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New Mexico Elk Hunting

New Mexico Elk Hunting 2024

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We are excited to say that 2023 was a great year for elk hunting in New Mexico. The state had been in a terrible drought prior to mid 2022. New Mexico finally got the moisture needed to really kick start antler growth and get the elk back to healthy and feeling good. New Mexico is starting the year off drier than we would like, but the elk went into winter fat and happy, so 2024 is looking good. With the removal of scopes on muzzleloaders for the 2023 season, we could very possibly see a better age class of bulls coming from New Mexico.

The state offers a wide range of season dates to choose from to best fit your fall schedule. The season kicks off with its archery hunts in September. The peak of the rut typically starts somewhere on the last few days of the first hunt or the beginning of the second hunt, and you should be into screaming bulls sometime during your season if you draw either hunt. The second of these two hunts comes with tougher draw odds due to it being a more sought-after season, but in 2023, the rut was very hit or miss on both hunts. You could be into rutting bulls one day and the next not hear a peep, so we’d encourage you to consider applying for the first hunt. The harvest success between the two hunt dates is not very different. If you want to have the best odds at drawing a New Mexico archery elk tag, don’t be scared to look into some of the first season hunts as well. Hunters who are looking for trophy class bulls love the first hunt and believe it is easier to harvest a more mature bull when they are not cowed up yet and patterned to water, either manmade drinkers or dirt tanks.

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New Mexico Elk Draw & 2022 Season Dates


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Before applying this year, be sure to check all weapon restrictions and season dates. Everything on the elk side pretty much stayed the same for 2024, but a lot was changed in 2023. If you have never applied or have not applied in a while, make sure to look over the weapon restrictions and season dates.

With no point system to deal with and three choices that are considered on each application, we consider it a must-apply-for state for all elk hunters. If you are struggling to come up with a plan for your New Mexico elk application strategy or you’d like to apply with an outfitter to increase your odds of drawing this fall, give us a call. Most of us have spent a lot of time chasing elk in New Mexico.

For a hunter who isn’t lucky enough to draw a tag, be sure to check out the Huntin’ Fool Landowner Tags webpage for more information on New Mexico landowner elk tags.

Self Guided DIY New Mexico Elk Hunts

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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 Elk in New Mexico including 3D Maps, Draw OddsConsultations and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

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

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Application Dates for New Mexico Elk

The New Mexico Big Game Application Deadline is March 20, 2024 at 5 P.M. MDT.

New Mexico Non-Resident Elk Hunting Fees

Adult Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $65
Junior Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $15
Elk Q, HD, or Q/HD License $773
Elk S License $548
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 Elk Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine