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New Mexico Extends Big Game Deadline

April 9, 2009.

Citing "extreme pressure on the agency's telephones and computer server," New Mexico has extended their big game application deadline from April 8 to April 17.

New Mexico's website has a history of crashing during times of peak loads, such as when draw results become available.

Even 2 days before the original April 8 deadline, the Department Web site recorded more than 1.6 million hits, almost three times the daily average. Numbers weren't published for website traffic on the day of the deadline, but we can assume they were even higher.

In addition to inadequate website capacity planning, New Mexico has an odd system where applicants are required to use a "Customer Identification Number" when submitting their applications.

Instead of just applying for a tag, you have to tie up time on the web servers applying for and managing the non-value-added "Customer Identification Number."

Most other western states rely on a combination of your social security number, name, and address information to verify your identity. New Mexico's experience this year seems to confirm that the Customer Identification Number approach is not the way to go.

In addition to clogging up the website, the unnecessary complexities of the Customer Identification Number system is also credited with overwhelming phone systems. A press release noted that "Department office telephone lines also were deluged with calls about the Customer ID Number, forgotten passwords and other questions."

If you haven't applied in New Mexico yet, you've got another chance.

Online applications must be received by 5 p.m. MDT April 17. Paper applications must be postmarked by April 17 or delivered to the Department office in Santa Fe by 5 p.m. MDT April 17.

Check out our coverage on New Mexico's ibex hunts as something to consider.

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