The Jicarilla: A Premiere Hunting and Fishing Destination
Located in north-central New Mexico, the 850,000 acre Jicarilla Apache Reservation was established in 1887 as a homeland for the Jicarilla Apache people, who had historically roamed extensively across mountains and foothills in New Mexico and Colorado. The Jicarilla is rich in natural resources, including oil and gas, timber, rangelands, fisheries, and wildlife. Elevations range from 6,500-9,000ft, and the landscape varies from rugged pine covered mesas and pinyon-juniper woodlands to lowland sagebrush flats, several great fishing lakes, and the Navajo River. Dulce is the reservation's sole community with a population of approximately 3,000 people, and is home to the Jicarilla Apache Nation's headquarters.
Managing the Nation's Fish and Wildlife
The Jicarilla Game and Fish Department (JGFD) was first established in 1957, and in 1982 the Jicarilla Apache Nation was granted sole jurisdiction over its fish and wildlife management. Big-game hunting is a strong tradition among the Jicarilla people, and non-tribal commercial hunts have been conducted for over 50 years. The JGFD currently has a staff of 30 employees, working in four separate divisions; Administration, Biological, Law Enforcement and Parks and Maintenance.
The Biological Division is responsible for managing all of the Nation's fish and wildlife, including monitoring populations, setting hunting seasons, recording harvest and conducting habitat improvement projects. The Law Enforcement Division patrols the reservation and is responsible for enforcing the Nation's strict Game and Fish Code (Title 10).The Parks and Maintenance maintains all of the department's facilities, campgrounds, and fishing docks, and oversees the elk feeding program at Horse Lake Mesa.
Spectacular Hunting Opportunities
The Jicarilla represents a unique opportunity for wildlife management, since the Nation has jurisdiction over both habitat and wildlife, which is an uncommon situation in the west. This allows the Game and Fish Department to coordinate big game habitat and herd management strategies, resulting in spectacular hunting opportunities for sportsman seeking quality hunting experiences and trophy-class animals. Although Trophy Mule Deer are the hallmark of the Jicarilla Game Management Program, hunters are offered a variety of other high quality opportunities including Elk, Black Bear, Mountain Lion and Turkey.