New Mexico proposes antelope hunt changes
Antelope are prolific across New Mexico; however, the state’s existing antelope rule makes it nearly impossible for targeted harvest objectives to be met, resulting in what New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) officials call a “robust population.” Last week, NMDGF announced proposed revisions to the current Antelope Private Land Use System (A-PLUS) that would change how antelope are hunted within the state.
The revised rule would allow antelope to be hunted in a similar way that deer are already hunted and include an increase in overall opportunity for both public and private land hunters, according to NMDGF. Concerns with A-PLUS includes an inflexibility in hunt dates, huntable areas, and general hunt structure as well as a lack of archery and mobility impaired hunts for private landowners (despite their availability to public hunters). The revised rule incorporates current biological data collected by NMDGF biologists through modern survey techniques and supports a change in antelope hunt opportunity.
- Public licenses allocated by Game Management Units (GMU) through the big game draw.
- Public hunters would be able to hunt accessible public land in the GMU they draw, and would also be able to hunt private deeded land with written permission
- Private licenses (unlimited) offered over-the-counter during established seasons. These would run concurrently with public hunts in the same GMU.
- Private hunters would be able to hunt private deeded land with written permission.
Proposed hunt schedule
|Hunt Description||Start Date and Duration|
|Archery hunt||2nd Saturday in August (~9-10 days in length)|
|1st rifle hunt||4th Saturday in August (up to 5 days in length)|
|2nd rifle hunt||4th Saturday in September (up to 5 days in length)|
|3rd rifle hunt||1st Saturday in October (up to 5 days in length)|
|Youth rifle hunt||2nd Saturday in October (up to 5 days in length)|
|Mobility impaired||4th Saturday in September (up to 5 days in length)|
|Muzzleloader hunt||Maintain current public hunts|
To view the alternative antelope hunt management document, click here.
NMGDF will hold four public meetings to gather comments on the proposed revisions at the following locations and dates/times:
- Albuquerque: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 3841 Midway Place, NE.
- Las Vegas: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the New Mexico State Police Office, 520 South Commerce.
- Roswell: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 1912 W. Second St.
- Las Cruces: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 2715 Northrise Drive
- If you would like to weigh in on the proposed revisions but cannot attend one of the meetings, email comments directly to Nicole Quintana.