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Deadline is March 20 to apply for New Mexico big-game hunting licenses

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is reminding hunters that Wednesday, March 20, is the deadline to apply for deer, elk, pronghorn, oryx, ibex, bighorn sheep, javelina and Barbary sheep licenses. The department expects more than 200,000 applicants for about 60,000 licenses.

Hunters must complete their applications before 5 p.m. MDT March 20. All applicants must create an online account prior to applying.

Here’s how to apply:

Online:Applicants can access or create accounts via the “Customer Login” link on the department website. From their account, applicants will select “Draw Hunt Applications” in the main menu and then will be prompted through license and application choices.

By phone:Hunters without computer access or who need help applying can call toll-free, (888) 248-6866 and a department representative will submit an application for them. The information center will be open until 6 p.m. March 15 and until 8 p.m., March 18 and 19. The center will close at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20. Phone lines will be extremely busy as the deadline approaches, so applicants are encouraged to apply early and must have their hunt choices ready.

Applicants will be able to print 2019 nonrefundable game-hunting and game-hunting and fishing licenses from their account March 25. Draw licenses can be printed after the draw results are released April 24, but a combined license/tag will also be mailed to successful applicants in May.

To be eligible for the draw, applicants who held deer, elk, pronghorn or turkey licenses for the 2018-19 seasons must have submitted a harvest report either online or through the information center and paid any applicable late fees by March 20. Applicants who held 2018-19 licenses for Oryx, Ibex, Barbary sheep, javelina and trapping must submit harvest reports by April 7. Failure to report before the deadlines will result in rejection of all draw applications.

Information about rules, seasons, fees and more is available in the 2019-20 Hunting Rules & Information booklet and available in print at license vendors and department offices. Hunters are encouraged to review season dates, application deadlines and other information before applying for licenses or going afield. The department website also includes valuable information about how the draw works, application procedures, game-management unit maps, drawing odds and a “How to Apply” video.