UPDATE: May 18, 2022
The NM State Game Commission hosted a special meeting on Monday the 9th to discuss Bighorn Sheep permits and how they are distributed through the draw. The issue has been festering since February when the Commission requested that the Attorney General look into the legality of the distribution process. On April 5th the AG's office provided a detailed letter to the Commission stating the draw process is fully legal and in compliance with the quota statute. Despite the support from the AG's office the Commission voted on May 9th to extend the public comment period and thus the rule making process.
The Commission requested that the opposing organizations meet to try and find a compromise. On May 17th NMCOG met with the NM Wildlife Federation, NM Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and the NM Wildsheep Foundation to discuss the issue. No compromise was achieved. NMCOG and NM Wildsheep Foundation stand firmly in support of the current allocation process which allows for 7 of the 50 total bighorn sheep ram tags to be distributed to non-resident hunters. The NM Wildlife Federation opposes the current process and would like to see the NMDGF eliminate nonresident opportunity. BHA originally expressed desire to eliminate nonresident opportunity and has since back peddled on this stance. They claim to be "neutral" on the issue.
The Commission will make a decision on June 3rd. NMCOG is encouraging outfitters, guides, resident, and non-resident sportsmen to voice their support for the NMDGF's current method of allocating bighorn sheep permits through the Big Game Draw.
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