Ready to prepare for an unforgettable adventure in New Mexico Elk Seasons? New Mexico's diverse terrain and thriving elk populations have made it a popular destination for hunters statewide.

In this guide, we will provide important dates, rules, and licensing information for elk hunting, as well as other hunting seasons for different game species. Keep updated!

New Mexico Elk Seasons

Primary Management Zone Seasons
Season Date Unit
Bow-Only Hunts Sept. 1–14 2, 4, 5A, 5B, 6A, 6C, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16A, 16B/22, 16C,
16D, 16E, 17, 21A, 21B, 23, 24, 34, 36, 45, 48, 49 and 50–53
Sept. 15–24
Muzzleloader, Crossbow and Bow Hunts Oct. 5–9 2, 6A, 6C, 7, 10, 36, 45, 48, 52 and 53
Oct. 12–16 16E, 23, 24 and 34
Oct. 12–Dec. 31 9, 13, 15, 17 (muzzle-loading rifl es only)
Jan. 1–31, '25 13
Any Legal Sporting Arm Hunts Oct. 1-Dec.31 4, 21B
Oct. 5-Dec.31 5A, 5B, 12, 16B/22, 21A, 49, 50 and 51
Oct. 12-Dec.31 2, 10, 6A, 6C, 7, 16A, 16C, 16D, 36, 45, 48, 52 and 53
Oct. 12-Jan.31, '25 36 (Antlerless only)
Oct. 19-Dec.31 16E, 23, 24 and 34
Oct. 19-Feb.5, '25 34 (Antlerless only)
Jan. 1-31,2025 48


Youth–Only Season
Season Date Unit
Any Legal Sporting Arm Hunts Oct. 5-9 13, 15 and 17
Muzzleloader, Bow or Crossbow Hunts Oct. 5–9 13, 15 and 17
Youth Encouragement Elk Seasons
Any Legal - Youth Only Nov. 30-Dec.4 5B,6A,6C,10,13,15,16A,16C,16D,16E,17,36,49,51,52,53
Dec. 26-30 6A,6C,13,15,16A,16C,16D,16E,17,34,36,51,53


Mobility–impaired Season
Season Date Unit
Any Legal Sporting Arm Hunts Oct. 5–9 16A, 16D and 34
Muzzleloader, Bow or Crossbow Hunts Oct. 5–9 9


Special and Secondary Management Zones
Season Date Unit
Bow-only hunts Sept. 1–24
Any Legal Sporting Arm Hunts Oct. 1–Dec. 31(any fi ve consecutive days)
Antlerless Only Oct. 1–Feb. 7, 2025 34
Antlerless Only Oct. 1–Jan. 31, 2025 36

How To Apply To Hunt Elk In New Mexico?

The New Mexico Department offers chances for elk hunting on public lands with Draw Licenses, as well as on private properties through the Elk Private Land Use System (EPLUS).

The deadline to apply for elk draw licenses is March 20, 2024.

Non-residents cannot participate in certain hunts held on WMAs or any antlerless elk draw licenses.

Each draw application receives a random sequence number in the automated system, which is then used to match the choices on the application with available licenses or permits according to the quotas provided.

Successful applicants will receive an elk draw license/tag by mail, or they can choose the E-Tag option. The license provides details such as hunt code, unit description, sporting-arm type, season dates, and bag limit. Tags come with instructions for proper tagging.

The draw license fee is: residents $7 and non-residents $13.

New Mexico not only offers great opportunities for hunting elk, but also for other game species. Try not to limit yourself to elk hunting, and check the hunting seasons for other prey as follows.

New Mexico Upland Game Seasons

Species Date Area Bag Limit
Quail Nov. 15, 2024–Feb. 15.2025 Statewide 15 per day / 30 in possession
Grouse Sept. 1–Dec. 31 Statewide 3 per day  / 6 in possession
Squirrel, Fox Sept. 1–Dec. 31 Statewide 8 per day /
16 in possession
Pheasant Dec. 12-15 Statewide 3 males per day / 6 in possession
Eurasian Collared-Dove April 1, 2024–March 31, 2025 Statewide Unlimited

New Mexico Turkey Seasons

Any Legal – Youth Only Apr. 15–May 15 Unit 2A,2B,2C,Unit 55A
Any Legal Apr. 15–May 15 Unit 2B,2C,8
Apr. 15–30 Unit 6B,55A
Apr. 26–28 Unit 30
May 3–5 Unit 30
Any Legal – NM Resident Only Apr. 15–May 15 Unit 9
Any Legal – Once-in-a-Lifetime May 1–30 Unit 26, 27

New Mexico Furbearers Seasons

Species Date Area
Badger, bobcat, fox, ringtail and weasel November 1, 2024–March 15, 2025 Statewide
Beaver and muskrat April 1–April 30, 2024
November 1, 2024–March 31, 2025
Nutria April 1, 2024–March 31, 2025
Raccoon - all legal methods April 1–May 15, 2024
September 1, 2024–March 31, 2025
Raccoon-restricted methods May 16–August 31, 2024

New Mexico Cougar Season

April 1, 2024–March 31, 2025 Statewide

New Mexico Hunting Licenses

The following are the fees for licenses of Elk hunting:

License Resident Non-Resident
Antlerless $60 $338
Mature-Bull or Either-Sex $90 $548
Quality Antlerless $60 $773
Quality Mature-Bull or Either-Sex $ $90 $773
Junior/Senior Elk License $58 $338



  • There will be a $9 landowner administrative fee for hunting in the Primary and Special Management Zones.
  • Every hunter must have a valid license and permit if needed.
  • To hunt big game, hunters need a Game-Hunting License.
  • Big-game hunters must have a carcass tag for each species unless choosing the E-Tag option.
  • Hunters under 17 must have Hunter Education or ‘‘mentoryouth’’ number.
  • Hunters and trappers on private lands need written permission from the landowner.

To buy hunting licenses or permits, please visit the official online licensing system, and create a customer account and then you can choose to buy the license you plan to hunt.


As we finish our discussion on New Mexico Elk Seasons, we trust you are ready to be well prepared for the early season in this remarkable state.

New Mexico offers top-notch elk populations, and various hunting opportunities on both public and private lands, making it a prime destination for hunters.

Be sure to review and abide by the rules and regulations established by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to ensure a responsible and sustainable hunting experience.

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