I have reported over the last several years on the efforts in New Mexico to limit nonresident permits. In March last year, I reported that Senate Bill 196 had been introduced into this state's legislature and would have restricted nonresidents to 10 percent of the licenses in the drawing, cut unguided nonresidents to only two percent, and reduce the outfitter pool to a total (both resident and nonresidents) of eight percent of the licenses. Before that, up to 22 percent of the permits could be issued to nonresidents and allowed up to 12 percent of the licenses set aside for use by the outfitters.
What the recently passed legislation has done is limit the number of nonresident licenses to no more than 16 percent of the total licenses issued, meaning that 84 percent must now go to residents. It also reduced licenses to 10 percent of the total for both residents and nonresidents who are contracted with a New Mexico outfitter prior to the application and only six percent to nonresidents who are choose not to use an outfitter. It does allow leftover licenses from the drawings to be sold to nonresidents, but only after being offered to residents. And, if you have booked for a cow elk hunt for you or your family, the special draw antlerless elk hunts are now exclusively for residents, as are licenses for hunts on ALL of the state wildlife management areas.
Frankly, I don't think that the reduced percentage of total licenses given to nonresidents is going to have a major impact, because the total number of nonresident applicants for many species normally never reached 22 percent, and certainly not 100 percent of them drew a license or hunted on private lands.........(continued)