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2019-20 NM Hunting Rules

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Encouragement elk hunting licenses go on sale July 10

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866

Encouragement elk hunting licenses go on sale July 10

SANTA FE – New Mexico resident youth and senior hunters who applied and were unsuccessful in the 2019-2020 big game draw are eligible for 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 10.

The sale is designed to encourage unsuccessful 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 at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

Eligibility 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. Please note that the purchase of a leftover draw hunt counts as a successful application.
    • 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 24, the sale will open to all resident seniors, ages 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 applicants who were successful for another species are not eligible for these hunts.

Hunters must have a current Game Hunting or Game Hunting and Fishing license with a Habitat Management and Access Validation prior to purchasing an elk license. Customers without a Game Hunting license and Habitat Management and Access Validation 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 2018-2019 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 on rejected purchases.

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

For more information about the encouragement elk sale, hunting in New Mexico, or for help logging in, please call customer service at (888) 248-6866. Encouragement licenses will not be sold over the phone. For the list of available hunts please see the 2019-2020 Hunting Rules and Information booklet available online.

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