Population Management Hunts in New Mexico


Population management hunts are organized to control and manage wildlife populations for certain species, including Barbary sheep, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, oryx, and pronghorn. These hunts are typically aimed at reducing populations in specific areas, often focusing on female animals.

Application Process

  • 5th-Choice Option: Hunters must select the 5th-choice option on the draw application for the species they wish to hunt.
  • Application Deadline: Applications must be completed by March 22 before 5 p.m., either online or by telephone.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must apply for at least one regular draw hunt choice for the same species to be eligible for the population management hunt.
  • Availability: Acceptance into a population management hunt is not guaranteed and depends on the need for population control in specific areas.

Hunt Notification and Acceptance

  • NMDGF Contact: If a population management hunt is scheduled, NMDGF will contact hunters about the hunt details, including area, dates, bag limits, sporting arms, and any special restrictions.
  • Accept or Decline: Hunters can choose to accept or decline the hunt. Acceptance requires purchasing the license.

Fees and Requirements

  • White Sands Missile Range (WSMR): For hunts on WSMR, a hunt authorization code from an approved 2023 WSMR security sponsor is required.
  • Refunds: License fees will be refunded if the hunter is unsuccessful for their 1st-4th choices.
  • Access Fees: White Sands Missile Range and Jornada Experimental Range charge a $150 access fee for oryx hunters. Other federal agencies may also charge fees.
  • License Purchase: Accepting a 5th-choice hunt necessitates purchasing the appropriate license(s) with tags.

Reporting and Compliance

  • Harvest Reporting: All population management hunters must file a harvest report, which might require obtaining a carcass tag from a license vendor or NMDGF office.
  • Late-season Reporting: Hunters in late-season management hunts must submit harvest reports by April 7 to maintain draw eligibility. It's recommended to report by telephone to avoid late fees.

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