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More NM elk hunts available for youth, late-season archery hunters

From the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

-- More than 2,200 elk hunting licenses, including 1,995 set aside for youth hunters, will be available in a first-come, first-served sale on the Department of Game and Fish website.

Only hunters who were unsuccessful in the regular drawings or did not hold a 2009-2010 elk license are eligible to purchase the late-season licenses, which will be available only on the department website.

The sale for Youth Encouragement Elk Hunts will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 28. The sale for archery bull elk licenses for hunters of any age will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 4.

Hunters should consult the 2009-2010 Big-Game Rules and Information Booklet at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

Hunters are also strongly advised to obtain an online customer account or review their existing account, user name and password before the sales begin. The sale is first-come, first-served and popular hunts sell out quickly.

Youth hunters who were unsuccessful in any of the drawings for deer, elk, antelope, oryx, ibex or bighorn sheep are eligible to purchase licenses for Youth Encouragement Hunts. Available hunts for any legal sporting arm include 190 either-sex licenses and 1,605 cow elk licenses in Game Management Units statewide. Another 200 either-sex muzzleloader or archery licenses also are available. A list of available hunts, dates and units is available in the Big-Game Rules and Information Booklet and on the department website. Eligible youth hunters must be younger than age 18 before the opening day of the hunt and have successfully completed an approved hunter education course before buying a license.

Also available are 275 late-season archery hunts for trophy bull elk in three Game Management Units.  The bag limit for all three hunts is one bull elk with antlers that have at least six points on one side. Hunters who did not hold a 2009-2010 elk license are eligible for the hunts. Available hunts:  

•Unit 12: Nov. 21-25, 25 licenses
•Unit 34: Dec. 12-16, 200 licenses
•Unit 37: Dec. 5-9, 50 licenses.

More late-season archery elk licenses may become available as the Department continues to assess annual population and harvest information, regional herd management objectives and additional harvest needs. Because these assessments require information gathered during fall aerial surveys and regular fall hunts, the licenses are made available via online, first-come, first-served sale. Distributing them through the normal draw process is unrealistic as it requires significantly more time than is available to ensure all successful hunters receive their licenses before the start of their hunt.

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