Hunting on Wildlife Management Areas in New Mexico

Overview of WMAs

The New Mexico State Game Commission owns and manages various lands, including wildlife management areas (WMAs), to conserve fish, wildlife, and their habitats. WMAs open for hunting are specifically listed, and all others are closed to hunting activities.

Big-Game and Turkey Hunting on WMAs

Access and Eligibility

  • Designated Areas: Only the WMAs listed in the booklet are open for big-game and turkey hunting. Each is categorized by Game Management Unit (GMU).
  • Residency Restrictions: Only New Mexico residents may apply for big-game hunts exclusively on WMAs. Non-residents can apply for hunts open on both WMAs and other public lands.
  • Scouting Period: Licensed big-game hunters can scout with up to three guests during the seven days before their hunt starts.

General Rules for WMAs

Access and Conduct

  • Entry with Guests: Each licensed hunter can bring up to three guests during the hunt and scouting period.
  • Closed Areas: Entry into areas posted as closed on-site is prohibited.
  • Vehicle Use: Vehicles must stay on established roads and are not allowed on closed roads.
  • Camping Regulations: Camping is only allowed in designated areas for no more than 14 consecutive days, unless licensed hunting and scouting periods exceed this time.
  • Campfires and Dogs: Campfires must be contained safely, and dogs must be leashed unless used for hunting as permitted.

Environmental Stewardship

  • Feed Restrictions: Only pelleted grain feed or certified weed-free hay is allowed.
  • Conservation Compliance: Do not deface or remove natural or man-made features, including plants, animals (outside of legally harvested game), and artifacts.

Specific Hunting Regulations

  • Nongame and Unprotected Species: Hunting of nongame animals or unprotected species is generally not allowed, with specific exceptions like at Water Canyon WMA for certain periods.

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