March 04, 2021, 03:24:54 AM

Author Topic: Hunt of a life time or not?  (Read 994 times)

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Offline Gila

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Hunt of a life time or not?
« on: April 25, 2019, 01:38:51 PM »
New Mexico has opened a new elk hunting. The elk in this GMU have never been hunted before. One hunt for 5 days (12 Oct.) any legal (rifle) with 10 tags either sex given out. The tag is a standard hunt. I drew one of these tags as my 2nd choice. Obviously there are bulls up there that are dying of old age. I live in this GMU and the wilderness area, national forest is a short drive from my ranch. Scouting time is not an issue as I am retired (well, still have ranch chores). I also plan to bear hunt this area in September.  It is in the central part of the state and is not known for high numbers of elk, hence no elk hunting opportunity, until now.The habitat is very similar to the Gila and is in the Cibola National Forest to the Southeast of Albuquerque. I've only driven the forest roads in this area a few times. This is my first elk hunt.
I think my chances to harvest a trophy bull are good if I can find them. I have not been able find any management data on these elk herds. I will be by myself on a DIYer. I have a side-by-side on a trailer.I am using onX hunt. I found out that they will be running the dogs for bear on the 15th and 16th. That will give me 3 days with just the other 9 elk hunters in the woods. That is besides the hoards of hikers which is the usual wilderness activity there. They don't get off the trails very far though. Finding the elk is the big challenge.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 01:52:34 PM by Gila »

Offline cohunter14

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Re: Hunt of a life time or not?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 03:40:02 PM »
With that much time to scout and it being close to home, I wouldn't be worried at all if I were you! This sounds like an unbelievable opportunity. I can't image there will be that many people with dogs out hunting bears, so I wouldn't let that worry you.

Offline Gila

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Re: Hunt of a life time or not?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 11:05:33 AM »
Thank you for the reply.  I became numb when I was notified. I was talking to a warden two seasons ago and he told me that they may open up that gmu for one rifle season and to keep an eye out. This year New Mexico listed the draw hunts by GMU instead of weapons type. At first glance I missed it, and was focusing on the other established hunts. There is no draw odds or sucess rates available because the Elk have never been hunted here before. In reading the minutes of past years game commission meetings there is a pattern of tree huggers applauding the commissioners for not having an elk season in this gmu. Score 1 for the Sporthunters!

Offline FlyGuy

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Re: Hunt of a life time or not?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 02:23:05 PM »
Man, you are in a perfect position to capitalize on this tag.  Its like it was meant for you.  I drew my very 1st Gila Tag this year, but I live in TX so Ill be lucky to make even one 3 day scouting trip. 

My guess is there are few elk but some big ones.  Youve got plenty of time to get to know those Mtns.  Id be out there every other weekend.  This has the added benefit of getting you into solid elk shape and really dialed in on gear (if you arent already).  Id make a list of areas to check out and get after it.  Find sign of previous years rutting areas.  Maybe invest in trail cameras (legal in NM?) to help you keep tabs on a big one and know his hidey holes. 

Maybe find that officer again and ask him for intel?  Or and forest service guys working that area, they may be able to point you to areas they typically see elk.

I dont know the terrain, but it Sounds like it could be a glass intensive hunt.  Maybe time for an upgrade?

Best of luck to you!  I hope you keep us posted on your scouting progress and your hunt. 


Offline Gila

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Re: Hunt of a life time or not?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 04:09:27 PM »
Congrats on your draw! The Gila is a special place. The wife and I will be fly fishing that area this spring. Those are some excellent ideas....thank you. I have plenty of trail cameras that I used on my ranch in SD. I have a high quality spotting scope as well. I want to get some better binos though. I think you are correct....get up high and glass the burn edges and borders arround the montanes.
I got a good laugh yesterday. The farrier came out to the ranch and asked If I drew anything. I said "well, only for elk". He asked where and I pointed and said "right there".  :clap:

 

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