| Jan. 15, 2020 | Hunt Research

A change in how New Mexico will round total quotas for 2020 tag allocations will have a meaningful impact on nonresident and outfitter draw odds in some cases.

By state statute New Mexico residents are required to receive a minimum of 84% of the total big game permits issued in the drawing. The remaining permits are issued to outfitters (10%) and nonresidents (6%).

Historically however, the manner in which they were rounding tag numbers to meet these allocation percentages would sometimes result in them adding an additional tag to the established total quota. And in many cases when they did that, the end result would be that technically New Mexico residents may not be getting the minimum 84% of permits issued. This was a problem.

Brandon Wynn, a 5th generation New Mexican and former board member of the New Mexico chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, was instrumental in bringing this issue to the attention of the New Mexico State Game Commission. According to Wynn, the change would not have happened without the efforts of the NMWF and the NM BHA chapter.

For example, a hunt with a total tag quota of 60 would have been allocated in the following manner in 2019:

  • 60 total tags * 84% = 50.4 (always round resident tags UP) = 51 resident tags
  • 60 total tags * 10% = 6 outfitter tags
  • 60 total tags * 6% = 3.6 (nonresident and outfitter tags were rounded to the nearest whole #) = 4 nonresident tags
  • Because of the +1 added for nonresident rounding, 61 tags were issued. But as a result, the residents now only received 83.6% of the permits issued.

    In 2020 and beyond, any rounding up that results in additional tags being added to the original overall quota will not be allowed. So in our example above the nonresident total tags issued would be 3, not 4. And as a result, it is extremely likely that nonresident draw odds for this hunt will go down in 2020.

    To further illustrate how rounding will work in 2020, here is another example with a total tag quota of 165:

  • 165 total tags * 84% = 138.6 (always round resident tags UP) = 139 resident tags
  • 165 total tags * 10% = 16.5 (initially, always round outfitter / nr tags DOWN) = 16 outfitter tags
  • 165 total tags * 6% = 9.9 (initially, always round outfitter / nr tags DOWN) = 9 nonresident tags
  • Total tags from the initial math above = 139 + 16 + 9 = 164 (1 short)
  • If 1 short of the total quota, the +1 goes to the outfitter or nonresident with the higher fractional portion from above (.5 outfitter vs .9 nonresident, so nonresident gets the +1 in this case)
  • If 1 short of the total quota, and the outfitter and nonresident fractional portions are the same (ie .5), the +1 goes to the next outfitter or nonresident drawn (this happens in quotas of 25, 75, 125 etc.)
  • That's a lot of math to keep track of if you are researching, so if you are a PEAK member we have added some notes to the 2020 hunt dates table on each unit page to assist. EXAMPLE:

    We have also added the total quota from 2019 to the hunt dates table for a quick compare and to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when evaluating if the new rounding rules are likely to impact the draw odds for 2020.

    Under the new rules, the likely minimum number of total quota must be at least 7 (vs. 5 in 2019) in order for an outfitter to draw a tag, and a minimum of 13 (vs. 10 in 2019) for a nonresident to be eligible for a tag.

    To give you an idea of the overall impact on total tags issued, we did a quick analysis on 2020 hunt codes and total quotas. The following table shows the # of tags that potentially WILL NOT be issued in 2020 using the new rounding rules, that would have been issued using the rounding rules from 2019. Note that this assumes demand is greater than the quota for all hunt codes which in practice isn't necessarily true for every hunt.

    Species Nonresident Outfitter Nonres. OR Outfitter
    Elk 60 46 38
    Deer 61 46 61
    Antelope 63 82 11

    It should also be pointed out that the Drawing Quotas section on page 13 of the 2020 - 2021 NM Rules & Info book states that "up to" 10% of tags will go to outfitters and "up to" 6% of tags will go to nonresidents. According to the sources we spoke with at the NMGDF, these "up to" percentages, after applying the new rounding rules, are actually dedicated quotas for the respective applicant types assuming there is sufficient demand. This is different than say Arizona, where "up to" literally means no tags are specifically set aside to meet nonresident objectives.

    And in addition, if you are reading this, that means you are probably a step ahead of the average applicant who might not be paying attention. So for that, we wish you good draw karma! Best of luck this application season!

    See an error? Let us know.
    Date has been set and published
    AZ [1] ~Jan. 10 Feb. 11, '20 Mid March
    AZ [2] Early May Mid June Mid July
    CO ~Mar. 1 ~Apr. 7 June 3
    CO [3] May 3
    CO [3b] Aug. 8, '19
    ID [4] Apr. 1 Apr. 30 Early June
    ID [5] May 1 June 5 Late June
    MT [6] ~Feb. 19 Apr. 1, '20 ~Apr. 20
    MT [7] End of Mar. ~May 1 ~Jun. 11
    MT [8] End of Mar. Jun. 1 ~Jul. 30
    MT [9] End of Mar. ~Jun. 1 ~Jul. 16
    NV ~Mar. 18 May 4, '20 ~May 24
    NM Mid Jan. Mar. 18, '20 Apr. 29
    OR Early Feb. May 15 Jun. 20
    UT Jan. 30, '20 Mar. 5, '20 May 29
    WY [10] Jan. 2, '20 Jan. 31, '20 May 21
    WY [11] Jan. 2, '20 Mar. 2, '20 May 7
    WY [12] Mar. 2, '20 Mar. 31, '20 May 7
    WY [13] Jan. 2, '20 Jun. 1, '20 June 18
    [1] = AZ: Elk and Antelope
    [2] = AZ: Deer, Sheep, Bison, Fall Bear/Javelina
    [3] = CO: Sheep and Goat Results
    [3b] = CO: Over the Counter Sales Begin
    [4] = ID: Sheep, Moose, Goat
    [5] = ID: Deer, Elk, Antelope
    [6] = MT: Deer, Elk
    [7] = MT: Moose, Goat, Sheep, Bison
    [8] = MT: Antelope
    [9] = MT: Deer B, Elk B Licenses
    [10] = WY: Nonresident Elk
    [11] = WY: Moose, Sheep, Goat
    [12] = WY: Bison
    [13] = WY: Res./Nonres. Deer, Antelope - Res. Elk