New Mexico is a great place to be applying in for those looking for as many hunts as possible each year. Nonresidents may apply for bighorn sheep, elk, deer and pronghorn as well as a few exotic species. These include barbary sheep, oryx and ibex. Each of these three offers a unique hunting experience for those lucky enough to beat the long odds of drawing a permit.
Hunters working with a limited budget may consider investing their resources in other states in the West. New Mexico requires fronting the tag fee for each species applied for. This equates to hefty upfront costs to nonresident applicants. With no point system in place, applicants are left with no return on their investment if unsuccessful in the draw.
Trophy quality is average at best for most species with 11% of its P&Y entries meeting trophy class minimums. This is especially true in years with limited precipitation. Further, over the last six years, New Mexico has turned out fewer P&Y entries for deer and pronghorn than any state in the Rockies. On the bright side, for those looking for a chance to hunt elk in the rut and any bull will do, New Mexico should be high on your list. There are many areas across the state that offer good draw odds and decent harvest rates on 300 class bulls.
In 2018, only three bighorn ram tags were issued to nonresident hunters applying unattached to an outfitter; two for rocky mountain bighorn and one for desert bighorn. Draw odds were one in 724 for Rockies and one in 1515 for desert bighorn but the lucky hunter that draws a desert bighorn hunt in New Mexico has an opportunity to hunt the biggest desert sheep in the country!