Proposed changes to the way the Department of Game and Fish distributes pronghorn antelope licenses and a proposal to eliminate carcass tags for harvested game are among agenda items before the State Game Commission at its meeting Thursday in Raton.
The Department has revised its proposal to the Pronghorn Antelope Rule and now recommends retaining the existing license-distribution system. Earlier proposals stemmed from ongoing efforts to simplify the system for hunters and private landowners. The Department received many comments by mail, e-mail and at several public meetings about the proposals, which would have established hunt dates, areas and management strategies similar to the way the Department manages deer hunting. Under the proposals, private-land licenses would have been available over-the-counter instead of through annual drawings, and hunters would negotiate with landowners for access to private property.
The Department proposed three options: retaining the existing pronghorn licensing system with no changes; switching to over-the-counter private-land licensing in southwestern, southeastern and northwestern New Mexico; or switching to over-the-counter private-land licensing only in southeastern New Mexico.
The Commission meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Colfax County Commission Chambers, 230 North 3rd St., in Raton. Detailed agenda-item briefings and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, or by calling (505) 476-8008. Details of proposed rules and opportunities to comment are available on the website.
Other agenda items include:
- A proposal to eliminate the requirement for big-game and turkey carcass tags, and to require all hunters and anglers to obtain customer identification numbers in a move to facilitate the Department’s transition to a web-based “paperless” licensing system in April 2013.
- A proposal to require all big-game and turkey hunters to report their harvests each year starting in April 2013 to be eligible to apply for or purchase licenses the following year.
- A proposal to allow youths to hunt with firearms before completing a hunter education course, provided they hunt with a licensed adult mentor and complete a hunter education course within two years.
- A proposal to acquire more property in southeastern New Mexico to be managed as habitat for lesser prairie chickens.
- A proposal to accept the Department’s biennial review of state-listed threatened and endangered species, which recommends no changes to the existing lists.
State Game Commission meetings are broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed from Gov. Susana Martinez’s website, http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Webcast.aspx. Information about how to view the streaming video is available on the website.
The State Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Current members are Chairman Jim McClintic, Vice-chairman Thomas “Dick” Salopek, Tom Arvas, Bill Montoya, Scott Bidegain, Paul M. Kienzle and Robert Espinoza Sr.
If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the meeting, please contact Sonya Quintana, (505) 476-8030. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms.
Image courtesy New Mexico Department of Game & Fish