PLANNING FOR NEW MEXICO SHEEP IN 2020
| Jan. 20, 2020 | Hunt Research

Another year off the books - and another season to look forward to. Is 2020 your year to draw that coveted sheep tag? Here are the numbers for New Mexico in 2019:

'19 Draw Odds
Hunt CodeHunt Type'19 Resident Odds'19 Nonres. Odds'19 Outfitter Odds
BHS-1-201Ram - Rocky Mtn.0.65%0.16%0.19%
BHS-1-204Ram - Desert0.74%0.14%0.15%
BHS-1-202Ewe - Rocky Mtn.3.6%3.8%9%
BHS-2-203Ewe - Rocky Mtn.4.3%4.1%50%
'19 Total Tags Issued
Hunt CodeHunt Type'19 Tags Res.'19 Tags Nonres.'19 Tags OutfitterTotal
BHS-1-201Ram - Rocky Mtn.191222
BHS-1-204Ram - Desert212225
BHS-1-202Ewe - Rocky Mtn.503356
BHS-2-203Ewe - Rocky Mtn.191222

For 2020, the quotas will be as follows:

'20 Total Quotas
Hunt CodeHunt Type'20 Tags Res.'20 Tags Nonres.'20 Tags OutfitterTotal
BHS-1-201Ram - Rocky Mtn.211224
BHS-1-204Ram - Desert211*2*25
BHS-1-202Ewe - Rocky Mtn.483556
BHS-2-203Ewe - Rocky Mtn.191222
*An additional tag will go to either a nonresident or outfitter, depending upon who is first to draw

The drawing for sheep in New Mexico is a bit unique in that there is a single hunt code for Bighorn rams (BHS-1-201), a single hunt code for Desert rams (BHS-1-204) and one each for the Ewe hunts (BHS-1-202 & BHS-2-203). And then within each of these hunt codes you are allowed to choose up to 3 specific sheep hunting areas. So if you are lucky enough to be drawn, they will then look at the specific areas on your application, in order, to see if any remaining tags are available in the areas you applied for.

We requested and were able to obtain the applicant area choice information from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Here is how applicants used their area choices in 2019:

2019 Bighorn Applications By Area
Area 1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice Total
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Aug 10-24198110179783976
Unit 53, south of NM 38 and east of NM 522 (Wheeler Peak) Aug 6-151350110110263477
Unit 45 (Pecos) Aug 9-1817598957723426
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Sep 1-1533013558712556
Unit 45 (Pecos) Aug 23-Sep 129413597262379
Units 16B, 22, 23, 24 (San Francisco River/Turkey Creek) Jan 1-31, 202010673496602076
Unit 53, south of NM 38 and east of NM 522 (Wheeler Peak) Sep 1-102578406171714
Unit 58 (Dry Cimarron) Aug 15-Jan 15, 20203983806691447
Unit 53, north of NM 38 and east of NM 522; 55 south of NM 196/FS Rd 1950 (Latir) Aug 9-182042475831034
Unit 45 (Pecos) Youth Only; Aug 23-Sep 14481377538

2019 Desert Bighorn Applications By Area
Area 1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice Total
Units 13, 17 (Ladrones) Dec 1-3126474486003695
Unit 26 (Hatchets) Oct 1-1592414286853037
Unit 27 (Peloncillos) Nov 1-3084261314782933
Unit 20, south of NM 51 (Caballos) Nov 16-309559438262724
Unit 19 (San Andres) Dec 14-21107010235802673
Unit 20, south of NM 51 (Caballos) Dec 1-1527210059382215
Unit 26 (Hatchets) Oct 16-312489409522140
Unit 19 (San Andres) Dec 27-Jan 3, 20202929686651925
Unit 20, north of NM 51 (Fra Cristobal) Oct 11-20294210390894
Unit 20, north of NM 51 (Fra Cristobal) Youth Only; Nov 22-Dec 14371579531

2019 Ewe (Bighorn, Rifle) Applications By Area
Area 1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice Total
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Oct 12-205223714151308
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Dec 14-223075253711203
Unit 45 (Pecos) Sep 21-256931663211180
Unit 45 (Pecos) Oct 5-91655552881008
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Youth Only; Nov 9-17804814142
Unit 45 (Pecos) Youth Only; Oct 5-997345136

2019 Ewe (Bighorn, Archery) Applications By Area
Area 1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice Total
Units 49, 50, 53 west of NM 522 (Rio Grande Gorge) Sep 16-30244213-457
Unit 45 (Pecos) Sep 6-15236180-416

Part of the reason we wanted to get the area information details is that we were curious to see if your choice of areas per hunt code had any material impact on your overall draw odds. For nonresidents and outfitters the answer was mostly no. Unfortunately with so few tags available in the nonresident and outfitter pools you've generally won or lost the battle before area choices become any factor. But you should still be sure to use all of your 3 area choices per hunt code when you apply.

But for residents it did make a very slight but noticeable difference. In every simulated draw that we ran there would be a handful of resident apps pulled - with ram tags still left to give somewhere - that would be unsuccessful because the area choices they specified were all of higher demand. So if you are a resident, make your 3rd area choice per hunt code a reasonable one (ie less popular) to avoid this scenario. It could be the difference between getting a chance to harvest a ram in your lifetime - and not.

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STATE BEGINS ENDS RESULTS
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