New Mexico Unit 56 Hunting Information

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Overview of NM GMU 56 Hunting Facts

Unit 56 consist of mostly private land with the corners at Raton, Springer and Clayton, this unit is mostly flat with conical mountains jutting above the prairie. Antelope thrive on the plains, while elk and mule deer exist in limited numbers. Great antelope hunting quality is found in this unit. Most bucks are harvested on private lands but hunters can find success on public pieces Check out the Info for Cities Near Unit 56 section on the right.

Table of Contents

NM Unit 56 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Mule Deer Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
Although deer are rare in most of the area, you can typically spot them on some of the conical mountains that jut above the prairies and near some alfalfa fields where they feed. During the archery season, temps can be high causing the deer movement to be low. Glassing for bucks during first and last light and sitting over well-used water sources during the heat of the day will be your best bet for spotting a deer. The rifle season occurs far before the rut which makes locating mature deer a little more difficult. Glassing for bucks along feeding areas will play a big part during first and last light.

SUCCESS RATES for Mule Deer Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Deer
Rifle 1 37.00%
Rifle 2 42.00%
Rifle (YO) 87.00%
Archery 32.00%
Muzzleloader 33.00%
Mule Deer TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 New Mexico
Average Deer Quality 140″ – 160″
Trophy Deer Potential 160″+
New Mexico Unit 56 Mule Deer Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
The bull elk harvest in this unit consists of more than 90% private land. The elk on private land often tend to feed in open pastures and fields at night and return to bedding grounds in higher ground just before or after daylight. If you happen to draw a public tag, visiting the area before the season helps to learn where you can and cannot hunt. Most bulls are taken in or near forested parts of the mountains.

SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 1 37.00%
Archery 2 28.00%
Rifle 66.00%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 New Mexico
Average Elk Quality 260″ – 300″
NM Area 56 Trophy Elk Potential 310″+
GMU 56 Bull to Cow Ratio 27:100
New Mexico Unit 56 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

INFO: Antelope Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
Antelope are found in large numbers within unit 56, most of which are seen on private lands. Hunters with access to private land generally find the best odds for success, but hunters have had success on public land in the past. During the warmer time of the year, sitting near water sources can beneficial to you and your hunt.

SUCCESS RATES for Antelope Hunting in New Mexico Unit 56
5 Year Estimated Average for Antelope
Archery 36.00%
Rifle 1 77.00%
Rifle 2 84.00%
Rifle 3 81.00%
Antelope TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 56 New Mexico
Average Antelope Size 65″ – 75″
NM Area 56 Trophy Antelope Potential 75″+
New Mexico Unit 56 Antelope Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Unit 56 Hunting Information Video


Cities Near NM Unit 56


New Mexico Unit 56 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 1,782 square miles

Total Public Land: 368 acres or 21.7%

Species: Elk, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Sheep

Elevation Variances: 5,000 ft. to 8,800 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: Land cover includes 88.4% Grassland/Herbaceous 5.7% Shrub/Scrub 4.7% Evergreen Forest


Lay of the Land in NM Unit 56


Terrain in GMU 56 NM

The lowlands of unit 56 range from about 5,000 to 6,500 feet above sea level and are is typically dry. Most of the mountains are in the northern half of the unit. The highest point of the unit is located towards the south. Most of the mountains rise steeply from the flats below. This unit is mostly made up of flat to rolling grasslands with low hills cutting across the desert.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 56 NM

Desert grasslands occupy most of the area. Many draws are full of brush, including sage brush and oak brush, which also grows on the mountains. Pinyons and junipers are scattered on the grasslands and grow thick on the edges of mesas and in steep draws. Ponderosa pines grow on some of the higher ground.

Access Points in NM GMU 56

This unit consists of mostly private cattle ranches, which often include sections of state trust land. Some of these section deny access to the public while others can be reached through county or other public roads. Hunters plan to hunt on public land should arrive early to and become familiar on where they can and cannot hunt.