New Mexico Hunting Seasons Information and Regulations

*All information listed below is disclosed based on research we have conducted. We do our best to ensure that all information is up to date and accurate. However, rules and regulations are changing every day. Please make sure to verify your state-specific regulations prior to your hunt.

New Mexico is a great place for hunting, with its diverse array of wildlife and terrain. There are many different species that can be hunted, including deer, elk, antelope, turkey and javelina. The state offers both archery and rifle seasons as well as special opportunities such as youth hunts or guided hunts.

The hunting season in New Mexico begins in early September and runs through late April. The state is divided into four zones with different start dates and duration within each zone. Depending on the species, hunters can also apply for additional permits to hunt during certain extended periods such as the Sandhill Crane season or a Muzzleloader season.

New Mexico Deer Seasons

Archery/BowSept. 1 – 24 and Jan. 1 – 15
MuzzleloaderSept. 27 – Oct. 3
General SeasonSept. 1 – Jan. 31

*New Mexico regulates some deer seasons by location. For more information on specific hunting dates in your part of the state, visit the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish website.

New Mexico Black Bear Seasons

General SeasonAug. 16 – Nov. 30

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Wild Turkey Seasons

Fall General SeasonNov. 1 – 30
Fall Archery/Bow SeasonSept. 1 – 30
Spring General SeasonApril 15 – May 10
Spring Youth SeasonApril 8 – 10

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

In New Mexico, Merriam’s wild turkeys are the most prevalent subspecies. They are typically found in ponderosa pine habitats, particularly in the mountainous western United States. Additionally, they have expanded into the state’s foothills and some plains river valleys.

New Mexico Pronghorn Seasons

Archery/BowAug. 4 – 17
MuzzleloaderAug. 20 – 29
General SeasonAug. 13 – 25

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Bighorn Sheep Seasons

General SeasonAug. 5- Jan. 31

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

In the Pecos, Latir, and Wheeler Peak Wilderness, hunters hunt in the mountains between 12,000 and 13,000 feet. Due to the fact that the majority of bighorn herds live far from trailheads, horseback travel is frequently the most convenient mode of transportation.

New Mexico Ibex Seasons

Archery/BowOct. 1 – Jan. 29
MuzzleloaderDec. 6 – 20
General SeasonNov. 15 – March 26

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Barbary Sheep Seasons

Archery/BowJan. 1 – 15
General SeasonOct. 8 – March 31

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

Barbary sheep, also known as Aoudad, were introduced to southern and eastern New Mexico by New Mexico in 1950. Barbary sheep hunting is an excellent trip for those who do not participate in one of our elk hunts. They quickly populated nearly the entire state of New Mexico with their inhabitants.

New Mexico Oryx Seasons

General SeasonSept. 9 – Feb. 26

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Javelina Seasons

General SeasonJan. 1 – March 31

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Cougar Seasons

Statewide General SeasonApril 1 – March 31

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Small Game Seasons

QuailNov. 15 – Feb. 15
Dusky Blue GrouseSept. 1 – Dec. 31
Eurasian Collared-DoveApril 1 – March 31
PheasantDec. 8 – 11
SquirrelSept. 1 – Dec. 31

*Dates for the season vary by zone. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website to learn more about hunting in a specific zone or area.

New Mexico Crossbow Regulations

Crossbow Specific Regulations: In New Mexico, bear hunting with crossbows is legal; cougar; elk; deer; javelin; pronghorn; savage sheep; oryx; Ibex from Iran; horned sheep; turkey, and Unless otherwise restricted, crossbows can be used in muzzleloader or any other legal sporting arm season.

New Mexico Hunting License

Anyone hunting game species in New Mexico must have a license and purchase one. A Habitat Management and Access Validation (HMAV) license is also required by state law for anyone applying for or purchasing a big-game or turkey license.

In New Mexico, special drawing is used to issue the majority of public-land hunting licenses and permits for big game hunting. Small game can be hunted on public land without a license (a game hunting license is required for upland game and migratory game birds); turkey, bear, cougar, and Barbary sheep, javelina, and ibex in limited areas. For deer, pronghorn, oryx, and Barbary sheep, private-land opportunities are available over the counter. You can get a private-land elk license by getting an authorization number from a landowner.

If you want to check out the next state on our list, click here to see New York.

Or, you can check out the last state on our list, New Jersey.

About Al Parsons

Al Parsons is originally from Alabama, but has had the pleasure of hunting all over the United States. Al is an expert on crossbow hunting, as well as traditional rifle hunting. His favorite time of year is the start of Archery Deer season in Alabama, so usually in October.