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New Mexico's Valles Caldera Considers High-Price Elk Hunts

September 22, 2008.

The Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico is one of the state's premier places to hunt elk, and sportsmen are worried that a proposal to charge thousands of dollars for one-fifth of the hunts offered on the preserve would disenfranchise hunters.

The preserve's board of trustees has proposed a special access fee of about $7,500 for 15 of Valles Caldera's 77 elk permits.

Currently, Valles Caldera distributes elk permits via a lottery — ranging from $15 to $25 per chance. If a hunter's number is drawn, he or she would have to purchase an elk license from state game officials and pay the required fees.

In addition to the 15 special $7,500 permits, trustees also are considering raising lottery prices by $5 — $20 for an antlerless hunt and $30 for a mature bull or either sex hunt.

Read More in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

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