Rabbit, Quail, and Dove Hunting

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Quail, dove, and cottontail rabbit hunting is allowed on specific parts of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Species allowed

Hunting of cottontail rabbits; white-winged and mourning doves; and all species of quail are allowed in specific areas of the refuge and abides by all state of New Mexico seasons, rules, and regulations. All other species not named (coyotes, badgers, ground squirrels, etc.) are not open to hunting.

Please check our General Hunting page for a map. 


West Side of the Refuge

Rabbit, dove, and quail hunting is allowed on the west side of the refuge: Railroad tracks to west refuge boundary with the exception of areas near the crane viewing ponds along Highway 01. The closed crane viewing area is north of Gravel Pit Road where the eastern most hunting boundary shifts from the railroad tracks to a large ditch located on the west side of the Highway 01. Please look for and obey the open and closed to hunting signs in the area as well as view the hunting map.

East Side of the Refuge

Rabbit, dove, and quail hunting is allowed from the east bank of the Rio Grande River to the east boundary of the refuge.

East side travel is only by foot, horseback, or bicycle. Bicycling is only allowed on established service roads. 

The easiest entry point is the gate at the end of Guadalajara Road. From San Antonio, travel east on Highway 380, turn right onto San Pedro Road and travel south, turn left on Guadalajara Road and travel to the end of the road. Park near the walk-through horse gate leading into the refuge, but do not block access to the service road or the gate. 

On the east boundary, additional walk-through horse gates are located to the north and south of Little San Pasqual Mountain. You may also carefully cross over the boundary fence at any point that legal entry is granted from the adjacent landowner. Please do not damage the fence.

Much of the east side of the refuge is designated wilderness. We do not allow overnight camping on the refuge.


Other Information

  • We allow the use of dogs when hunting dove, in accordance with state of New Mexico hunting regulations. 
  • Hunters may not enter a closed area to retrieve downed game.
  • Gambel's quail are numerous on the refuge with an occasional scaled quail in the hilly and more arid habitats. 
  • Please view the rules and regulations section under the visit tab for more refuge regulations regarding visitor use on the refuge.