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2012 New Mexico Game and Fish new rules

March 05, 2012 by

There have been a lot of changes made to the New Mexico Game and Fish Rules & Regulations for the upcoming year and they are on line at www.wildlife.state.nm.us or I posted them below so you don't need to click over to the New Mexico Game and Fish website.

The most beneficial change is the New Mexico registered outfitter requirement.    This change will possibly delete at least 40% of the outfitters from the outfitter’s pool.  It will not affect

H & A Outfitters, Inc. so our draw odds this year should be better than previous years.

Another change is the mandatory signed contracts before we apply you in the outfitter’s pool.  This has always been law, but they are making it mandatory this year so for everyone who drew a tag last year and are wanting to re-apply with our application service, we’re going to have to fill out all new contracts and paperwork by March 15th.  Although the deadline is the 28th, we want to have ample time to get you applied.

One of the other big changes is you’ll need to purchase an Annual Game Hunting license.   This will be mandatory and the cost is $65.  If you are unsuccessful in getting drawn, Game and Fish  will issue a refund of $65  along with your upfront license fee in May.   Application fee of $27 is non-refundable.   

Let H & A apply you for some awesome hunts this year!  The draw odds are going to be at an all time high in the outfitter’s pool.



In 2011, the State Legislature made changes that impact all residents and nonresidents who hunt in New Mexico. The changes include:


Changes To New Mexico Law Affects All Hunters

1. All Hunters Must Purchase A New License
All hunters wishing to purchase or apply for any big game or turkey license, MUST FIRST PURCHASE an annual Game-hunting License or combination Game-hunting and Fishing License. By itself, a Game-hunting License is valid for hunting all small game, both upland and migratory game birds. The purchase of a Game-hunting and Fishing License is valid for fishing in addition to hunting small game.

2. ALL Youth Hunters Must Have a Hunter Education Certification Number
All youth hunters, younger than 18, must have a Hunter Education certification number from New Mexico or another state, prior to purchasing their Game-hunting License or Game-hunting and Fishing License. This certification number is required even if they only will be applying for an Archery Draw Hunt.

3. New Draw Quotas Established
State Law now requires:

  • 84% of public draw hunt licenses go to New Mexico residents
  • 10% of public draw hunt licenses go to residents and nonresidents contracting with a New Mexico Registered Outfitter
  • 6% of public draw hunts go to nonresidents who choose not to use a New Mexico Registered Outfitter.

4. New Mexico Residents Only
Only New Mexico residents are eligible to apply for Antlerless (A) Elk Draw Licenses.
Nonresidents are allowed to apply for Either Sex (ES) and Mature Bull (MB) Elk Draw Licenses and they are allowed to hunt any legal elk on private lands.

5. WMA Hunt Restrictions
Only New Mexico residents will be allowed to apply for hunts held exclusively on State Game Commission- owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMA).
Nonresidents may still apply for hunts that occur concurrently on both WMAs and public lands.

6. Ten Percent Applicant Pool
To be eligible to apply for the 10% outfitted applicant pool, all applicants must have a signed contract with a New Mexico Outfitter PRIOR to applying.

Other Changes The Department Initiated

1. Going Paperless
The Department is going paperless for ALL draw applications. The paper application no longer exists.
Hunters wishing to apply for a draw hunt (except for a Bear or Turkey Draw Permit) must: • Purchase an annual Game- hunting License or combination Game-hunting and Fishing License. • Apply for a draw hunt license online or via the telephone.
The Department will provide a telephone call center (888) 248-6866 for help in completing and accepting applications. The call center will be available Feb. 2 - March 20 from 12 noon to 8 PM, Mountain Standard Time.
From February through March, the Department will host “application training sessions” at computer centers throughout the state to help applicants apply online.

2. Full Fees Up Front
The application fee and full license fee will be charged at the time the application is submitted. Credit cards, debit cards and “electronic checks” are acceptable forms of payment.
Applicants will NOT be able to edit their applications once their application has been paid for; they will only be able to delete. If an applicant deletes an application, they may reapply. However, they again will be charged an application fee AND the full license fee. Deleted applications will be refunded in May. Therefore, it is very important that the application is complete and correct (it includes all hunters in the party, hunt codes are correct, etc.) before submitting it.

4. Hunters Must Show Proof of Game License
If hunters wish to purchase a bear, cougar, private-land deer or turkey license from one of our statewide license vendors, the hunter will have to show proof of possessing a Game-hunting or Game-hunting and Fishing License prior to purchasing a bear, cougar, private-land deer or turkey license and carcass tag.
If the hunter cannot show proof, they will be required to purchase a Game-hunting or Game-hunting and Fishing License in order to purchase their desired big-game license.

5. An Authorization Number To Go Fishing
An authorization number will be provided to residents who select the combination Game-hunting and Fishing License by April 1st. This authorization number will serve as their legal fishing license beginning April 1st. Be aware that applicants selecting any combination Game-hunting and Fishing License will not be able to fish legally UNTIL they have received their authorization number. Customers can obtain their authorization number by accessing their customer account online.

6. Game-hunting License Refund
Residents and nonresidents who choose a Game- hunting License with the refund option and are successful in drawing a Big-game License, will receive an authorization number and printable license when the draw results are announced. No refunds will be issued for licenses with an authorization number.

7. Hunters Are Encouraged to USE IT!
Hunters who are unsuccessful in the drawing are encouraged to keep their Game-hunting License and use it for hunting small game during open seasons. If requested at time of application, refunds will be offered for the Game-hunting License, but NOT the combination Game-hunting and Fishing License. Refunds will be issued in May.

8. Resident Reduced-fee Licenses
Resident youth, senior and handicapped hunters have the choice to purchase the following reduced-fee licenses:

  • Junior Game-hunting
  • Junior Game-hunting and Fishing
  • Senior Game-hunting
  • Senior Game-hunting and Fishing
  • Handicapped Game-hunting
  • Handicapped Game-hunting and Fishing
  • Military Game-hunting and Fishing.

The automated system will offer the correct junior or senior prices based upon the applicant’s date of birth.
Applicants also have the option to purchase a Habitat Management and Access Validation, Habitat Stamp and/ or Harvest Information Program (HIP) number.

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