mexico Hunting Seasons, 2017-2018


New Mexico offers not only an outstanding game variety, but also beautiful, scenic views to enjoy. The “Land of Enchantment” is one of few states that offer unusual game, such as Barbary sheep, oryx and Persian ibex.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offers some hunts by a permit lottery system, along with specialty hunts for youth, veterans, seniors and hunters with disabilities. The state also offers some population management hunts for elk, deer, ibex, orxy, Barbary sheep and pronghorn antelope (to become eligible for these hunts, you must apply online or by telephone).

Hunting lands throughout New Mexico may vary in ownership; while some lands are public-access, many areas require landowner consent even if they are leased for public access. In addition, hunting on Native American lands requires tribal permission.

Deer Seasons

General Season

Oct. 14-Nov. 27*

Archery Only

Sept. 1-24

Muzzleloader or Archery

Sept. 27-Oct. 3

*Dates vary by region

Elk Seasons

Private-land Hunts
General Season

Oct. 1-Dec. 31*

Private-land Hunts
Archery only

Sept. 1-24*

Private-land Hunts
Muzzleloader, Crossbow and Archery

 Oct. 8-Jan. 31, 2017*
 Private-land Hunts
Youth only
 Oct. 7-Dec. 31
 Private-land Hunts
Mobility-impaired Hunts
 Oct. 7-11

*Dates vary by region
New Mexico elk hunters can obtain a private-land hunt or public draw hunt permit, but not both in the same year. All licenses must be applied for in March of each year. Permits for public land hunting (called elk draw licenses) have varying season dates. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website.


Pronghorn Seasons

Private-land Hunts
General Season

Aug. 26-Dec. 31*

Private-land Hunts
Archery only

Aug. 12-27*

Private-land Hunts
Muzzleloader, Crossbow and Archery

 Aug. 19-22*
Oct. 21-24*
 Private-land Hunts
Mobility-impaired Hunts
Aug. 5-7*
Aug. 19-27*

*Dates vary by region

Bighorn Sheep Seasons

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram

All Methods: Aug. 11-Jan. 31, 2017*

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ewe

All Methods: Sept. 4-24*

Desert Bighorn Ram

All Methods: Aug. 18-Dec. 31*

*Dates vary by region

 

Ibex Seasons

General Season

Nov. 15-Mar. 1*

Archery

Oct. 1-15*
Jan. 15-29, 2018*

Muzzleloader

Dec. 6-20

*Dates vary by region


Barbary Sheep Seasons

Draw Hunts

Dec. 30-31*
Feb. 1-28*

Private-land Hunts

Feb. 1-28*

Barbary sheep hunts vary heavily by region. For more information on a legal hunt, visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website.

Oryx Seasons

Premier Hunts

Sept. 1-Feb. Feb. 18*

Youth Only Hunt

Sept. 1-3

Broken-horn Oryx

Oct. 13-Feb. 18*

*Hunting dates vary by region
Oryx are considered exotic animals, and for this reason, many hunts are considered “once in a lifetime” hunts. This kind of hunt takes place in premiere regions, though hunts for broken-horn oryx and youth hunts are also available and can be applied for each year.

 

Turkey Seasons

 

Spring Turkey

Apr. 15-May 10*

Fall Season

Archery: Sept. 1-30
Any method: Nov. 1-30

*Hunting dates vary by region

Javelina Seasons

 

Any Method

Jan. 1-Mar. 31*

Archery Only

Jan. 1-31*

*Hunting dates vary by region

 

Bear Seasons

General Season

Aug. 16-Nov. 30*

Bear season dates vary greatly by region. For more information on hunting in a particular zone or area, visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website.

Cougar Seasons

General Season

April 1-Mar. 31

New Mexico offers a statewide general season, though harvest limits may vary by area.

Small Game Seasons

Quail

Nov. 15-Feb. 15

Dusky (Blue) Grouse

Sept. 1-Nov. 30

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Apr. 1-Mar. 31

Squirrel

Sept. 1-Nov. 30

Pheasant

Dec. 7-10