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New Mexico hunting licenses are required of any individual who plans to hunt within the state. Regardless of whether you are a resident or a visitor, a senior or a disabled veteran, you are required to apply for the appropriate NM hunting permit. Though, before purchasing any hunting licenses, prospective hunters would do well to become familiar with the state requirements for licensure. The first aspect of getting a hunting license in New Mexico that you need to familiarize yourself with is the types of hunting licenses that you will need to obtain. Depending on an applicant's age, residential status and other factors, he or she may qualify for hunting licenses at a lower rate. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish issues youth, senior, disabled and veteran hunting licenses to qualifying individuals. Other types of NM hunting licenses are issued based upon the game that the applicant is targeting. New Mexico is home to some unique species of game that both nonresident and residential hunting license applicants will find interesting. Buying a license to hunt in New Mexico is as simple as going online, dialing a toll-free number or visiting a local sales agent. The aforementioned methods are chosen among by applicants depending on their individual circumstances. As it is in all 50 states, hunter education is required of certain individuals before they apply for a license to hunt. Therefore, be sure to check out the section on hunter education to see if you need to meet this requirement. For more information on how to get hunting licenses in New Mexico, and to see all of the different options that are at your disposal, take a look at the sections below:

  • Types of hunting licenses in New Mexico
  • How to buy hunting licenses in New Mexico
  • Hunter education in New Mexico
  • Renewing hunting licenses in New Mexico

What types of hunting licenses are available in New Mexico?

Different hunting permits are available for you to choose from in New Mexico. The type of license an applicant will get is dependent on several factors, such as the individual’s residential status, age, veteran status and more. Hunting licenses issued by the NM DGF are also classified by the type of game hunted. Species permits are available to hunt turkey, bear, cougar and oryx, among others. The types of hunting licenses available in New Mexico include the following:

  • Game-hunting licenses (including junior, senior and veteran varieties)
  • Special hunting tags for certain animal species, such as New Mexico bear hunting licenses
  • Private-land hunting licenses

Note: You cannot purchase or use any of the licenses above on Forest Service or BLM properties before you get a habitat stamp from the Department of Fish and Game.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in New Mexico?

Purchasing a hunting permit in New Mexico can be done using several different methods. The NM Department of Game and Fish understands that different people have access to different systems. Thus, it allows for applicants to submit hunting license applications in all of the following manners: online, by phone and in person.

The most convenient option at the disposal of most applicants is to apply online for hunting permits in New Mexico. Online applicants can obtain any hunting stamp, license or validation that they require.

Hunting license applicants searching for an alternative method in which to purchase credentials remotely may wish to consider applying by phone. The process merely involves dialing the toll-free telephone number and providing the customer service agent with personal details, such as a hunter education certificate number (if applicable), a name and credit or debit card payment information.

The final option available for buying hunting licenses is to visit a sales agent in person. As for specific locations where to get hunting licenses, they include any New Mexico Department of Game and Fish office as well as a wide variety of local, over-the-counter vendors.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a New Mexico hunting license purchase?

Depending on your age at the time of your hunting license application in New Mexico, you may be required to enroll in a hunter’s education program. The Department of Game and Fish in New Mexico makes it mandatory that anyone younger than 18 years of age who intends to hunt with firearms must first pass a hunter’s ed course and submit proof of course completion to the NMDGF, or they must currently be enrolled in the Mentored-Youth Hunting Program.

The hunter education course is available for hunting license applicants to take either online or in person. Students must be at least 11 years of age to be able to participate in a remote course. Also, a fee is attached to taking the online version of the hunter education course. Traditional classroom courses are taught by volunteer instructors and are offered free of charge. The subject matter covered in both class formats is the same, though in-class participants benefit from a hands-on approach when learning about hunting techniques.

Underage hunters have the opportunity to engage in supervised hunts in New Mexico. It is possible for youths between the ages of 10 and 18 years of age to do so because of the Mentored-Youth Hunting Program. Upon passing an online quiz, youth hunters can receive a mentored youth number that allows them to participate in the sport under the tutelage of a licensed adult mentor. Mentees qualify for licenses to hunt small game, deer, turkey and javelina.

How can I renew a New Mexico hunting license?

Hunting permit renewal does not exist in New Mexico. Instead, hunting license applicants are required to buy a hunting license anew from the NMDGF. The same state licensing fees will apply, and applicants will be able to employ the same application methods, which are listed in the appropriate section above. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the New Mexico hunting license options before you submit an application for licensure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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