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Illustration of an elk.

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It’s our 15th Birthday! Join us for our Preserve Days Celebration.

Download the elk hunt brochure.
Photo of an bull elk and herd looking into the distance.

Hunting Overview

The Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of New Mexico’s premier elk hunting locations. Between 2,500 and 3,000 elk occupy the Preserve for breeding, calving and foraging. Our hunts are designed to pay homage to man's oldest relationship with animals by providing the public with a hunting experience that otherwise would be prohibitively expensive.


At the mandatory hunt orientation session you will receive specific information about your hunt. There will be time allowed for hunters to get familiar with the hunt area(s) and to ask questions about the Preserve. Prime hunt locations are abundant, affording hunters an enhanced hunting experience. In addition, other Preserve activities are limited which promotes hunt safety and quality.


After the orientation you will have time to scout your area before the hunt begins and our knowledgeable staff will be on site to provide information and advice. The number of animals and harvest opportunities during our hunts make this an experience not to be missed.


In order to provide a fair method of access for all hunters, the Trust is conducting a lottery for these quality hunts. Visit the Planning Your Hunt section to learn how to apply.

I wanted to say thanks to all of you involved with this past weekend’s youth elk hunt…. Even though Patrick didn’t get an elk, we really had a wonderful time. We saw hundreds of elk. We saw deer and many turkey. We even saw three bald eagles. Best of all, I spent some quality time with my son on a magnificent piece of God’s creation.

David Leong

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