SANTA FE – Those ready for a challenging hunt may want to dust off a shotgun and head to southeastern New Mexico in search of quail.
Quail season runs from Nov. 15, 2016 to Feb. 15, 2017. There is a total bag limit of 15 per day and 30 in possession, except for Montezuma quail, which is five per day and 10 in possession.
“I continue to receive information suggesting above-average numbers of quail in southeast New Mexico,” said Casey Cardinal, turkey and upland game biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “Both bobwhite and scaled quail numbers are up after a high reproduction year in 2015.”
Additionally, she said spring reports of Montezuma quail in the Sacramento, Capitan and San Mateo Mountains were encouraging.
Statewide, however, Cardinal said quail hunting should be average.
“The spring began on a positive note because the majority of quail overwintered fairly well,” she said. “Hot temperatures, mixed with below-average spring and summer precipitation reduced the hopes of another above-average production year.”
Ross Morgan, the Game and Fish northwest area public information officer, said the area north and west of Jal up to Maljamar consistently produces a good number of quail and there is a good amount of BLM and state land to hunt.
“Another great place that produces a good number of birds is the BLM and state land south of Hope,” Morgan said. “The area from Las Cruces west to Lordsburg and north to Hatch is always worth exploring.”
For more information on quail hunting, visit the department website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.