Hunting is a popular activity in New Mexico, and the state offers plenty of opportunities for hunters of all levels of experience. Whether you're a first-time hunter or an experienced outdoorsman, it's important to know about the hunting seasons and licensing requirements in New Mexico.

In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the hunting seasons and licensing process in New Mexico. We'll also provide some tips for hunters heading into the field this season!

Hunting In New Mexico

New Mexico not only has a wide range of game to choose from, but it also has stunning scenery to enjoy. Barbary sheep, oryx, and Persian ibex are among the rare game species available in the "Land of Enchantment."

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offers a permit lottery system for select hunts, as well as speciality hunts for youth, veterans, elders, and disabled hunters. Elk, deer, ibex, orxy, Barbary sheep, and pronghorn antelope population management hunts are also available in the state (to become eligible for these hunts, you must apply online or by telephone).

While certain hunting sites in New Mexico are open to the public, many others, even if they are leased for public access, require landowner permission. Hunting on Native American territories also necessitates tribe approval.

New Mexico Deer Seasons

Archery/Bow Sept. 1-24** and Jan. 1-15**
Muzzleloader Sept. 27-Oct. 3**
General Season Sept. 1-Jan. 31**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.

New Mexico Elk Seasons

Archery/Bow Sept. 1-24**
Muzzleloader, Crossbow and Bow Oct. 9-Dec. 22**
General Season Oct. 1-Jan. 31**

**Season dates vary by zone. 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.

New Mexico Pronghorn Seasons

Archery/Bow Aug. 10-18**
Muzzleloader Aug. 21-30**
General Season Aug. 14-Dec. 15**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.

New Mexico Bighorn Sheep Seasons

General Season Aug. 6-Jan. 31**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.

New Mexico Ibex Seasons

Archery/Bow Oct. 1-Jan. 29**
Muzzleloader Dec. 6-20**
General Season Nov. 15-Mar. 27**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.

New Mexico Barbary Sheep Seasons

Archery/Bow Jan. 1-15**
General Season Oct. 9-March 31**

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

New Mexico Oryx Seasons

General Season Sept. 10-Feb. 27**

**Season dates vary by zone. 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.

New Mexico Turkey Seasons

Fall General Season Archery/Bow Only: Sept. 1-30
Firearms: Nov. 1-30

New Mexico Javelina Seasons

General Season Jan. 1-March 31**

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

New Mexico Bear Seasons

General Season Aug. 16-Nov. 30**

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

New Mexico Cougar Seasons

Statewide General Season Apr. 1-March 31

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

New Mexico Small Game Seasons

Quail Nov. 15-Feb. 15
Dusky Blue Grouse Sept. 1-Nov. 30
Eurasian Collared-Dove Apr. 1-March 31
Pheasant Dec. 9-12
Squirrel Sept. 1-Nov. 30

How To Get A Hunting License In New Mexico?

Depending on your age, you may be required to have the Hunter Education Number in order to legally buy a license or permit to hunt.

  1. Complete the New Mexico hunter education certification requirements.
  2. Choose the correct license type.
  3. Buy the license through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website or a New Mexico–approved vendor.

New Mexico License Expiration

Hunting licenses are good from April 1 to March 31 of the next year. Species permits are valid during only their authorized seasons.

Where to Buy a New Mexico Hunting License

Other Northwest States Hunting Seasons

Alaska Hunting Seasons
Arizona Hunting Seasons
California Hunting Seasons
Colorado Hunting Seasons
Hawaii Hunting Seasons
Idaho Hunting Seasons

Montana Hunting Seasons
Nevada Hunting Seasons
New Mexico Hunting Seasons
Oregon Hunting Seasons

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