Hunting Information


2020-2021 Hunt Regulations are now published!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expanded hunting and sport fishing opportunities on national wildlife refuges for the 2020-2021 season. Hunting and sport fishing opportunities are authorized and provided on FWS-managed lands in accordance with federal, state, and tribal (where applicable) regulations and seasons. 

The FWS carried out a public review and comment period process on these proposed openings and expansions prior to the 2020-2021 hunting and sport fishing season. The final documents are available at the following website: 

https://www.fws.gov/refuges/fishingguide/more-about-fishing-on-national-wildlife-refuges/ 

For questions on hunting or sport fishing opportunities, regulations, and access, please contact the refuge. 

In addition to specific hunting regulations, there are regulations governing visitor use on the refuge. Please visit our Rules and Regulations page for more information. 

The refuge is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset daily. 

Legal shooting hours (with the exception of light geese), license requirements, bag limit, and possession limit are consistent with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

After reviewing information found on this website, please contact us if you have additional questions. 

Hunt Map (.pdf)

Familiarize yourself with the boundaries of the hunt units, how to access them, and allowed methods of take

Migratory Game Birds

 
West Hunt UnitBajada Hunt UnitEast Hunt Unit
Mourning DoveSep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1Sep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1Sep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1
White-winged DoveSep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1Sep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1Sep 1 - Oct 28 and Dec 1 - Jan 1

Upland Game

 
West Hunt UnitBajada Hunt UnitEast Hunt Unit
Eurasian Collared-doveApr 1 - Mar 31Apr 1 - Mar 31Apr 1 - Mar 31
Gambel's QuailNov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15
Scaled QuailNov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15
Northern Bobwhite QuailNov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15
Montezuma QuailNov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15Nov 15 - Feb 15

Non-Game and unprotected species

 
West Hunt UnitBajada Hunt UnitEast Hunt Unit
Jackrabbit(no closed season)(no closed season)(no closed season)
Cottontail(no closed season)(no closed season)(no closed season)
Feral HogJun 1 - Mar 31Jun 1 - Mar 31Jun 1 - Mar 31

Big Game

 
West Hunt UnitBajada Hunt UnitEast Hunt Unit
Mule Deer (archery) (GMU 17)Sep 1 - 24 and Jan 1 - 15Not applicableNot applicable
Mule Deer (archery) (GMU 20)Sep 1 - 24 and Jan 1 - 15Sep 1 - 24 and Jan 1 - 15Sep 1 - 24 and Jan 1 - 15
Mule Deer (muzzleloader) (GMU 17)Oct 31Not applicableNot applicable
Mule Deer (muzzleloader) (GMU 20)Oct 31Oct 31Oct 31
Mule Deer (any legal sporting arm) (GMU 17)Nov 7 - 11, Nov 14 - 18 and Nov 21 - 29 (youth only)Not applicableNot applicable
Mule Deer (any legal sporting arm) (GMU 20)Nov 7 - 11 and Nov 14 - 18Nov 7 - 11 and Nov 14 - 18Nov 7 - 11 and Nov 14 - 18
JavelinaJan 1 - Mar 31Jan 1 - Mar 31Jan 1 - Mar 31
OryxClosedClosedJun 1 - Mar 31

Turkey

 
West Hunt UnitBajada Hunt UnitEast Hunt Unit
Bearded Rio Grande TurkeyApr 15 - May 10Apr 15 - May 10Apr 15 - May 10

GMU = Game Management Unit

Special Hunts

Light Goose Hunts

Light goose hunting for the 2018-2021 seasons has been temporarily suspended due to changes in the agriculture for wildlife program on the refuge. Reconstruction and reorganization will be completed by the 2022-2023 season and we anticipate the hunts to reconvene at that time. 

Spring Turkey Hunts for Youth

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the youth drawn for the spring 2020 turkey hunt on the refuge did not get the opportunity to conduct their hunt. Therefore, they will be extended the opportunity to participate in the 2021 youth turkey hunt and no draw will occur for the spring 2021 youth turkey hunt. 

Elk Population Management Hunts

Intermittently, elk hunts are conducted by lottery system through New Mexico Department of Game and Fish's elk population management list. You must apply through the state drawing system in the spring to potentially be chosen for a hunt at Bosque del Apache. In any given year, there is no guarantee that an elk hunt will occur at Bosque del Apache. Contact the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for more information on applying for an elk population management hunt.