New Mexico has good populations of mule deer across most of the state and offers a variety of different terrain to hunt them in. New Mexico is a far better opportunity state than a trophy state when it comes to deer hunting. The northwest corner of the state is the exception, and there are a few units where an opportunity to harvest a trophy mule deer exists. Units 2B, 2C, 5B, and 7 are the only consistent producers of 170-18011 class bucks and always hold the potential of finding a giant deer. The tags in these units come with long draw odds as most non-resident applicants apply for the limited number of tags issued on these hunts. If you can beat the odds in drawing one of these tags, consider hiring an outfitter to make the most of your hunt.
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The January archery hunts catch 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 in the September archery season, though there is usually a lot of time that goes into scouting and hunting to connect on these resident bucks. Keep in mind that some of the very best season dates and units are reserved for youth hunters. Refer to the youth deer table for more information on these awesome hunts.
**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.
New Mexico provides some good Coues deer hunting opportunities as well. The best Coues bucks are usually taken from the Burro Mountains area of unit 23 as well as unit 27. There are always a few 10011+ bucks taken annually on these hunts. Unit 23 outside of the Burro Mountains and unit 24 have pockets of good 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 and archery hunts on each unit.
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While most New Mexico deer units don't produce giants, the state is good for the opportunity hunter. There are some great opportunities for deer hunters to put a tag in their pocket. 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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The New Mexico Big Game Application deadline is March 16, 2022 at 5:00 PM MDT.
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|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