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A Guide to Hunting in Northern New Mexico

Hunting in Northern New Mexico can result in a diverse collection of trophies. Our state offers amazing hunting opportunities including exotic species hunts of oryx, Barbary sheep, and Ibex. Northern New Mexico presents amazing opportunities for hunting Elk, Mule Deer, Antelope, and Black Bear. A sportsman’s knowledge of where to hunt and how to access those lands is vital for any successful hunt. We’ve taken a few minutes to layout some helpful tips for you as you guide yourself through the adventures of hunting in Northern New Mexico.

Private Lands in Northern New Mexico

Many of our public lands are mingled among privately owned properties. Since a private landowner has the right to control his own land, sportsmen must obtain written permission from landowners to cross privately controlled land to access public hunting grounds. Any violations could result in revocation of hunting/fishing licenses, fines and fees, as well as prosecution.

How can you make sure this doesn’t happen? Well, it’s the responsibility of the sportsman to know the law and their location at all times. NMDGF (New Mexico Department of Game and Fish) encourages sportsmen to utilize courtesy cards to exchange names and vehicle information with landowners. This promotes a responsible, knowledgeable, and cordial relationship between landowners and sportsmen.

The Open Gate program cooperates with State and Federal agencies to voluntarily allow public access to their private land for specific activities. With a proper license, sportsmen may access Open Gate lands through established dates/times without charge. This interactive map is designed to assist sportsmen in finding Open Gate Properties. Incorporating courtesy cards and this interactive map into your planning can help you avoid serious consequences.

Public Lands in Northern New Mexico

Most Bureau of Land Management property is open to public property. It is the responsibility of each sportsman to know any current restrictions and where they apply. Hunting is also allowed on some military reservations. Permission and Conditions of access must be obtained directly from the individual military reservation.

Most National Forests are open to public hunting within New Mexico. National Wildlife Refuges are closed to hunting unless specifically open by federal regulations for specific species’ hunts. If specified open, only U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved nontoxic shot may be used.

National parks, monuments, and surrounding land are closed to hunting except for the following national monuments:

  • Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument (call for info: 575-751-4899)
  • Prehistoric Trackways National Monument and Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument (call for info. 575-525-4300).
  • Valles Caldera National Preserve’s Unit 6B is closed to hunting, except for turkey and elk draw hunts. For additional information, call 575-829-4100 or visit their website.

To take the guesswork out of hunting lands, NMGFD offers a free mobile app for easy access to hunting/fishing maps, fishing reports, licensing info, rules & regulations, current conditions, news releases, and more. The app also offers quick access to Operation Game Thief to report any violations.

There’s so much to know about hunting in New Mexico, we thought our readers should know that NMDGF has published various guides to almost anything you could think of that relates to fishing and hunting in the great state of New Mexico. You can find those guides here.

We know that we have a lot of folks that come and stay with us from out of state to hunt various game and not all the rules are the same. We want our guests to be safe and in the know, especially when it comes to the law. Be safe in your hunting adventures throughout the year and of course enjoy your stay in Red River, “Where you will always find a friend.”

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