NM sportsmen concerned about hunting access

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By Special to the Monitor

SANTA FE — Santa Fe retiree Ron Hammond said he’ll have to go to Wyoming again this year because he can’t get an antelope hunting permit in New Mexico.

“It’s totally disgusting. It’s totally unjust,” Hammond told the Albuquerque Journal in a copyright story published Sunday. He has struck out in his attempts over the past 15 or so years to draw a big game license in New Mexico.

Apparently, Hammond is not alone.

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation, a statewide sportsmen’s group, said New Mexico’s generosity to in-state landowners and out-of-state hunters combines to squeeze out locals, and the situation is getting worse.

“It’s not just people complaining about the luck of the draw,” said the federation’s director, Jeremy Vesbach. “At heart, it’s an unfair system.”

The Game and Fish Department says elected legislators and governor-appointed commissioners are the ones who — through a public process — establish the laws and rules that govern the system. The game department just implements it.

Department spokesman Marty Frentzel says people have “plenty of opportunities” to provide input.

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