Bear Hunting Guide

Essential Bear Hunting Information

  • Field Requirements:
    • All necessary items listed on page 8.
  • Bear Tagging Rules:
    • Harvest tagging guidelines can be found on pages 29–30.
  • Licensing Fees:
    • Refer to pages 8–13 for fees and requirements.
  • Permissible Weapons:
    • Types of legal arms for bear detailed on page 28.
  • Youth Restrictions:
    • Specific youth hunts information on page 14.
  • Pre-Hunt Licensing:
    • Purchase licenses at least two days prior to hunting.
  • Legality of Marked Bears:
    • Taking marked animals addressed on page 5.

Specific Restrictions and Requirements

  • Bag Limit:
    • One bear per season; restrictions on taking cubs or female with cubs.
  • Closed Regions:
    • Including Rio Grande Wild Scenic Area and WMAs outside of draws.
  • Use of Electronic Calls:
    • Permitted for bear hunting.

Bear Management Zones and Limits

  • Zones and Harvest Caps:
    • New Mexico divided into 14 zones with defined total and female harvest limits.
  • Bow Hunting Zones:
    • Specific districts limited to bow hunting only.
  • Real-Time Zone Closure Updates:

Pelt Tagging Protocol

  • Carcass and Pelt Tags:
    • Immediate attachment of carcass tag post-harvest.
  • Tagging Requirement:
    • Skull and hide presented within 5 days before processing or crossing state lines.
  • Hunting with Designee:
    • Designee code required for those transporting bear on behalf of the hunter.
  • Skull Presentation:
    • Unfrozen skull required for tooth extraction; mouth fixed open.

Gender Identification and Dog Use

  • Visible Gender:
    • Proof of sex must be natural and visible on the hide.
  • Hunting with Dogs:
    • Detailed allowances and restrictions for use of dogs during bear hunts.

Baiting, Trapping, and Special Areas

  • Baiting and Trapping:
    • Illegal for bear taking; trapped bears must be released.
  • Valle Vidal Rules:
    • Specific draw permit and over-the-counter licenses required.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) License Hunts

  • OTC License Purchase:
  • OTC Hunting Seasons:
    • Season dates and quotas for each management zone detailed on page 110.

Bear Draw Permits

  • Draw Permit Deadline:
    • February 15, 2023, is the cut-off for applications.
  • Draw Permit License:
    • OTC bear license necessary for validating draw permits.

Bear Draw Permit Details

  • Availability:
    • Accessible for certain WMAs and other designated areas.
  • WMA Draw Hunting:
    • Specifics for New Mexico resident hunters.
  • Draw Permit Table:
    • Includes dates, codes, and permit numbers for different units.

For comprehensive bear hunting licenses, applications, and harvest reporting, contact NMDGF or call 1-888-248-6866.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.