New Mexico Over-the-Counter Hunts
The Big-Game Draw in New Mexico was full of ups and downs this year; we had a peek into the results via a backdoor issue that caused some to be hopeful and caused others to be scrambling for something to hunt. For those that didn’t draw a tag, New Mexico has plenty of opportunities for those looking for a hunt. The options are pretty straight forward:
Youth Encouragement Tags – Offered to NM Youth who successfully submitted any application but didn’t draw. After the 14 days the tags are open to any eligible youth hunter, these are Elk only tags. The list of tags is usually available on the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Website - http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ in July.
Left-over Tags – First Come First Serve, the list of tags is usually available on the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Website - http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ in July. One thing to note about these tags, they are left-over for a reason. Some of these tags are in marginal units, so make sure you do your research before purchasing them.
OTC Tags - Barbary, Ibex, Lion, Bear, Private Land Oryx Hunting, Private Land Deer Hunting, Furbearer, Small Game and Bird Hunting, these can be purchased from any vendor
Landowner Tags – Elk and Antelope, you can find the list of landowners who received tags on the New Mexico Department
of Game and Fish Website - http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/. Some of these tags can be great but expect to pay high-dollar for the better opportunities.
The trick in getting any of the post-draw tags is to keep informed, make sure you watch the Western Hunter and Elk Hunter Blogs- you will be given warning of when the tags are going on sale, but they move quickly so you need to have a game plan.
Good luck! -Jason “The New Mexico Sportsman” Amaro