Having spent my career in the hunting industry, one of the questions I am asked most frequently is, “Why hunt New Mexico?” When answering this question, am I biased? You bet. But after hunting and guiding in other western states, there’s no doubt that New Mexico is undeniably special.
Here are three reasons to hunt New Mexico over other western states:
1. Every Year You Could Draw the Tag of A Lifetime
If you’ve applied for big game tags in other western states, you’ve probably heard of bonus point or preference point systems. You’ve probably heard discussions about how many points it takes to draw. Not here.
New Mexico is different from other western states. There is no preference point or bonus point system. The New Mexico Department Of Game and fish (NMDGF) conducts a random lottery draw for all species.
What does that mean for you? It means every hunter has the same opportunity for a coveted tag. Forget about investing in decades’ worth of points. If this is your first year applying in New Mexico, you have the same chance as anyone else.
To learn more about how the New Mexico big game draw works, see our previous article on that subject.
2. We Can Dramatically Increase Your Draw Odds
NMDGF allocates a specific number of tags for each season and each species. Among these, 84% of the tags are allocated to residents. Only 6% are allocated to nonresident hunters who apply in the draw. The other 10% of tags are set aside for those who apply with a New Mexico outfitter. Applying with an outfitter can greatly increase a hunter’s chances of drawing an outstanding New Mexico license!
In order to apply for a tag in this pool of outfitter licenses, a hunter must have a signed contract with a NMDGF sponsored outfitter. You must have a contract in place before applying. If a hunter is successful in the draw, they are required to hunt with the outfitter or one of the outfitter’s registered guides.
We also offer guaranteed landowner tags for those who did not draw, but still wish to hunt. These are extremely high quality tags and they are in very high demand. Please contact us now or call us at (315) 374-8209 for more information. You can also view details on our pricing page.
If you’d like to know more about what goes into the cost of a guided hunt, check out our previous blog post here.
3. New Mexico Offers Unparalleled Hunt Quality
Hunting applicants in New Mexico can forget about waiting on years of bonus points. And they can greatly increase their draw odds by hunting with an outfitter. But wait. It gets even better. There are even more reasons to hunt New Mexico.
In addition to these things, New Mexico offers some of the highest quality hunting of any other western state. For example, consider a trophy elk that would take easily a decade or more to draw in other western states. In New Mexico, it’s reasonable to think you could draw a comparable tag in 5 years or less. In fact, we can tell you stories of many clients who drew on their very first attempt!
Whether you come to New Mexico to hunt elk, deer, pronghorn, oryx or Barbary sheep, we can say with confidence that the quality of these hunts is simply outstanding. The trophy quality is easily as good or better than you’d find in the top units of other states. On any given hunt, you have a legitimate shot at taking a record-book quality animal.
The Nitty Gritty on New Mexico Hunting Applications
First, please know that we offer a complete tag application service. You don’t have to worry about units, draw odds or application details. Forget the headache, we have you covered!
For just a $135 fee, we handle the entire application process for your hunt of a lifetime. We will attach our outfitter number to your application, which in many cases will double your chance at drawing a tag. Please contact us today and we will talk you through the process.
Hunters wishing to apply on their own in the draw do not need a contract with a New Mexico Outfitter. Just keep in mind that the odds of drawing a tag are drastically reduced. If you were successful in drawing a tag on your own, you can still contact us for a guided hunt. We’d love to help make the most of your adventure!
If you decide to apply on your own, it’s important to make sure you apply for a hunt with enough available licenses to meet the 6% nonresident allocation. For example, a hunt with fewer than 17 available licenses probably won’t have any available for nonresidents who apply without an outfitter.
When applying in New Mexico, hunters must pay for the full cost of the license. After the draw results are released, unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund. Credit card refunds are typically processed within ten days of the results being posted, and check applications will be mailed a refund within about 4 weeks.
All New Mexico applicants are required to purchase a $65 New Mexico game hunting license, which is non-refundable. If you are successful in the draw, you will then be required to purchase a $5 habitat stamp and a $5 access validation permit. You must have both of these in order to hunt public land.
Again, if you are unsure about the draw process, we’d love to help. Please consider our application service. Not only will it increase your draw odds, but we will also make sure you are applied for the very best units and seasons for your specific goals.
To get started booking your hunt, click here. Or take a look at answers to our most frequently asked questions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (315) 374-8209 or send us a message. We look forward to helping you plan a guided New Mexico hunt that you’ll never forget!