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2021-22 NM Hunting Rules

Project Childsafe from the NSSF

Additional opportunities to hunt big game in New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Game & Fish News

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish Game & Fish News

Encouragement elk license sale begins July 14

New Mexico resident youth and senior hunters who applied and were unsuccessful in the 2021-2022 big-game draw are eligible to purchase one of nearly 1,900 antlerless elk licenses. The licenses will go on sale through the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s Online License System at 10 a.m. MDT July 14.

The sale is designed to encourage unsuccessful youth and senior draw applicants and includes almost 1,500 licenses for any legal sporting arm and 390 licenses for muzzleloader, crossbow or bow.

Licenses will be sold online only on a first-come, first-served basis. To purchase a license, customers will need to log in to their Online License System account.

Eligibility and requirements:

  • For the first 14 days, the sale is open only to resident youth who have applied in the current license year for one or more draw hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, oryx or ibex and were not successful for any hunt.
    • Must have a valid Hunter Education certification.
    • Must be 17 years of age or younger on the opening day of hunt.
  • Beginning at 10 a.m. MDT, July 28, the sale will open to all resident seniors, 65 years of age or older, who applied in the current license year for one or more draw hunts for deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, oryx or ibex and were not successful for any hunt.
  • Nonresidents and youth and/or senior applicants who were successful for another species are not eligible for these hunts.
  • Hunters must have a current annual Game Hunting or Game Hunting and Fishing License with a Habitat Management and Access Validation and Habitat Stamp prior to purchasing an elk license. Customers without these items will be directed to purchase one before continuing to the encouragement sale.

All purchases will be audited to verify the customer’s eligibility.

Hunters planning to purchase an encouragement license must have completed all mandatory 2020-2021 harvest reporting requirements or their purchase will be rejected in the post-sale audit. The license fee, but not the application fee, will be refunded for rejected purchases. After eligibility is verified – usually within a few days – the license will be available to print from any computer by logging in to your account and selecting “My Purchases” in the main menu.

Following the successful purchase of an encouragement license, the license/tag will be mailed to the hunter, unless the e-tag option is selected. Complete information about the new tagging requirements is available on the Department website and in the Hunting Rules and Information booklet.

Encouragement licenses will not be sold over the phone. For the list of available hunts please see pages 81 and 82 of the 2021-2022 Hunting Rules and Information Booklet available online or at license vendors.

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