Thousands of sportsmen and women will head for the mountains and valleys of New Mexico Sunday, the opening day of seasons for deer, elk, squirrels, doves, grouse and band-tailed pigeons.
Complete information about the small-game and big-game seasons is available in the Hunting Rules and Information book at www.wildlife.state.nm.us , at any department office or at any license vendor.
As September 1 approaches, the Department of Game and Fish urges all hunters to stress safety in the field, especially during archery seasons when hunters commonly are dressed in camouflage. Hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to wear bright clothing so they are easily visible to hunters.
More than 28,000 deer hunters and 32,000 elk hunters will be in the field from September through December. As many as 25,000 hunters are anticipated to try for squirrels, upland and migratory birds, and waterfowl.
Some hunters may encounter forest or trail closures this year due to wildfires that hit portions of the state. Hunters are encouraged to contact land-management agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or State Land Office for more information.
The department encourages hunters to be responsible and respect private property rights and remember to follow all laws and rules, which include:
• No shooting within 150 yards of a dwelling or building without landowner permission.
• No shooting within 40 feet of a graded, maintained public road or paved surface.
• No hunting on private land without written permission.
• No littering.
For more information about New Mexico’s hunting opportunities and rules, please visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us . You can also speak to a Department representative by calling toll-free (888) 248-6866.