New Mexico’s House of Representatives Wednesday approved a bill allowing increased hunting and fishing license revocations for poachers convicted of killing trophy animals, passing Senate Bill 73 on a 68-0 vote.
The bill advances to Governor Susana Martinez for signature.
Sponsored by Senator George Munoz of Gallup, SB73 amends Chapter 17 Article 1 NMSA 1978 to allow the State Game Commission to revoke hunting and fishing license privileges for more than the three years currently in state statute. Due to the habitual nature of many poachers, it’s hoped that this bill will provide a greater deterrent against those who regularly kill animals and take only the trophy heads — leaving the meat to rot in the field.
Colorado revokes license privileges for five years, but in severe instances there may be a lifetime prohibition against buying licenses. Utah revokes license privileges for seven years. Under a Wildlife Violators Compact, which was adopted by most (all) Western states, a person revoked in one state is revoked in all cooperating states.
“New Mexico produces some magnificent elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep,” said Col. Robert Griego, the head of law enforcement for the Department of Game and Fish. “The loss of these animals to the outlaws who choose to ignore game laws and obviously have no respect for the animals or the state’s efforts to conserve these valuable creatures is disgusting. We are very pleased the Legislature agrees with us and sent this to the Governor.”
Logo courtesy New Mexico Department of Game & Fish