New Mexico Deer Hunting 2023-2024

| |

Are you ready for deer hunting season in New Mexico? There is always time to get up-to-date with all the latest licenses and weapon regulations. To get the best out of this hunting season, you must have all your licenses in order and ensure your weapons meet the requirements for what you are hunting. Let’s look at everything you need to know for deer hunting season in New Mexico. 

Season Dates 

The first thing you need to know is when the seasons start. Like most other states, deer hunting seasons will begin on different dates depending on what unit you are in and what weapon you are using. Look at the New Mexico Hunting E-Regulations page to get a detailed breakdown of the units and their opening dates. 

SeasonSeason OpenSeason Close
Bow/ ArcherySept 1st & Jan 1stSept 24th & Jan 15th
Regular SeasonSept 27thOct 3rd
MuzzleloaderSept 1stJan 31st

Licensing & Draw License Fees

Look at the following licenses to ensure you purchase the right one to hunt in your area. Remember that you must also pay the draw license fee and a non-refundable administration fee of $7 for residents and $13 for non-residents. Let’s take a look at license fees:

License / Tag TypeResident PriceNon-Resident
Game-hunting $15$65
Junior Game Hunting$15Not issued
Senior or Handicapped Game-hunting License $15Not issued
Private-land Only Deer License – Standard$34$270
Private-land Only Deer License – Quality$34$355
Private-land Only Deer License – Junior/Senior$22Not issued
Private-land Only Pronghorn License$53$270

Draw Licence Fees

Deer LicensesResidentNon-Resident
High demand$41$368
Junior/Senior$29Not Issued

Regarding Bag limits, each unit will use a code for the animal you are allowed to keep with your given license. The codes are: 

FAD: Fork-antlered deer (white-tailed or mule deer) 

FAMD: Fork-antlered mule deer 

FAWTD: Fork-antlered white-tailed deer 

ESWTD: Either sex white-tailed deer 

A: Antlerless deer 

Most licenses limit you to hunting for a FAD deer. For a more in-depth look at the bag limits and what deer you can hunt, look at the regulations page

What Weapons can you Hunt Deer Within New Mexico?

Along with having the correct license, you also need to ensure that your weapons align with state regulations. It’s best to ensure your weapons meet the regulatory requirements before the start of the season. You don’t want to end up with a hefty fine. Let’s take a look at the basic weapon requirements you would need. Once again, to get a more in-depth look at weapons requirements and restrictions, take a look at the e-regulations booklet.


Shotguns.410 caliber or larger. Loaded with slugs or 00 or a larger Buckshot. 
Centerfire rifle 0.22 Caliber and up with a magnum load or centerfire cartridge.
Handguns43 caliber and down with a barrel no longer than four and a half inches. 

Bow and Arrow:

ArrowsArrow must be 24 inches in length.
BroadheadsBroadheads can be fixed with two blades and must be ⅞ inches wide at its widest point.
Bow characteristicsLongBow minimum draw weight for hunting deer is 40 lbs and a draw length of 28’. Recurve Bows’ minimum draw weight is 35 lbs. 


Crossbow draw weightCrossbows have a draw tension that exceeds 30 lbs. and must be mechanically safe.
Arrows/ boltsThe arrow/ bolt must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broad head.
BroadheadsIt must be ⅞ inches at the widest point. 

Muzzleloading Rifle:

Powderblack powder or black powder substitute only.
CaliberA single barrel of.45 caliber or greater.
Legal projectileMuzzleloaders can be smoothbore or rifled.
IgnitionMatchlock, flintlock ignition system, percussion ignition system with a primer or percussion cap, or a wheel-lock.

Here are a few restrictions that are helpful to know. Muzzleloaders are no longer permitted to use scopes of any type or power. This is true for all muzzleloader hunts. Only open and peep sights will be allowed. Sabots, belted rounds, and in-line ignition are all options for muzzleloaders. Hunters are only permitted to use muzzleloaders of .45 caliber or higher. There are a few “restricted muzzleloader” seasons where this equipment is not allowed. Although archery sights on bows do not emit light, lit pins are permissible. Arrows are required to have Broadheads with cutting edges.

What Types of Deer Are Popular in New Mexico?

In North Dakota, several types of deer are popular for hunting. White-tailed deer and Mule deer are the most common. 

In North Dakota, white-tailed deer are the most common and widely distributed deer species. They are distinguished by their characteristic white tail, which flashes when they are scared. White-tailed deer are adaptive, living in various habitats such as forests, woodlands, farmlands, and grasslands. Because of their elusive character and beautiful antlers, hunters frequently seek them.

Mule deer are another common deer in North Dakota. They’re named because their big ears resemble that of a mule. Mule deer are common in the state’s western and southwestern districts, where the landscape is more rocky and characterized by badlands, coulees, and breaks. These deer are noted for their large size and distinctive antlers, which often fork out rather than grow upward like white-tailed deer.

What Else is Popular to Hunt in New Mexico?

If you’re looking to hunt for more than deer, New Mexica has you covered. In New Mexico, you can hunt an array of other species. Here is a list of everything that you can legally hunt in New Mexico

Big Game:

  • Mule Deer
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Elk
  • Pronghorn Antelope
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Ibex
  • Barbary Sheep (Aoudad)
  • Oryx

Small Game:

  • Scaled Quail
  • Gambel’s Quail
  • Mearns’ Quail
  • Chukar
  • Pheasant
  • Gray and Fox Squirrel
  • Cottontail Rabbit
  • Snowshoe Hare

Upland Game Birds:

  • Blue Grouse
  • Dusky Grouse
  • Merriam’s Turkey
  • Rio Grande Turkey


  • Ducks (including Mallards, Teal, Pintails, and more)
  • Geese (including Canada Geese and Snow Geese)
  • Coots


  • Coyote
  • Bobcat
  • Mountain Lion (subject to specific regulations)

It’s important to note that hunting seasons, bag limits, and specific laws might change yearly, so check the current New Mexico Department of Game regulations and get the necessary licenses and permits before going hunting. Furthermore, some species may require special tags or permissions obtained through a lottery or drawing procedure.

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

Leave a Comment