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New Mexico Pronghorn - NR Unguided

bklotthor

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Dec 15, 2018
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98
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Nebraska
For those who have hunted New Mexico in the past, do the changes in the regulations made in 2019 change how you think of applying there?

I haven’t done a ton of research on the pronghorn hunting in NM other than looking at some historical draw odds for the rifle and archery hunts. I’d like to hear some others thoughts/opinions on New Mexico pronghorn hunting to see if it’s something that I’d spend some time getting familiar with. Note that I’d consider both archery and rifle hunting.
 

Bluffgruff

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Jun 23, 2019
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You'll never draw a rifle tag if you're trying to. Archery tags are something that could happen, but no reason to drive passed Wyoming or Colorado, where you can hunt archery every year.
 

johnrr65

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Nov 6, 2019
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158
You'll never draw a rifle tag if you're trying to. Archery tags are something that could happen, but no reason to drive passed Wyoming or Colorado, where you can hunt archery every year.
+1
 

sbhooper

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Jul 7, 2012
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North Platte, Nebraska
If you do draw, there is plenty of public ground in most of the state. That being said, realize that the seasons are short. If I went to NM, it would be with an outfitter, with guaranteed tags and private land to hunt.
 

bklotthor

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Dec 15, 2018
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Nebraska
If you do draw, there is plenty of public ground in most of the state. That being said, realize that the seasons are short. If I went to NM, it would be with an outfitter, with guaranteed tags and private land to hunt.
Thanks, the shorter seasons along with the smaller amount of public land available in the units that have somewhat realistic draw odds are what prompted me to ask for other people’s thoughts.
 

Blackcats06

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Feb 28, 2018
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113
I drew rifle in 2019. First time ever applying in NM and with no bonus points you always have a chance. I think you really need to do your research to draw. I had a buddy hunt guided on private in the unit south of me and did not do any better than I did. With the amount of tags for public and unlimited private I could see the quality will go down over the next couple years, that is yet to be seen. If you can find a ranch that is large, is run specifically for large antelope that is your best bet. What I saw on most private was they were willing to kill any buck that happened to come on the ranch.

My plan for NM antelope is now something close to the AZ border where I live.
 

bklotthor

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Dec 15, 2018
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Location
Nebraska
What were the changes made?
The main changes I've read deal with the rifle tags. In the past rifle tag holders were assigned a private ranch to hunt. Now the rifle tags that can be drawn are only good on public land and there are OTC tags available to hunt private land. I would think that this could increase the total hunter numbers within given units quite a bit from previous years and also make the units with limited public land more congested given the seasons are rather short. The draw odds for rifle tags are pretty steep in most cases as mentioned in a post above, but I apply for elk in NM so I'd already have the required license purchased making the application fairly cheap to add to my plans. However if time would be better spent trying to learn about and hunt pronghorn in other states that I apply in already for deer/elk/etc then that's okay with me too.

The archery tags appear to allow hunting on public land and any private land that you can obtain written permission to hunt.

If I've stated anything incorrectly please feel free to correct me anyone.
 

wayno945

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Mar 25, 2016
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109
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Utah
I drew rifle in 2019. First time ever applying in NM and with no bonus points you always have a chance. I think you really need to do your research to draw. I had a buddy hunt guided on private in the unit south of me and did not do any better than I did. With the amount of tags for public and unlimited private I could see the quality will go down over the next couple years, that is yet to be seen. If you can find a ranch that is large, is run specifically for large antelope that is your best bet. What I saw on most private was they were willing to kill any buck that happened to come on the ranch.

My plan for NM antelope is now something close to the AZ border where I live.

Pretty sure New Mexico doesn't have a points system.
 

Brentc

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Mar 14, 2019
Messages
109
New Mexico Antelope tags are like gold. The trophy quality is insane! If you have aspirations of killing a booner buck and you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to a hunt, New Mexico is the place to go.
 

Brentc

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Mar 14, 2019
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109
You'll never draw a rifle tag if you're trying to. Archery tags are something that could happen, but no reason to drive passed Wyoming or Colorado, where you can hunt archery every year.

True. Tags are hard to come by.

I also agree about WY and CO unless you're after a booner. You could look over hundreds of bucks in WY and CO before you found a book worthy buck, at least in the areas available to hunt every year. In NM you could see a handful of booners in a few minutes of driving around in Antelope country.

NM is worth it if you're after a huge buck. Especially since you have just as much chance of drawing as any other NR.

Hunting archery increases your chances of drawing. There are more tags and less people applying.
 
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ImBillT

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Oct 29, 2018
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1,645
For those who have hunted New Mexico in the past, do the changes in the regulations made in 2019 change how you think of applying there?

I haven’t done a ton of research on the pronghorn hunting in NM other than looking at some historical draw odds for the rifle and archery hunts. I’d like to hear some others thoughts/opinions on New Mexico pronghorn hunting to see if it’s something that I’d spend some time getting familiar with. Note that I’d consider both archery and rifle hunting.

A) it was hard enough to draw a rifle tag before the changes. I have not.
B) some of the previously good places are now worthless because lost access to all the private land.
 

Bluffgruff

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Jun 23, 2019
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264
I would say most booners in NM are in Catron and Soccorro counties, and they are still few and far between. Eastmans had a good breakdown of where the big antelope come from in their MRS sections. The rest of the state produces at rates similar to middle of the road units in other states.
 

ImBillT

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What were the changes made?

In the past draw tags got you onto an entire ranch, both public and private portions, and the private land tags were limited. There were also limited hunt codes with lots of tags per hunt code. Now each hunt code is for a specific unit, if drawn, you only get access to public land unless you get written permission to hunt private land. Also, OTC private only tags are now unlimited. Lastly, with more hunt codes, but a similar number of total tags, there a lot of hunts that don’t meet the threshold for a guaranteed NR tag. Total public tags is similar to before, but I believe NR tags went down without changing the quotas due the way the draw works.

I think there have to be 17 tags available for 1 NR tag to be guaranteed. The number of hunt codes with fewer than 17 tags skyrocketed.
 

Brentc

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Mar 14, 2019
Messages
109
I would say most booners in NM are in Catron and Soccorro counties, and they are still few and far between. Eastmans had a good breakdown of where the big antelope come from in their MRS sections. The rest of the state produces at rates similar to middle of the road units in other states.

I agree. Those counties are top notch, but they are only two of the six counties that have produced the 90+“ bucks that make up the top ten in New Mexico. Lincoln, Grant, Harding, and Otero are also in the group. Sierra has some beauties too.
 
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Brentc

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Mar 14, 2019
Messages
109
I think there have to be 17 tags available for 1 NR tag to be guaranteed. The number of hunt codes with fewer than 17 tags skyrocketed.

Yup. That pretty much narrows it down to archery for a legitimate chance at drawing a NR tag.
 

Blackcats06

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Feb 28, 2018
Messages
113
In the past draw tags got you onto an entire ranch, both public and private portions, and the private land tags were limited. There were also limited hunt codes with lots of tags per hunt code. Now each hunt code is for a specific unit, if drawn, you only get access to public land unless you get written permission to hunt private land. Also, OTC private only tags are now unlimited. Lastly, with more hunt codes, but a similar number of total tags, there a lot of hunts that don’t meet the threshold for a guaranteed NR tag. Total public tags is similar to before, but I believe NR tags went down without changing the quotas due the way the draw works.

I think there have to be 17 tags available for 1 NR tag to be guaranteed. The number of hunt codes with fewer than 17 tags skyrocketed.

its amazing how many hunts have less than 17 tags, thus unavailable for nonresidents
 

ImBillT

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Oct 29, 2018
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its amazing how many hunts have less than 17 tags, thus unavailable for nonresidents

In 2018 it wasn’t like that. They pushed the increase in hunt codes as making it easier to draw hunts. The truth is, it just slashed the percentage of NR tags without them having to make any legislative changes.
 
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