Crossbow Hunting Regulations in New Mexico

Within this webpage is listed the regulations for crossbow hunting in New Mexico. This is the most current information to the best of our knowledge; however, it should only be used as a guide. It would be best to check with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to verify these facts prior to hunting. If you find it difficult to contact this entity, please contact us for assistance.

Make sure to check out our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.

Crossbow Regulations in New Mexico

It is lawful in New Mexico to use crossbows to harvest bear; cougar; elk; deer; javelin; pronghorn; Barbary sheep; oryx; Persian ibex; bighorn sheep; and turkey. Crossbows are legal for use in muzzleloader or any legal sporting arm seasons unless they have been otherwise restricted.

  • Certified disabled, permit carrying hunters may lawfully use crossbows during all hunts.
  • It is required that hunters under the age of 18 years successfully complete a hunter education program before applying for or purchasing a firearms hunting license and/or hunting. It is not required that they complete a bowhunter education program; however, it is strongly recommended.
  • It is not legal for any hunter to equip crossbows with sights which project light or magnify targets not even when used by disabled hunters for archery only seasons.
  • There are no current required draw weights for crossbows in New Mexico.
  • Bolts must feature broadheads, mechanical or fixed, with cutting edges of steel.
  • It is unlawful to use bolts which have been equipped with explosives or treated with any chemicals.
  • It is mandatory that all harvesting be reported for deer; sheep; ibex; elk; oryx; javelin; pronghorn; antelope; and turkey. This may be completed on the telephone or via the internet.

Incorrect Data

As hard as we try to provide the most current information available to the public sometimes an amendment slips past our watch. We would greatly appreciate you contacting us, if you find that this has occurred so we can correct our site content.


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  1. Hello my name is Carlos, I am disabled and am looking to buy a crossbow. I don’t have much strength in my arms actually any part of my body. My question is can I use an air crossbow. Even the crossbows that have attachments to help cock the crossbow, they are still very hard for me… they have made a crossbow that shoots bolts but without a string. It uses air to shoot the bolts. Would I be able to use that while hunting game in our state? (New Mexico)? I know the rules on hunting with a crossbow and I do have a disability card for hunting. I just need to know if I could use the particular one for hunting so I don’t buy something I can use. This would be perfect for someone like me that can’t pull back a crossbow. They also have some that are cocked by air but still shoot with a string. The only problem with those is that they are close to a thousand dollars more! I look forward to hearing from you guys and thank you very much! I love the new lozenge plates my father has a deer or maybe an elk I can’t remember but it’s nice and I have the one with a bass! Great idea thank you again!

    1. Hello Frank,

      Well almost a year later I stumbled across your question. Hopefully you’ve found an answer by now, but in case you haven’t I’ll share what I’ve found regarding this topic.

      The short answer is yes, it’s legal. HOWEVER, this state has made it where a convicted felon can only put in for Archery hunts, crossbows aren’t legal for these hunts. A convicted felon can not draw for Any Legal or Muzzy hunts. With this being the case, even though one can own a crossbow, one can not hunt with it.

      If you have found anything different, please share.

  2. Having trouble finding a good non magnifying scope for use on crossbow in New Mexico. Could not find one on a new bow so had to buy one with a 3x scope. Seems NM wants y ou to wound game rather than make a clean kill. Wish they would change too allow at least 3x
    Now I have to change the 2 scopes on mine & my wife’s cross bow. Adding an additional cost 😢
    We are both mobility impaired!

  3. I have found one multi-dot non-magnifying scope for crossbow: three dot Apex Gear (no model name), and one multi-reticle: illuminated 4 horizontal line Vector Optics model SCOC-22 Wrangler 1×24.

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