New Mexico Deer Hunting 2023


New Mexico Deer Hunting

New Mexico has good populations of mule deer across most of the state and offers a variety of different terrain to hunt them in. From its rugged wilderness areas to low elevation sage flats and pinyon/juniper canyons, there are plenty of hunts to apply for no matter your preferred style of hunting. New Mexico is a far better opportunity state than a trophy state when it comes to deer hunting. The northwest corner of the state is the exception, and there are a few units where an opportunity to harvest a trophy mule deer exists. Units 2B, 2C, 5B, and 7 are the only consistent producers of 170-180″ class bucks and always hold the potential of finding a giant deer. The tags in these units come with long draw odds as the vast majority of non-resident applicants apply for the limited number of tags issued on these hunts. If you can draw one of these tags, consider hiring an outfitter to make the most of your hunt. The low deer populations in these areas coupled with thick terrain makes turning up a solid buck a difficult task.

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There were a lot of adjustments made to the deer hunts for the 2023-2024 season. Many of the units on the northern half and southwestern quarter of the state will see increased permits on some of their hunts. Almost all of the units in the southeastern quarter of the state will see permit quotas cut on some of their hunts. There were also new early season archery hunts added to 27, late season archery hunts added in units 7 and 9, as well as some December rifle hunts added in units 21 and 26.

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The January archery hunts give you the best chance to harvest a good mule deer in New Mexico. This time of year catches the back end of the rut, and the deer will be concentrated on their respective winter ranges. There is always a great buck or two taken in the northwest part of the state on the September archery season, though there is usually a lot of time that goes into scouting and hunting to connect on one of these top end resident bucks.

New Mexico Deer Season Dates

Archery/Bow Sept. 1-24** and Jan. 1-15** Muzzleloader Sept. 27-Oct. 3** General Season Sept. 1-Jan. 31**

**Season dates vary by zone and take method. For more information, visit the New Mexico Department Game & Fish’s website.

New Mexico Coues Deer Hunting

New Mexico provides some good Coues deer hunting opportunities as well. The best Coues bucks are usually taken from the Burro Mountain area of unit 23 as well as unit 27. There are always a few 100″+ bucks taken annually on these hunts. Unit 23 outside of the Burro Mountains and unit 24 have pockets of decent Coues deer populations and can be a good hunt for those willing to hunt hard and spend some time afield. The best hunt dates for rut activity will be during the late season archery hunts in January. The muzzleloader hunts on all four units have good draw odds and take place before the rifle hunts on each unit. Keep in mind that illegal immigration can be an issue on all of New Mexico’s Coues deer hunts, so be careful around camp, especially if you are backpacking in more remote areas.

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New Mexico has some great opportunities for all deer hunters, especially for those who just want to get out and see some new country in hopes of coming home with a decent buck. Between different combinations of units, weapons, and hunt dates, there are hundreds of hunts available to apply for. While we only cover the best hunts in the tables, give us a call if you’d like help finding an opportunity type hunt that is best suited for you.

Self Guided DIY New Mexico Deer Hunts

For access to all of our research and data we’ve collected over the last 20+ years, then join today and access the best research tools for hunting Deer in New Mexico including 3D Maps, Draw Odds, Consultations and much more. Go on more hunts with better information!

Private Land, Semi-Guided, and Guided Deer Hunts in New Mexico

Search our database of New Mexico Deer opportunities.


Application Dates for Deer in New Mexico

The New Mexico Big Game Application deadline is March 22, 2023 at 5:00 PM MDT.

Our online/print magazine has everything in one location: Application info, draw details and odds, fees, hunter requirements, point structure, age restrictions, youth information, weapon restrictions, other tag opportunities, hunt planning and much more. If you would like access to all of our research join today!

New Mexico Non-Resident Deer Hunting Fees

Licenses & Permits Fee Adult Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $65 Junior Game Hunting License (non-refundable) $15 Deer Q, Q/HD License $368 Deer S License $283 Habitat Management and Access Validation (required) $4 Habitat Stamp (if purchased on or after April 1st) (required by all who hunt BLM or USFS land) $10 License fees include a non-refundable application fee for each species. $13 New Mexico Deer Hunting Articles from Huntin’ Fool Magazine

  • New Mexico Unit 24 Coues Deer Hunt by Dennis Gratton
  • You Need a Little Luck in Life by Jeffrey J. Kimbell
  • The Mule Deer of My Dreams by Jesse Ortiz
  • You Need a Little Luck in Life by Jeffrey J. Kimbell
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Buck by Brendon Rosales
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>