If you plan to hunt in New Mexico this year, it’s very important to know exactly which hunting season it is and what weapons or methods you are allowed to use. The type of firearm is just as important as the type of game.
For instance, when just considering deer season, the archery and bow season is already open and runs until September 24. There is a second season from the first of the new year until January 15. However, these two seasons are specifically for archery. If you want to use a muzzleloader, you have to wait for a special season that begins on September 27 and runs until October 3rd. So, just because the season is open in a general sense does not mean you can do any hunting that you wish.
The type of game also impacts the seasons
The type of game also changes how different hunting methods overlap. For deer, as noted above, archery and muzzleloading season are two separate things entirely. If you want to hunt elk, though, there is a muzzleloader, crossbow and bow season from October 9 to December 22nd. There is also an archery-only season that is the same as the early deer season.
Remember that you do not even want to carry a firearm that you’re not allowed to use. Don’t spend bow season with a rifle nearby, even if you don’t plan to use it. Don’t shoot a wounded deer with a rifle, or you risk being accused of shooting it with the rifle first. Stick only to the firearms and hunting methods that are allowed for that specific game during that specific season.
If you do make a mistake or overlook an important detail and you’re facing charges, then make sure you know what legal options you have.