How can I get a turkey license?

And other common questions for Game and Fish

Every week, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish’s information center receives hundreds of questions from the public about a wide variety of topics ranging from where hunters can obtain carcass tags, how to print a hunting or fishing license and when the department publishes the weekly fish stocking report.

“The information center does everything possible to get the correct answers to all of the questions people are requesting,” said Lisa Brejcha, information center supervisor. The center is staffed with experienced hunters and representatives familiar with department rules and regulations.

During certain times of the year—for example, in March when hunters may need assistance applying for the big game draw—the center stays open extra hours to accommodate the number of calls coming in.
Here is just a sample of the common questions the information center receives throughout the year.

How can I get a turkey license?

A game hunting license, an over-the-counter turkey license with tags, and a Habitat Management & Access Validation (HMAV) (must be purchased and possessed by all hunters 18 years of age or older) are required. HMAV is a once-per-license-year fee used to lease access to private lands for public use; provide public access to landlocked public land; and provide improvement, maintenance, development and operation of State Game Commission property for fish and wildlife habitat management.

A Habitat Stamp is required for hunting on Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service lands.

Draw permits are required for those hunters lucky enough to draw and want access to a highly sought after location. Resident and nonresident spring or fall over-the-counter turkey licenses are available online, by telephone, at department offices and at license vendors.

Online and telephone purchases must be made at least 14 days prior to hunt start date to allow mailing of tags.

Where are my carcass tags?

If applying for any big game species (deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, ibex, oryx and javelina), you will be mailed a tag, and must verify your address when you select your hunt codes. All hunters are responsible for printing their required licenses; only carcass tags will be mailed.
If applying to hunt bear and turkey, you are required to purchase the license if successful in the draw. A tag will be issued with the license.

Online purchases must allow enough time (up to 14 days) to receive the tag in the mail prior to hunting, otherwise, customers may be required to obtain a tag in person at a license vendor or department. Please take note of the specific tagging information and instructions on the back of the tag. The center receives a lot of calls regarding antlerless elk hunts and hunters thinking they can harvest a bull because of the antler/horn tag.

How do I hunt on private property?

New Mexico state law requires sportsmen to obtain written permission prior to hunting, fishing or trapping on posted private property (NMSA 30-14-1). Violation of this statute is a misdemeanor offense and could lead to a revocation of hunting and fishing privileges for up to three years. Ignorance is no excuse; it is your responsibility to know the law and your location at all times.

The department encourages all hunters and anglers to use courtesy cards. By exchanging information on a courtesy card, a positive landowner-sportsman contact is established. Landowners are much more likely to all allow access if they have the names and vehicle descriptions of sportsmen.

Can I use a scope when hunting?

Yes, you can use a scope to help magnify but cannot project light on or at an animal.

Do I need a special permit to go hiking on State Game Commission Lands?

Yes. A group of up to four adults must possess at least one hunting license, fishing license, trapping license or Habitat Management and Access Validation (HMAV), valid for the current license year, which runs from April 1 to March 31. Youth under the age of 18 are exempt from license and validation requirements.

When do you put out the stocking reports?

The department publishes stocking reports every Friday afternoon. You can access the reports on the department website or subscribe to receive the stocking report in your email box.

To contact the Department of Game and Fish information center with your questions, please call: 888-248-6866. The center can also be reached via email at: Information center hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The information center is closed weekends and holidays.

About Lisa Brejcha

Lisa Brejcha is the Special Hunts Supervisor for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.