Dec 5, 2008

New Mexico Screws Up Everything!

The way permits are allocated and ranches used will be changing soon.

Not in 2009, however. Phew. That was close.

We're not sure whether or not these changes would be good or bad. Our initial reaction is that trophy antelope will be gone within a few years! This is not good!

They cited in one paper (can't remember where) that they were trying to make the state more like Wyoming! Huh? As many of you know, if you want a trophy pronghorn you don't go to Wyoming! You go to New Mexico or Arizona.

Fortunately, at least for now, the changes won't take effect until 2010 at the earliest.

I saw on one forum where everyone seemed to be for the changes while every rancher we've talked to seems to be against the changes.

You can decide for yourselves. Let me know what you think and comment below!

Here's the link to the proposed changes:

Proposed New Mexico Rule Changes


Anonymous said...

what is the change exactly? you can hunt public and what private you can get pemission for?

Eli Grimmett said...

Too many to list.

Some of them include something like you say.

When you get drawn you're supposed to be able to hunt an entire unit instead of just a ranch. It sounds great at first, but here's the catch - you have to know exactly where the public and private land is. EXACTLY. If you're caught hunting on private land by a few hundred yards you're going to be given a ticket and possibly have your buck taken away.

If there were fences sectioning off all the public and private land this would be easy, but there aren't. A GPS "may" help, but with the constant land swaps between NM and the ranchers there's no way to ever really know what's public and what's private.

So, here's what's going to happen:

1. Either there are going to be a lot more tickets given to hunters who didn't know exactly where they were or -

2. All the public hunters are going to congregate in areas where there is a ton of public land.

That second option is what has us concerned.

Currently there are some great public land areas available to archers and mobility impaired hunters. If these rules are passed then those few areas will be decimated within a few years and what antelope are left in those areas will just move to private ground where there is less pressure.

For public hunters I truly think this will be a bad thing. The public won't be able to hunt private land anymore and will be forced to compete with a lot of other public hunters.

For private hunters it will hurt as well. They won't be able to hunt the public land on their own ranch.

For G&F this will be a problem. It will take more people patrolling, but, from their point of view, I'm sure it will generate more revenue from tickets.

For the ranchers the price they can charge for tags will probably drop in a few years so they will be hurt by this, too.

As of right now I don't see a long term benefit to anyone.

If they change some things I may change my mind. We'll just have to wait and see.

Some of the biggest bucks in world come from NM for a reason. Right now the ranchers have an incentive to grow big bucks because then they can charge more for tags. They shoot coyotes, keep water running, raise the bottom wires on fences, etc. When they can no longer charge a decent fee for their tags how much do you think they will care about the antelope on their land? Probably not much.