New Mexico: 2023 Hunting Application Details

For nonresident hunters, New Mexico primarily presents as an elk and deer state. While antelope and bighorn sheep tags are available for application to nonresidents, the draw odds are generally poor for these two species. Uniquely, the Land of Enchantment also offers public hunts for three exotic species: oryx, ibex, and Barbary sheep. 

For those interested in going on a guided hunt, New Mexico has a separate pool in the drawing for applicants contracted with a state-approved outfitter. Generally the draw odds are better in the outfitter draw pool. Anyone looking to apply in New Mexico must purchase an annual hunting license (resident $15 / nonresident $65) in order to apply, in addition to an application fee per species ($7 resident / nonresident $13). 

New Mexico does offer active duty military members the ability to apply for several “Military Only” hunts, and there is also a 50% discount for all licenses and stamps for resident, active duty military or honorably discharged veterans.

check your draw odds with TopRut

According to Huntin’ Fool, New Mexico guarantees a minimum of 84% of its special draw hunt tags for all species to its residents. They will attempt to issue 6% of draw tags to non-residents who are not applying with an outfitter and 10% of the tags to residents and/or non-residents who are contracted with an outfitter by using their outfitter’s ID number on the application. It is extremely unlikely for an outfitted applicant to draw a hunt code with six or fewer available tags or for a non-resident to draw a hunt code with 12 or fewer available tags.

Applicants are given three regular, limited-entry application choices when applying for any big game species. When an applicant is drawn, all three choices are considered before the next applicant is drawn. An additional fourth or fifth choice may be offered, but these application choices do not pertain to regular hunt choices; rather, they apply to leftover tags or population management tags.

Hunters may apply for tags with New Mexico Game & Fish here.

Huntin’ Fool’s New Mexico page is an excellent, updated resource for ongoing New Mexico draw changes.

New Mexico hunting species for 2023

New Mexico Draw Process FAQs

Application Dates and Deadlines: Huntin’ Fool lines out New Mexico dates and deadlines.

Free for onX Elite members, Hunt Reminder’s New Mexico page is also an excellent resource for timely application season reminders.

Hunting application deadlines for New Mexico

Hunting license and species costs for tags usually include:

  • Application Fee
  • Hunting License Fee to apply (usually need a qualifying license before you can apply)
  • Species Fee (This is what you pay for the animal you want to hunt. Some you pay upfront at application, some you pay for once you get the tag.)
  • Points-Only fee (fees for people just buying points and not actually applying for a hunt)

Point System:

  • New Mexico does not have any type of point system; all tags are issued via a random draw.
  • All applicants have the same chance to draw in their respective application type (Resident, Nonresident, Outfitter).

Tag Allocation:

  • A minimum of 84% of the total number of tags available for a given hunt are allocated to residents.
  • A maximum of 10% of the total number of tags available are allocated to applicants that have contracted with a licensed New Mexico guide or outfitter.
  • A maximum of 6% of the total number of tags available for a given hunt are allocated to nonresidents.

To help increase your success, we’re adding new benefits to your Elite subscription—including access to Toprut.

onX Elite benefits

Draw Odds:

  • For each application, New Mexico considers your first three hunt choices before moving to the next application, which makes calculating your true draw odds rather complex.
  • The odds Toprut lists are for a single applicant, Choice #1.

Useful Links:

  • Access the onX Complete Package for Western Application Research
  • Log Into Toprut Today to Start Your 2023 Application Season
  • View New Mexico Hunting Regulations Here
  • Apply Here for Your New Mexico Hunting Tags
  • Read New Mexico Hunting News and Updates Here
Elk hunting application details for NM

Toprut’s Top Four State Application Tips

  • In New Mexico, your first three hunt choices are evaluated on your application before moving on to the next application. How you order your three choices can help optimize your draw chances. Order them from hardest-to-draw to easiest-to-draw to maximize your opportunity to draw choice one or two.
  • Although New Mexico is not known for trophy mule deer, there are decent draw odds for hunts scattered throughout the state. If you are new to Western hunting, these hunts offer a chance for a limited entry tag in areas that aren’t typically overrun with other hunters.
  • New Mexico does have an extensive private landowner tag system for elk and antelope, where tags can be purchased from landowners (generally expensive, but avoids the public draw). See A-PLUS, E-PLUS.
  • New for 2023: scopes are no longer allowed on muzzleloader hunts—open sights only. This diminishes the effectiveness of a muzzleloader as a long range weapon, and may shift the demand for popular muzzleloader hunts.
Elk standing in the snow

The Complete Service for Your Western Application Needs

To maximize your time spent researching and applying—and to help you build your strategy to successfully draw in 2023 and beyond—we’re providing onX Hunt Elite Members with FREE services in one comprehensive package:

Toprut: In-Depth Draw Odds and Application Tools

Huntin’ Fool: Boots-on-the-Ground Research and Insight

HuntReminder: Worry-Free Text and Email Reminder Service

onX Hunt: Map Your Hunt With Application Research Layers

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Jess McGlothlin

Before taking the role of onX Communications Writer, Jess McGlothlin worked as a freelance photographer and writer in the outdoor and fly-fishing industries. While on assignment in the past few years she’s learned how to throw spears at coconuts in French Polynesia, dodge saltwater crocodiles in Cuba, stand-up paddleboard down Peruvian Amazon tributaries and eat all manner of unidentifiable food.