The chance to hunt an African oryx is one of the many unique opportunities available at White Sands Missile Range.
This year’s hunting season opened with a youth and mobility impaired hunt Sept. 5-7.
“There were 29 youth and 20 mobility impaired hunters. The success rate was 79 percent for youth and 85 percent for mobility impaired hunters,” said Patrick Morrow, Wildlife Biologist for the Garrison Environmental Division.
The once-in-a-lifetime, veteran, and broken horn hunts follow the youth and mobility impaired hunts.
“There are seven, basically, once-in-a-lifetime hunts,” Morrow said.
One or two hunts are scheduled per month from September to February. Hunts generally take place in the Tularosa Basin and the northwestern portion of the range at Stallion.
Each year, a certain amount of spots are reserved for veteran hunters.
“This year, we have allocated 10 spots for New Mexico veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which is pretty cool,” Morrow said.
Big game species currently available for hunting on WSMR include oryx, pronghorn, and desert bighorn sheep. Licenses are only available through a lottery draw process conducted annually by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
According to Morrow, there are currently 2,000 to 2,500 oryx on the missile range.
The range also permits small game and cougar hunting in allotted areas on the range during the state’s regulated open season.
Because WSMR is a restricted public access Army installation, general public hunts are permitted only when sufficient control measures are in place to ensure hunt participant safety and range security.