Applying for Big Game Hunts in New Mexico


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. Junior, senior, handicapped and military Game hunting and fishing licenses are also available for those who qualify.

No More Paper Applications

The Department is going paperless for ALL draw applications. The paper application no longer exists. Applicants may call (505) 248-6866 to submit an application by phone from January 9 through March 20.

Full Fee 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.

Oryx Draw Deadline Moved

The deadline to apply for oryx draw licenses or oryx population management hunts has been moved to the second spring draw, March 20, 2013. The results of the drawing will be posted at the same time as all other big game draw results.

Application Editing Changes

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.

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.

New Mexico Residents Only for Cow Elk Hunts

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.

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.

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.

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.

Click here for a complete list of changes for 2013-2014.


Be sure to read the instructions in the 2013-2014 Big Game and Trapper Rules and Information booklet carefully before submitting your application. Check the section for each species to be sure of eligibility requirements, license fees and exceptions to the information and procedures outlined in this document.

There are two ways to apply for big game hunts in New Mexico: 1) Online at, with a credit card or 2) By phone with a credit card or electronic check

Phone applications will be available 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday from January 9 through February 14 by calling (888) 248-6866. Extended hours are February 15 through March 19 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Saturdays from noon to 5:00 pm.

Last Day to Apply for the Draw Licenses is March 20, 2013 and the hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

The deadline to apply for bear and turkey hunts is Feb. 6, 2013.
The deadline to apply for deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, oryx, ibex and javelina hunts is March 20, 2013.

Applications must be submitted before 5:00PM (Mountain Time) of the application deadline dates.


Every hunt offered through the drawing has a hunt code that determines A) the location (game management unit or GMU, except for antelope) B) the sporting arm C) the season dates, D) the fee type (for deer and elk), E) the maximum number of licenses/permits issued and F) the bag limit.

All hunt codes are listed in the Big Game and Trapper Rules and Information booklet under the section for each species. You can enter up to three hunt codes (choices) for each species, and can enter a quadrant of the state as a fourth choice for deer and elk. NOTE: You must be willing to accept ANY hunt in the quadrant you choose if you enter a fourth choice.

The first part (three letters) of the hunt code indicates the species. The middle digit indicates the type of hunt (1=any legal sporting arm, 2=bow only, and 3=muzzleloader or bow. The last three digits are the hunt number.


The online application process is fairly simple, and can eliminate many of the common errors made on paper applications.

Applicants must first purchase a Game Hunting or Game Hunting and Fishing license before they can proceed to the application process.

Online applicants for deer, elk, oryx, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, ibex, javelina and Barbary sheep will be charged the nonrefundable application fee and the full license fee at the time of application. Unsuccessful applicants will receive refunds.

Applicants interested in being placed on a list to be considered for population management hunts must check the population management box on their deer, elk , antelope, Barbary sheep or oryx application. Unsuccessful applicants who check this box will receive a refund for the license fee. If called, these hunters will be asked to accept or decline the hunting opportunity. If they accept, they will need to purchase the appropriate license and stamps. More information will then be provided by the contact person.

No license fees will be charged if you are successful for a turkey, bear, sandhill crane, pheasant, light goose or waterfowl draw permit. Successful applicants for these species must purchase the appropriate license.

You will need to create an account with a customer ID number, username and password the first time you apply using the online application. Be sure to keep this information for your records. For subsequent applications, for example when applying for a different species, you’ll just need to log in to your account using your customer ID or username, and password.

If you are applying with others, be sure to keep the application number and the attach code. The first applicant will have the option to allow subsequent applicants to use his/her credit card. If the first applicant doesn’t check this box, any other applicants who attach to that application must use a different credit card.

For party applications, the first applicant will create a new application. Upon completing the process, the applicant will receive an application number and an attach code. All subsequent applicants will need to select “attach to an existing application” then enter the application number and attach code. Up to three people may attach to an existing application for most species. See the Big Game and Trapper Rules and Information booklet for exceptions.


Online applicants may edit most of their personal information (except name, residency status, DOB and SSN) as well as their address. If the name, date of birth or last four digits of the Social Security Number or residency status are incorrect, applicants will need to contact the Special Hunts Office at (505) 476-8087.


Individual applicants can be rejected from party applications. Be sure that everyone on your application has correctly and completely filled out the form and has fulfilled all other requirements (mandatory harvest reports for prior year deer, elk or trapping, for example).