These New Mexico statutes regulate trappers and fur dealers. Fur-bearing animals, such as muskrat, mink, weasel, beaver, otter, nutria, masked or blackfooted ferret, ringtail cat, raccoon, pine marten, coatimundi, badgers, bobcat and foxes, may only be taken during certain seasons or with a permit and/or a license. Fur dealers must have a license to buy or sell skins. A violation of the statutes is a misdemeanor.
§ 17-5-1 . Declaration of policy
§ 17-5-2 . Fur-bearing and nongame animals defined; property of state
§ 17-5-3 . Seasons; special permits to take animals doing damage
§ 17-5-4 . State game commission to administer act; rules and regulations
§ 17-5-5 . Trapper's licenses
§ 17-5-6 . Fur dealer licenses
§ 17-5-7 . Disposition of license fees
§ 17-5-8 . Officers authorized to enforce act
§ 17-5-9 . Penalty; revocation of license; sale of pelts
It is the purpose of Sections 17-5-1 through 17-5-9 NMSA 1978 and the policy of New Mexico to provide an adequate and flexible system for the protection of fur-bearing animals to the end that valuable fur resources shall not be wasted or depleted.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 1; L. 1980, Ch. 15, § 1.
The following quadrupeds are hereby defined as fur-bearing animals, to wit: muskrat, mink, weasel, beaver, otter, nutria, masked or blackfooted ferret, ringtail cat, raccoon, pine marten, coatimundi, badgers, bobcat and all species of foxes. These animals and their pelts are hereby declared to be the property of the state until they shall have been lawfully taken, killed or captured as provided by Sections 17-5-1 through 17-5-9 NMSA 1978, except as to beaver and beaver pelts, the taking of which shall be subjected to the application of Section 17-3-31 NMSA 1978.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 2; L. 1955, Ch. 57, § 1; L. 1980, Ch. 15, § 2; L. 1981, Ch. 342, § 1.
Fur-bearing animals as defined in Section 17-5-2 NMSA 1978 shall be taken only during the seasons declared by regulation of the state game commission promulgated as provided in Section 17-5-4 NMSA 1978. The director may, however, issue permits at any time for the taking of fur-bearing animals doing damage to game, private property, poultry or livestock.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 3; L. 1955, Ch. 57, § 2; L. 1980, Ch. 15, § 3.
The state game commission is authorized and directed to administer the provisions of Sections 17-5-1 through 17-5-9 NMSA 1978, and to make such rules and regulations and establish such service as it may deem necessary to carry out all the provisions and purposes of those sections. In making such rules and regulations and providing when and by what means fur-bearing animals may be hunted, taken, captured, possessed or killed, the state game commission shall give due regard to the zones of temperatures and to the distribution, abundance, economic value and breeding habits of such animals. Provided, nothing in Sections 17-5-1 through 17-5-9 NMSA 1978 shall interfere with the authority granted to the president of New Mexico state university under Sections 77-15-1 through 77-15-5 NMSA 1978, or shall prevent livestock producers without a permit from the taking of bobcats that are doing damage to livestock.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 4; L. 1980, Ch. 15, § 4.
A. No resident who has reached his twelfth birthday shall capture, trap or possess any fur-bearing animal or attempt to do so without first procuring a resident trapper's license; or, in the case of a resident who has reached his twelfth birthday but not his eighteenth birthday, a resident junior trapper's license.
B. No nonresident shall capture, trap or possess any fur-bearing animal or skunk or coyote or attempt to do so without first procuring a nonresident trapper's license.
C. No nonresident who resides in a state that does not permit New Mexico residents to procure nonresident trapper's licenses may purchase a New Mexico nonresident trapper's license.
D. Trappers shall release all fur-bearing animals trapped during closed seasons, and resident trappers who release all fur-bearing animals during open seasons need not procure a trapper's license.
E. Trappers on official business, paid from state and federal funds and under supervision of the department of game and fish, the New Mexico department of agriculture or the United States fish and wildlife service need not purchase a trapper's license.
F. Trapping of animals, both fur-bearing animals and nongame, by a resident in order to protect his livestock or domesticated animals or fowl shall not be subject to rules and regulations on trapping made pursuant to Section 17-5-4 NMSA 1978 or to licensing requirements provided in this section.
G. The state game commission may by regulation require holders of trapper's licenses to use bobcat pelt tags and may specify the conditions for use of the tags.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 5; L. 1955, Ch. 57, § 3; L. 1964, 1st Sp. Sess., Ch. 17, § 9; L. 1980, Ch. 15, § 5; L. 1981, Ch. 342, § 2; L. 1983, Ch. 117, § 5.
A. Except for trappers selling their own catches, any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of buying or selling unprocessed skins or pelts of any fur-bearing animal is a “fur dealer.” It is a misdemeanor to engage in business as a fur dealer or solicit such business without first procuring a fur dealer license, except that resident fur dealers who buy and sell less than fifty skins or pelts of fur-bearing animals each year need not purchase a fur dealer license.
B. Every fur dealer shall file with the department of game and fish, not later than the tenth of each month, a sworn statement showing the number and kind of skins and pelts of fur-bearing animals purchased and sold during the preceding month.
C. The provisions of this section apply to fur dealers who buy and sell the skins or pelts of predatory animals as well as to those who buy and sell the skins or pelts of protected nonpredatory fur-bearing animals.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 6; L. 1964, 1st Sp. Sess., Ch. 17, § 10.
All fees for trappers' licenses and fur dealers' licenses shall be collected by the state game warden [director of the department of game and fish] and turned over to the state treasurer to be credited to the game protection fund; provided, that license vendors shall retain ten cents (10¢) for each license sold as compensation for his [their] services, but no regular employee of the state game department shall be entitled to such fee.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 7.
All peace officers, port of entry employees [employees of the motor transportation divisions of the taxation and revenue department] and deputy game wardens [conservation officers] are hereby authorized and required to cooperate fully with the state game commission in the enforcement of this act. It shall be the duty of all such persons to make searches, seizures and arrests as in the case of other misdemeanors.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 9.
Any person who violates or aids, abets or assists in the violation of any provision of Sections 17-5-1 through 17-5-9 NMSA 1978 or any person who makes any false statement as to the residence of any applicant for a trapper's license or fur dealer's license or any nonresident who fraudulently procures a resident license is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, the department of game and fish may revoke, for the year in which the violation occurred, the trapper's or fur dealer's license of any person convicted. All skins, pelts or furs involved in the violation remain the property of the state and shall be sold for the benefit of the game protection fund.
L. 1939, Ch. 178, § 10; L. 1963, Ch. 213, § 7.