Has New Mexico ‘Privatized’ Its Elk Herd?

Has New Mexico ‘Privatized’ Its Elk Herd?
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The New Mexico Wildlife Federation and the New Mexico Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) published a bombshell report last week slamming the state’s Department of Game and Fish for “privatizing elk hunting opportunities.” The conservation and hunting groups claim that the state is favoring landowners, outfitters, and non-resident hunters in how it hands out licenses, and resident public land hunters are getting left out to dry.

The report outlines license allocation data obtained from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish through a public records request. According to the report, the Department stonewalled the request until the state’s Attorney General ordered the records to be made public. The Department claims the delay was due to a conflict in state law between the Inspection of State Records Act and the Public Records Act.

Whatever the reason for the delay, both sides agree on the top-line number: over 35% of the state’s elk licenses end up in the…

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