Hunters who need help applying online for New Mexico big-game hunting licenses before the March 28 application deadline can get it either on the telephone or by attending one of several computer-assisted sessions at various communities this weekend.

This year, the Department of Game and Fish eliminated paper application forms in favor of a paperless online system designed to streamline the application and licensing process and make drawing results and refunds available much sooner.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. March 28 for 2012-13 deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, Barbary sheep, ibex, oryx and javelina licenses. Hunters are encouraged to start the online application process early as the application program will shut down promptly at 5 p.m. March 28. Applications still in process at 5 p.m. will be rejected. The Department began accepting applications Jan. 4.

Hunters without computer access or who need assistance applying can call toll-free, (888) 248-6866 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Telephone application assistance will end at 4 p.m. March 28.

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