So, you’re excited and ready to hunt in New Mexico? We can’t blame you! New Mexico offers beautiful scenery, amazing territory, and ample opportunities to hunt both small and big game, including exotic species. There are tag laws and licensing requirements in which you must be familiarized before you can legally hunt in New Mexico. So be sure you’re well-versed in the most up-to-date, latest news before heading out to capture your prize. You can check to see if any recent changes have been applied on the New Mexico’s Department of Game and Fish website.
For example, a new law posted for 2018: A tag is required for all big-game and turkey licenses. Be sure to check the website for changes quite often, because violations may cost you stiff fines, fees, and penalties, up to jail time or revocation of your hunting rights in the state of New Mexico.
Several of the standard requirements are as follows:
- All large game, turkey, and upland game hunters must possess a Game Hunting License and permit, if applicable.
- These same hunters must also possess a carcass tag for each game they are planning to hunt.
- All hunters who plan to hunt on any Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service lands must possess a Habitat Stamp. A Habitat stamp is required for anyone using U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in New Mexico, between the ages of 12 and 70, who are not 100% disabled resident veterans. Only one stamp per year is required for use of these lands. It is not required on state, county, or municipal lands/parks, federal lands, or private property. The Habitat Stamp will cost you $5.
- All hunters above the age of 18 must possess a Habitat Management and Access Validation. This does not apply to 100% disabled resident veterans. This annual fee is to provide you lease access to private lands for public use and provide access to landlocked public land. The Habitat Management and Access Validation will run you $4.
- All of these items must be in the hunter’s possession while on their hunt.
- Of course, there are additional rules, depending on the location and species of your hunt. You can download the PDF for the 2018-2019 New Mexico Hunting Rules & Info.
The first step in your license-acquiring process is to set up a personal account with NMDGF with a registered Customer Identification Number (CIN). This account is free to set up. You can set up your account by calling 888-248-6866 or online.
The next step is you’ll need to acquire your New Mexico hunting license. You have several options in which to obtain a hunting license. Early purchases of 2018-2019 licenses for the hunting year which begins on April 1st will be available by phone, online, at New Mexico Department of Game and Fish offices, or at licensed vendors beginning March 22nd. License fees may be found on the NMDGF website, but in general, licensing will run you $15 if you’re a New Mexico resident or $65 for a non-resident. New Mexico does offer a 50% discount for active-duty military and veterans.
Once you’ve acquired your hunting license, you’ll acquire your tags. Tags are mailed to successful applicants who applied online. Anyone purchasing an over-the-counter (OTC) license will receive their tags at the same time the OTC license is purchased. If you’re planning on hunting private-land deer, elk, antelope, javelina, oryx, or Barbary sheep, and you purchase your license online or by telephone, be sure to purchase your license at least fourteen days prior to the start of your hunt. This allows adequate time to receive your tags by mail. If you require duplicate tags, you must visit any NMDGF office or licensed vendor in person to apply. The original tag will become invalid, new tags will be issued, and your license will be reprinted.
We hope this information will be the start of a successful and joyful hunt. Get out there and make some memories!