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Messages - WapitiJoeNM

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General Elk Hunting / Re: Raghorn Defined
« on: March 25, 2019, 11:35:16 AM »
I have always defined a raghorn as a bull with a small, non trophy frame. It can be a 4x4, 5x5 and even a 6x6. However the frame is small, short and thin. What we refer to them as a "dink". Some people refer to them as young bulls, but sometimes it has as much to do with genetics as it does age. I have seen 5 & 6 year olds with frames that aren't going to get any better. They just don't have the genetics. And, on the other hand, I have seen 3 & 4 year olds with thick large frames that are going to be hogs when they are 6 & 7. That's why I tell my hunters not to get stuck on points. I have seen incredible scoring 5x5's that will blow away a rag horn 6x6.

Hunting Gear / Re: has the entire planet gone with the flat-bill cap?
« on: October 13, 2018, 10:06:41 PM »
I loved when they use to keep the tag hanging on with the flat brim like they were going to take it back after a week. Hilarious! Nope, not for me either. Besides, Minnie Pearl pulled that look off YEARS ago. ( Don't know who Minnie Pearl is??? Look her up on YouTube. Type in Minnie Pearl, Hee Haw)


I have called in several bulls multiple times after blown setups. As early as the next day. I like to change diaphragm calls to get a different "voice" because I think (I have no proof, just a feeling) they remember voices and patterns. I have called one bull in 3 times in 5 days.

So, yes bulls can be called back in after being spooked. Will they stay in the same area? Depends on other variables and factors like the other rutting bulls and cows in heat moving. I don't think one encounter freaks them out so much that they head to the next county.

I'm not a huge fan of frontals because there are very few people that can execute it properly and too many people that have read about it and are just "willing" to try it, often with disastrous results. It is a devastating kill shot, but just as devastating for a wounded animal. Frontals should only be taken at short yardages by someone that has solid knowledge of the anatomy, body shot positions and total confidence in their shooting and ability to make the shot.
On a personal note; To me, the above is the same prerequisite for anyone taking a broadside shot as well. Though the target size for a killing shot is more "forgiving" on a broadside elk, a responsible and ethical hunter should be proficient at placing their shot at the optimum spot for a quick and efficient kill. If someone doesn't have that skill set and confidence, then they should head back to the range and get ready for the next year.

General Elk Hunting / Re: 2018 Elk meat pole
« on: September 27, 2018, 01:13:02 PM »
Way to go Dennis! Great Bull
Land of Enchantment buddy!
I hope you left with the memories of bugling bulls and a taste of NM Magic!
(The elk meat will be awesome too!)
 :upthumb: :upthumb:

Elk Hunting Tips & Tactics / Re: Bulls That Wont Come Out To Play
« on: September 12, 2018, 02:30:08 PM »
I have found that a lot of young bulls fit that scenario too. They are feeling their oats but when the heat gets closer, they opt out. Making noise but not up for the fight.
I have had more luck with them getting in closer and raking rather than screaming at them, especially early. If they are still wanting to hang out with the boys, they will come in....but generally silent.
I would recommend locating, moving in and try cow calling and raking.
On the first five days of my hunt, out of 12 bulls we called in, all but 2 came in silent.
Remember, just because they shut up, doesn't mean they are not coming in.

General Elk Hunting / Re: Bugle Report
« on: September 12, 2018, 02:19:34 PM »
The heat is on here in Northern NM Fellas! Night before last (10th) I was in a rut that went nuts! We have our best acorn crop in years. Could shovel them up. Bears, Elk and deer looking very well fed. Good luck guys and happy hunting!

General Elk Hunting / Re: 2018 Elk meat pole
« on: September 01, 2018, 05:35:00 PM »
Opening morning New Mexico. 7am at 20 yards. Just home for a meat drop,  quick shower and heading back to camp to guide. Will be back home on the 12th or until everyone tags. Story to come!

Got 35 yards on this guy quartering away. Got my Juices flowing! :upthumb:

I watched several different bull bachelor groups this past Saturday and the light sparring and setting of the pecking order is already taking place. Bigger bulls were already chasing off smaller bulls "out" of the bachelor group. There was a lot of playing, bucking and running but the messages were already being sent. Some of those "smaller" mature bulls are literally finding themselves in "no man's" land and moving off into the cows where they will try to start gathering cows. They will "believe" they are big dawgs for a while until big boys shadow and move in once the cows come in heat.
By the first, in 9 days...the future satellites will be pushing cows hard and the screaming begins.

A solid hunting partner is so SO important. They can be a huge part of your success or not. They can make a tough time a great time. But like you, they have to be prepared.   In this post, tell us about your hunting buddy or buddies and then tell us what they do to get ready for the season.
I'll start:

Leroy Chavez is 10 years my elder and I am 56. I have called him "Chav" so long that it sounds funny to call him Leroy. Chav and I are married to sisters, so we are family and over the years we have become best friends.
I introduced Chav to bowhunting after my first season here in NM. This year will be our 35th elk archery season of hunting together and we have shared a lifetime of memories and laughs. We have had a few scares along the way and things haven't always gone our way, but our triumphs have WAY outnumbered our defeats.A solid hunting buddy is hard to come by. Somebody that works as hard as you do, that loves hunting as much as you do and sometimes,.. is just as nuts as you are. Chav and I have hunted so long together that we can start out on our morning hunt going in opposite directions and it never fails that we will eventually end up in the same area.He may be 65, but he is in no way getting long in the tooth. I would put him up against any 40 year old when it comes to getting after it in the mountains. I am a very aggressive hunter and he has never missed a beat, going right with me step for step.We have hunted together so long that he knows my every move, strategy and technique. Sometimes I think he knows what I am going to do before I do it.Chav is someone to ride the river with...for sure.
So what does he do to get ready?
I have a pic taken this morning. I was on a 5 mile run on one of our country roads and I looked up to see Chav heading back from his 6 to 8 miles that he does every morning.
Talk about dedicated. He works out year round.
Every morning up at 5 or 5:30 am.
1. Cardio: He changes up his runs or cardio. Always starting with a warm up walk, then he utilizes the following in different mixes; long run, or telephone poles (running hard from one pole to next...recovery walk to the next pole...then hard and so on for so many miles), hiking with weighted pack (sometimes carrying a weight in hand to prep for carrying a bow), to just long walks on recovery days. On bad days he hits the tread or stationary bike.
2. Recovery walk - mile or so
3. Shooting after cardio (more down on his knees than standing)
4. Weight workout - He alternates days and body parts. Chav doesn't work heavy weights. He does more reps and works on endurance (though an increase in weight is a natural progression). He will never be a HEAVY weight guy. He was a collegiate distance runner in his day and still has that antelope frame.

He(we) add hikes and trips into the mountains as well. We live and train at 6500' at the base of the Sangre de Cristos. We can be hiking at 9K to 10k within 30 to 45 minutes.

I have SOOOO many funny, crazy and scary stories from our hunts but that would be a whole different set of posts..lol

Now, tell us about your hunting buddies.

General Elk Hunting / Re: What's your countdown...
« on: August 20, 2018, 09:56:36 AM »
11 days..Land of Enchantment! Eeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuugh!

Hunt Planner / Re: North Carolina ROLL CALL.
« on: August 20, 2018, 06:28:01 AM »
Anyone here from the Tar Heel State?

Im in The southern OuterBanks area.

Grew up hunting squirrel, coon, doves, geese and ducks not too far from you. I was raised in Moyock, NC in Currituck county.

Came out to NM in 1980, the first one of my family to go to college and had no clue what to expect. Saw my first bull elk the next year while hunting deer with my bow, and WOW...what a critter! Been here ever since.

Elk Hunting Tips & Tactics / Re: Question on North slopes
« on: August 18, 2018, 12:00:26 PM »
Even though a North facing slope may not be the dominant feature in your area, it will still occur in drainages, small canyons or just dips and recesses in your east or west sloping topography. Those small oasis islands of thick timber will be the coolest and most protected from the elements and serve as bedding area.
So the best choice will be to find elk sign in your area and then look for the sub-north features that provide the best cover and protection.

General Elk Hunting / Re: Another Free Gear Friday!
« on: August 11, 2018, 06:51:37 AM »
Goal - To honor all elements of the hunt and take a mature bull with a clean kill.

The success comes in the journey along the way. The hours of prep, the challenges met and overcome. The planning, execution and adaptation. The knowledge used and the lessons learned. Growing as a person, a friend, a father, a husband. The memories made and the dreams of seasons to come. Bonds created and honest reflection. The work put in, the pain felt and the exhilaration of it all. The hours and hours and even more hours that come down to one rush filled, focused, muscle memoried second.....of the string leaving my fingers.

General Elk Hunting / Re: my bowhunting buddy
« on: August 10, 2018, 06:38:23 AM »
First of all, great picture! Secondly, great job dad!
You have given your son a gift that will last a lifetime. The gift and bond of hunting with a bow in your hand runs deep to our core. The feelings and memories that come with it are priceless. Trust me, you haven't lost your hunting buddy, he is just on a "growing up" leave of absence.
Football and sports in general teaches us so much about ourselves; our character, work ethic, perseverance, dedication, discipline and our willingness to endure. Things that his upbringing at home and in the woods have already instilled and made your son who he is.
However, when it's all said and done. When the cheers fade and the last whistle blows, your boy will have grown up and he will still have the greatest gift a young man can have.....His hunting buddy.

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