Unless specifically prohibited, all federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service, in addition to some state lands, are open to hunting in New Mexico. There are three main types of hunting available in New Mexico -- upland game bird, small game, and big game (for example, deer, antelope, and elk). Varmint (non-game) hunting also is allowed.
It's extremely important to hunt only on lands where it is legally allowed. Private land is open to hunting only if you have the permission of the land owner. Private land does not have to be posted with "NO HUNTING" signs for it to be off limits. If you don't have permission to hunt, you are trespassing and can be prosecuted.
It's your responsibility to know of any hunting restrictions and where they apply. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish regulates hunting and fishing on all public lands. Extensive information related to hunting in New Mexico can be found at www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Hunting and fishing rules and regulations are outlined in the New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information and the New Mexico Big Game and Small Game Hunting Proclamations. The Game and Fish and Furbearers Rules also list some restrictions on BLM-managed lands. These publications are available at some of the BLM field offices, New Mexico Game and Fish Offices, sporting good stores, and online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
Hunting and trapping near developed recreation sites and areas is not allowed. Remember, it’s illegal to shoot within 150 yards of a dwelling or building without owner permission, from or across any graded or public road, or shoot from any type of motor vehicle. On most public lands in New Mexico, you may not drive off existing roads and trails to hunt, even to retrieve downed game animals. You may pull your vehicle off of existing roads and trails just enough to park or camp and allow other vehicles to pass. Please check with the Field Office where you plan to hunt to ascertain vehicle designations and restrictions. Never carry or use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We recommend leaving a trip schedule with someone and wearing adequate clothing for changing weather conditions.
If you are hunting with the aid of a commercial outfitter or guide, you should ensure that he or she is permitted by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. You should also ensure that he or she is permitted by the BLM to conduct business on public lands.
Licenses / Stamps
Hunting licenses are required to hunt in New Mexico. In addition, the "Sikes Act" requires you to have a “Habitat Improvement Validation” stamp, as well as a hunting license, when hunting on BLM-managed lands in New Mexico.