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Hunting in New Mexico: Are Safety Courses Required to Hunt in New Mexico? How Do I Pass Classes?

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 10:04 AM

New Mexico's unique terrain and habitat diversity provide a variety of hunting opportunities in the state. Native antelope, elk, deer, bear, pheasant, and quail, along with exotics like Barbary sheep and oryx, may prove the state a hunter's paradise. In order to make the most of these opportunities, hunters must meet state qualifications in applying for a hunting license.

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While some states require safety courses to obtain a hunting license, in New Mexico adults are not required to show proof of safety training before getting a license. The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish notes one exception in that it mandates all hunters, regardless of age, to have passed a state-certified hunter education course to hunt on Fort Bliss, which includes McGregor Range. Aside from the Fort Bliss exception, only youth younger than 18 years of age must pass safety courses.


Hunter education courses are available year-round throughout the state. A homework assignment, which can be done online or with a manual, must be completed prior to the first class. Students must be present at all classes and "pass both a written exam and a firearm proficiency evaluation to be issued a hunter education number," according to the state's Department of Game & Fish website.


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Students choose between a hunter education course and a field day course. The hunter education course contains 16 hours of class time with an instructor. Children age 10 or younger must attend with an adult. The field day course contains six hours of class time with an instructor, and is limited to students 11 years and up.


Another option available in New Mexico for youth who are at least 10 years old but younger than 18 is the mentored-youth hunting program. This program requires children to pass a quiz online to become a mentored-youth hunter, allowed to hunt accompanied by an adult mentor. A mentored-youth hunter can buy a hunting license for turkey, javelina, deer, and small game. The adult mentor must be 18 or older with a valid hunting license. Upon completion of the program and passing the New Mexico hunter education course, the mentored-youth hunter qualifies to hunt independently like any hunter.

Websites such as Hunter Course.com and Hunter-ed.com provide online tools to help students pass their tests and begin hunting more quickly in New Mexico.
 A bowhunter education course is also available and recommended for those who enjoy bow hunting, though it is not required by law in New Mexico.


This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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New Mexico's unique terrain and habitat diversity provide a variety of hunting opportunities in the state. Native antelope, elk, deer, bear, pheasant, and quail, along with exotics like Barbary sheep and oryx, may prove the state a hunter's paradise.
hunting, New Mexico, safety courses, regulations
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2015-04-30
Saturday, 30 May 2015 10:04 AM
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