Deadline to Apply for Big-Game Hunting Licenses

Wednesday is the deadline to apply for big-game hunting licenses


SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is reminding hunters that Wednesday, March 22, is the deadline to apply for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, oryx, ibex, bighorn sheep, javelina and Barbary sheep licenses. The department expects more than 170,000 applicants for about 60,000 licenses.

Hunters must complete their applications before 5 p.m. MDT March 22. All applicants previously must have created an online account at

Here’s how to apply:

  • Online: Applicants can access or create accounts via the “Customer Login” link on the department website, From their account, applicants will select “Draw Hunt Applications” in the main menu and then will be prompted through license and application choices.

  • By phone: Hunters without computer access or who need help applying can call toll-free, (888) 248-6866 and a department representative will submit an application for them. Applicants must have their hunt codes selected before calling. The information center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays until March 21. The center will close at 4:30 p.m. on deadline day, Wednesday, March 22, to allow representatives to help customers complete applications before the 5 p.m. deadline. Phone lines will be extremely busy as the deadline approaches, so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Applicants who didn’t request a refund for their game-hunting license or decided to purchase a combination game-hunting and fishing license will be able to print them from their account when the license year begins April 1. Draw licenses can be printed after the draw results are released April 26. Licenses are no longer mailed except by request.

To be eligible for the draw, applicants who held deer, elk, antelope or turkey licenses for the 2016-17 seasons must have submitted a harvest report either online or through the information center and paid any applicable late fees by March 22. Applicants who held 2016-17 licenses for oryx, ibex, Barbary sheep, javelina and trapping must submit harvest reports by April 7. Failure to report before the deadlines will result in rejection of all draw applications.

Before applying, hunters are strongly encouraged to read the Rules and Information booklet, available online, from license vendors or at department offices in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Roswell and Las Cruces, and to have their hunt codes selected if applying by phone. The department website also includes valuable information about how the draw works, application procedures, game-management unit maps, drawing odds and a “How to Apply” video.