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New Mexico Deer Hunting


New Mexico Deer Hunting 2024

Available New Mexico Deer Hunts --- Search HF Aventures

New Mexico’s mule deer population is doing well, but it is not the same as it was 10 years ago with some of the top units taking a hit with raised tag numbers and season dates being changed. Most of the state is producing big bucks but just not in numbers. New Mexico has some great country to grow big bucks, but in most units, they can be hard to find. The state offers a ton of different hunt options and terrain for any type of hunter. From its rugged wilderness areas to low elevation sage flats and pinyon/juniper canyons, there are plenty of hunts to apply for no matter your preferred style of hunting. New Mexico is known to be more of an opportunity state rather than a trophy mule deer state, but it seems over the last few years that some very big bucks have been coming out of New Mexico. The northwest corner of the state is still considered to be the trophy units by most, but the southern units have been gaining some ground in big ways. Increased tag numbers in the northern units have hurt the trophy potential for sure, but you can still find a great buck if you put in the work. The southern units tend to have way less deer numbers but have been producing some giants the last few years. The low deer populations in these areas coupled with thick terrain makes turning up a solid buck a difficult task. If you plan on trying to apply for any of these units and don’t think you will have time to scout heavily, an outfitter might do you a lot of good if you are looking for an upper end buck.

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The January archery hunts give you the best chance to harvest a good mule deer in New Mexico. This time of year catches the back end of the rut, and the deer will be concentrated on their respective winter ranges. There is always a great buck or two taken in the northwest part of the state on the September archery season, though there is usually a lot of time that goes into scouting and hunting to connect on one of these top end resident bucks.

New Mexico Deer Season Dates

Archery/Bow Sept. 1-24** and Jan. 1-15**
Muzzleloader Sept. 27-Oct. 3**
General Season Sept. 1-Jan. 31**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.



New Mexico Coues Deer Hunting

New Mexico provides some good Coues deer hunting opportunities as well. The best Coues bucks are usually taken from the Burro Mountain area of unit 23 as well as unit 27. There are always a few 100"+ bucks taken annually on these hunts. Unit 23 outside of the Burro Mountains and unit 24 have pockets of decent Coues deer populations and can be a good hunt for those willing to hunt hard and spend some time afield. The best hunt dates for rut activity will be during the late season archery hunts in January. The muzzleloader hunts on all four units have good draw odds and take place before the rifle hunts on each unit. New Mexico has some great opportunities for all deer hunters, especially for those who just want to get out and see some new country in hopes of coming home with a decent buck. Between different combinations of units, weapons, and hunt dates, there are hundreds of hunts available to apply for. While we only cover the best hunts in the tables, give us a call if you’d like help finding an opportunity type hunt that is best suited for you.

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Self Guided DIY New Mexico Deer Hunts

For access to all of our research and data we've collected over the last 20+ years, then join today and access the best research tools for hunting Deer in New Mexico including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

Private Land, Semi-Guided, and Guided Deer Hunts in New Mexico

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Application Dates for Deer in New Mexico

The New Mexico Big Game Application deadline is March 20, 2024 at 5:00 PM MDT.

Our online/print magazine has everything in one location: Application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning and much more. If you would like access to all of our research join today!

New Mexico Non-Resident Deer Hunting Fees

Licenses & Permits Fee
Adult Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $65
Junior Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $15
Deer Q, Q/HD License $368
Deer S License $283
Habitat Management and Access Validation (required) $4
Habitat Stamp (if purchased on or after April 1st) (required by all who hunt BLM or USFS land) $10
License fees include a non-refundable application fee for each species. $13


New Mexico Deer Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine