New Mexico Antelope Hunting Permit Drawings Need Restructuring


Published: February - 2009

The antelope hunting permit drawings in New Mexico are not equitable. In New Mexico: Long-time subscribers know that I have championed the cause for more equitable treatment of nonresidents in the permit drawings. Many of the inequities, such as the meager chances of drawing a hunting permit and the exorbitant costs of the licenses and permits for nonresidents, still exist in many states. This is despite the fact that most public lands within these states are either national forests or BLM lands, and most revenues supporting fish and game departments come from sources outside these states.

I recently came across another inequity, but this one benefits primarily nonresidents who hunt antelope on private lands in New Mexico. This situation, which I will expand upon in a minute, should be changed. I say that although I have taken advantage of this hunting opportunity numerous times. I am indebted to the New Mexico Wildlife Federation for bringing this issue to my attention in their November News Roundup.

Here's the situation: Currently, only about 31 percent of New Mexico antelope permits are allocated to the public drawing, and three-quarters of those permits are designated for residents. That translates into less than one-quarter of the total permits in the drawings being available to resident hunters (producing about five percent odds of drawing). By any measure, that is not fair and should be corrected.

The rest of the permits (69 percent) are given to landowners as subsidy permits, and most of these permits are sold to hunters, most often nonresidents. Clearly, the landowners' allocations should be reduced.

I maintain that all applicants should have the same chance of drawing a permit. Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, you should know that nonresidents are only a fraction of the total applicants in the drawings. This means that even with the same chances, the numbers of nonresidents actually drawing would be small in comparison to the residents, as it should be. To illustrate, a few years ago I found that in New Mexico the number of........(continued)

 
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