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Hunting Oryx in New Mexico

Ralph Ramos | Mossy Oak ProStaff


In mid-November, I really begin looking forward to late-season elk hunting. This season, I’m guiding my wife on her oryx hunt that she’s drawn. In the mid-1950s, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish cooperated with the White Sands Missile Range, and brought in 29 oryx and released them on the missile range. Today, the population of oryx is estimated at 4,000 to 6,000 on the missile range. As their population has grown, a good number of oryx have spread off the missile range. All these oryx are free range (not behind fences). 

The oryx hunts are open six months out of the year. The off-range hunts are open for six months, but hunters have a month to fulfill their tags. The trophy oryx hunts, and the broken-horn oryx hunts are offered on the White Sands Missile Range, and those hunts are regulated by the estimated number of oryx there. The hunts are held on different sites inside the missile range, depending on the population numbers in various sections of the range. I think your odds to draw an oryx hunt as a non-resident are very good, but you’ll pay $1,500 to get the tag. Then you have to pay $150 to hunt on the missile range, and the U.S. Army also does background checks. Drawing a tag for a resident is often a much more difficult task, but it can be done. 

A typical hunt is usually 5-8 days. The oryx travel a lot. Where you see an oryx one day, that same animal may be 6-7 miles away the next day. I think the first hunts start in August, and the season usually lasts through March, but you need to check the New Mexico Game and Fish regulation book to learn the exact dates and particulars for hunting oryx. A mature bull oryx will weigh about 600 pounds, and I believe the meat of the oryx is the best-tasting meat of any big game animal in New Mexico. 

There are also oryx in Texas, a state that provides opportunities for hunting exotic species.

Go to Ramos Hunts & Video Productions on Facebook to learn more about these New Mexico hunts.  

Ralph Ramos has been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for about 20 years. After years of pursuing elk, Ramos became a guide and has been leading hunters to elk for at least 20 years. Elk hunting is a physical challenge for most, but Ramos continues to face the challenge year after year.

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