Hunting is a permitted use under the enabling legislation for Valles Caldera National Preserve (Public Law 113-231, Sec. 3043) and can be done in accordance with applicable Federal and State law. The legislation also provides for the designation of zones and periods when no hunting is permitted for reasons of public safety, administration, wildlife management, or public use and enjoyment.
Elk herd at Valles Caldera
Elk herd at Valles Caldera
Elk Hunting
Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of New Mexico's premier elk hunting locations. Between 2,500 and 3,000 elk occupy the preserve for breeding, calving and foraging. Our hunts are designed to pay homage to man's oldest relationship with animals by providing the public with a memorable hunting experience.
Turkeys at Valles Caldera
Turkeys at Valles Caldera
Turkey Hunting
Merriam Turkeys, one of the three subspecies found in New Mexico, are noted for their striking plumage, wariness and keen eyesight. Turkey hunting, whether with bow or shotgun, can be a challenge for all skill levels. From April thru December, the preserve is home to an estimated 400 Merriam Turkeys.

How To Apply For Hunts

The elk and turkey hunting lotteries/drawings for the Valles Caldera National Preserve are part of the draw managed by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). Information on how to apply for the state drawings can be found on the NMDGF website or by calling 1-888-248-6866. The Valles Caldera National Preserve is Unit 6B.

For information about hunt dates, number of licenses available, bag limit, state regulations, etc., please visit the NMDGF website or call 1-888-248-6866.

Information every hunter needs to know


2018 Hunting Dates

NMDGF sets ALL hunting dates, types, limits, residency requirements, etc. For questions about hunting dates, types, limits, residency requirements, etc., please contact NMDGF.

Dates NMDGF Code Method Type Bag Specialty
April 15-30 TUR-1-113 Shotgun & Archery Bearded 20
September 1-14 ELK-2-194 Archery Either Sex 20
September 15-24 ELK-2-195 Archery Either Sex 20
October 6-10 ELK-3-196 Muzzleloader Mature Bull 15
October 13-17 ELK-1-197 Any Legal Mature Bull 15
October 20-24 ELK-1-198 Any Legal Mature Bull 20
October 27-31 ELK-1-199 Any Legal Antlerless 15 Mobility Impaired, NM Residents Only
November 3-7 ELK-1-200 Any Legal Antlerless 35 NM Residents Only
November 17-21 ELK-1-201 Any Legal Antlerless 35 NM Residents Only
November 24-28 ELK-1-202 Any Legal Antlerless 35 Youth Only, NM Residents Only
December 1-5 ELK-1-203 Any Legal Antlerless 35 NM Residents Only

Last updated: October 23, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 359
Jemez Springs, NM 87025


(575) 829-4100

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