New Mexico provides a perfect opportunity to hunt for prize winning Elk in one of the most panoramic places on Earth. So many hunters flock to this part of the country each year to bag themselves some colossal beasts and when you look at the area for what it is, you can see why.
Just a stone’s throw away from Texas this place boasts some of those Rocky Mountain monsters, but just like anywhere else in the United States, you need to pay attention to the rules and regulations that governs hunting in the area.
In today’s post we wanted to look at some of the rules for hunting in New Mexico and what you can expect to bring back home with you after experiencing a hunt like no other.
New Mexico Has it All for Elk Hunting
Like any hunter should have, a hunting license is required anywhere in the country if you are going to take aim on wildlife like the Elk. This is where many of the similarities do end though because New Mexico like other states has their own principles in place.
The hunter must be at least 21 years of age and must be at least 10 feet above the ground when discharging a bow.
Gun laws we look to address further down this article as they require a bit more information before you decide to just go out and purchase any old rifle.
New Mexico is the home to so many types of animals, so if you wish to stray away from Elk you have the options to hunt for ducks, deer, grouse, squirrels, quail or waterfowl, or holding out for that elusive trophy pronghorn. New Mexico’s hunting opportunities are as abundant and diverse as its terrain and habitat, so if you haven’t been yet then it’s definitely worth jumping the Texan border across to this State, but before you do, check out the rules and regulations we are going to offer you below.
What Are The Main Rules for New Mexico?
Firstly you should be aware that the deadline to apply for the drawing is March. Only New Mexico residents may apply for Antlerless Elk Draw Licenses so the non-residents are ineligible for any hunts held exclusively on State Game Commission-owned WMAs.
Four types of Elk Draw Licenses are available to hunters using rifle, bow or muzzleloader, including:
Standard hunts, quality hunts, high-demand hunts, and combination quality and high-demand hunts.
Each Elk Draw License is only valid for a specific hunt in a specific area and for the dates designated on the license issued. Draw licenses may not be traded for a Private-land License; returned for refund; or transferred, sold or bartered. It is illegal to apply for, buy or use more than one license or tag for any big-game species during any license year—except as permitted by rule.
What About The Application and License Fees for Elk Hunting?
Residents of New Mexico pay the same fee for standard, quality or high-demand hunts. However, non-residents will pay higher fees for quality and high-demand hunts. This is pretty much the same patterns as you will find in other hunting types, such as deer hunting, the non-residents will always have to pay more out.
A Habitat Management & Access Validation is required for all hunts, as well as a Habitat Stamp which is required for hunting on Forest Service.
Up to four people may apply per application for an Elk Draw License. If allotted a license in the draw that has a fee lower than that submitted when applying, the difference will be refunded.
Using Guns and Rifles to Hunk Elks in New Mexico
Any legal sporting arms such as a centerfire rifle or handgun, .24 caliber or larger; shotgun, no smaller than 28 gauge, firing a single slug; bow and arrow; crossbow and bolt; or muzzle loading rifle, no smaller than .45 caliber are
Always keep safety in mind
Wherever you hunt next opens season always make sure that you pack the right equipment, buy the right types of clothing and always have safety at the forefront of your mind.
Hutning as we all know if a dangerous sport, but if you are a beginner heading out on the field for your first couple of time to hunt Elk, then you need to take other people into consideration and remember a few things.
The first thing to remember is that other hunters need to see you clearly so wearing an orange baseball cap and vest is essential to your own safety. This bright color will not have any effect on the Elk you are tracking down but it will allow other hunter to clearly see you when they lock down for a shot.