Welcome to the most amazing state to hunt and get ready for a great adventure!
I don't even know where to start, so if I go all over the place, please forgive me.
First off there has already been so much good information said in here, so if I double up on it I am sorry,
It does look like you're gonna miss the cut off, but don't let that stop you from exploring.
Grab a GPS and get out there and start exploring units and public land. I use the OnX maps and it shows all public/private land and is a huge help.
This will help you acclimate you to the new altitudes and terrain. You can also start trying to pin down areas with deer, elk, bear and more. Plus, nothing beats a great day in the woods.
Take camping and hiking trips to visit units all over NM. There are some beautiful national forests that are great for camping and exploring.
Here is the main NM site^
Here is where the publications are posted^
Here is all the NM units^ Definitely start looking at this one.
Look at units near you, find the public land and start walking.
I think someone else mentioned it, but after you hit your 90 days you should hit left over tag time. We also have OTC tags for bear, barbary sheep, and turkeys. (In some, but not all units)
As far as what tags to put in for, do what you can afford. If you can do them all... DO IT!
You pay for the tags up front, but if you don't draw you'll get all of it back minus the application fee.
When you apply for a tag do your research, this is where I think a LOT of people shoot themselves in the foot.
You get three choices for each species application. You want to make sure you give yourself optimal draw chances by following unit draw odd %s.
Let me explain and I hope I can hit home with this. So much easier to explain in person ha ha.
You want to put your lower draw odd units first and then taper off to the larger draw units.
Lets say we have unit A, B and C. A is 9% draw odds, B is 15% and C is 32%
Your draw application should go A, B, C.
If you did C, B, A you're minimizing your draw odds and decreasing the chances of you drawing your optimal unit.
That was kind of a crappy explanation, but if you need to hear it more, let me know. Or maybe someone else can explain it better.
^ This is how I figure draw percents.
You can do some quick math and see how many people are applying for a unit, how many tags are available, and then I factor in how many are allocated to residents.
Another thing to look at, but don't let this sell you is the harvest rate.
The reason I say don't let this sell you is because of the fact there are deer and elk all over. Put in your scouting time and you'll make it happen.
Here is a tip I learned as well. When you find good areas, keep a good lid on them and share them with people who you trust. Moving out here I was so used to sharing all the information about where I hunted because it's just what we did.
I did that here a few times and my honey holes turned into overrun areas.
Another tip is be respectful to the locals and don't trash their land.
I've met some of the nicest people in the world up in the mountains. They have been raised out here and their family have hunted or camped this land for generations. They love it and appreciate people who respect it back.
Shoot me a PM if you need any additional info.