NM Game Commission to meet in Tucumcari to adopt new big-game hunting rules

Special to the QCS

Special to the QCS
The New Mexico Game Commission will meet Sept. 28-29 in Tucumcari to adopt
new big-game hunting and trapping rules for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009
seasons, and to consider higher civil penalties for poaching, the
commission announced Tuesday in a press release.

The meeting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 28 and 29, at the
Tucumcari Convention Center, Fort Bascom Room, 1500 W. Route 66.

Sept. 28
Thursday’s session will include a training workshop for commissioners from
8 a.m. to noon, followed by the regular agenda.
Thursday’s session will include a Department of Game and Fish proposal to
set significant civil penalties for the illegal taking of trophy game
animals and fish. The commission was given authority to set the new civil
penalties by the New Mexico Legislature. Current civil penalties, $500 for
any elk and $250 for any deer, were deemed too low to compensate the state
for the loss of unique trophy animals. Proposed penalties range from
$2,000 to $10,000 for big game, depending upon the size of the illegally
taken animal. The proposal also includes civil penalties of $150 for
illegally taken trout 20 inches or longer, and $500 for Tom turkeys with
beards 10 inches or longer or spurs 1 inch or longer.

Sept. 29
Discussion and adoption of the big-game and trapping rules will begin at 8
a.m.
The final big-game hunting and trapping rule proposals are expected to
take up most of Friday’s session. The proposals follow months of analysis
and public involvement to determine strategies that best meet the
Department of Game and Fish wildlife management objectives while providing
quality and diverse recreational opportunities.
Proposed rule changes include adjustments of season dates and hunting
opportunities, more youth hunts, new requirements for trappers, and
possible modifications to current antler point restrictions for deer and
elk.
The New Mexico 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: Leo Sims, chairman, Hobbs; Tom Arvas,
vice-chairman, Albuquerque; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; David Henderson,
Santa Fe; M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, Silver City; Peter Pino, Zia Pueblo; and
Terry Riley, Tijeras.
The full agenda, summary of the proposed big-game rules and other
information are available on the Department of Game and Fish Web site,
www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.