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NM elk hunting newbie questions #7687327 12/13/19 12:07 AM
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Ok guys, be gentle here.

So my friend and I want to do our first elk hunt. No guides. We want to haul my camper to New Mexico and find a nice place to stay with full hookups and hunt public land. Would like to bring my UTV if it’s allowed as well.

We have never done this before and have no idea of how to do it, or where to go.

We are looking for someone that could walk us through this and maybe even give us insight on a decent place to hunt.

I’ve never hunted outside of Texas so I know I need to read up on the rules and regulations.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687342 12/13/19 12:29 AM
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You are going to have a tough time doing this in NM as it is mostly private land and not a lot of public land to hunt. Your best bet would be Colorado.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687351 12/13/19 12:37 AM
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Non Resident tags are few on draw hunts so will need a landowner to help with the tags in the area you want to hunt. Better check with NM about their requirements first.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Lone Ranger] #7687396 12/13/19 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger
You are going to have a tough time doing this in NM as it is mostly private land and not a lot of public land to hunt. Your best bet would be Colorado.



Not true. New Mexico has plenty public land.

Leave the utv at home. Truck with 4wd is all you need utvs are not supposed to leave roadway.

New Mexico is a draw state. You need to research how to enter draw, chance to draw fluctuates per unit.

All that being said it is simpler to hunt otc Colorado. If you do not get drawn for nm that's a back up option as well.

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https://www.summitpost.org/public-and-private-land-percentages-by-us-states/186111


Last edited by ducknbass; 12/13/19 01:43 AM.
Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: cos] #7687472 12/13/19 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger
You are going to have a tough time doing this in NM as it is mostly private land and not a lot of public land to hunt. Your best bet would be Colorado.


You’re either high or trying to keep people out of “your” hunting state.

Originally Posted by cos
Non Resident tags are few on draw hunts so will need a landowner to help with the tags in the area you want to hunt. Better check with NM about their requirements first.


Getting warmer, but still a good ways off.


NM is not an easy draw, but the NR tags are there. You don’t NEED anything from a landowner, nor should you avoid the state because it’s not a guaranteed draw. There’s a lot to get into. I would suggest that you lay out some specifics on what you want, such as time frame, budget, physical abilities/limitations, size/success expectations, etc. Then, the handful of guys on this forum that actually know what they’re talking about can guide you through the process and help you decide what will work best for you.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687603 12/13/19 11:48 AM
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NM is a “must to” to apply in my opinion. The draw is coming up in early spring.

The NMGF website is very informational and even gives last year draw odds and success rates. Grant it those are self reported success but none the less I find NM a gem.

NM is the opposite of Colorado in that they are and opportunity Mule deer state and a quality Elk state. CO is quality Deer and Opportunity Elk. Even then if you fit in you can find units with high draw rates for Mule deer and Elk.

Your atv/utv can be very handy in a lot of the units especially if there is moisture.


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Lone Ranger] #7687604 12/13/19 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lone Ranger
You are going to have a tough time doing this in NM as it is mostly private land and not a lot of public land to hunt. Your best bet would be Colorado.


Got to love the Internet and it’s lack of factual info
roflmao


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687608 12/13/19 12:01 PM
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Throttle down in 4wd low doesn't work?

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687786 12/13/19 03:12 PM
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Years ago I hunted public land in New Mexico. I applied for and drew a muzzle loader tag in an area that only allows primitive weapons. It was close to the Arizona border, but I forget the name of the unit. We didn't have ATV's and it was about two hours one way to the closest gas station that also sold a few other things, but not much. We brought along quite a few 5 gallon gas cans and pulled a 16 foot trailer full of gear to set up camp for 4 of us. We didn't get anything, but we did see elk almost every day, just too far away, or with the big bull that got away, so quickly that it was more like hunting quail then I would have expected. He jumped up from some super thick brush 20 yards in front of me and ran off before I could get a shot!!!

I never went back, it wasn't what I considered a fun hunt. I prefer the mountains and paying for being able to hunt in a place where I'm seeing more animals and being able to let them go if I want to.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7687861 12/13/19 04:02 PM
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I currently live in New Mexico.

Here is the deal.

There are tons of public land areas, and as a non-resident it doesn't hurt me to tell you where to go.

Here are the 3 things you need. You need to purchase OnX maps and do some research about the unit. Put OnX on your smart phone and down load the local maps for the area that you draw. Even though you won't have cell phone reception, you will be able to access your maps, and your phones GPS will tell you where you are.

2nd you need to understand that if you are hunting with a rifle you will have really bad odds of drawing a tag. New Mexico allocates a very small percentage (6%) of tags to non-resident unguided hunters. http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/applications-and-draw-information/how-new-mexico-draw-works/ This link will help to outline your understanding of the draws.

There is tons of public land in New Mexico, but not every unit has accessable public land. The areas with the most public land are in the Gila Wilderness (units 16-17), and Unit 34 near Cloudcroft.

The good news is that is cheap to apply in New Mexico, and that while the odds suck of drawing a tag you will get most of your money back if you don't draw.

Full hook ups? You have obviously never hunted in the West. You will be parking your trailer on a piece of BLM or Forest Service land, unless you are going to drive 30-80 miles to town to stay in a campground. You can camp on public land in the West for 14 days in the same spot for free. Some public government camp grounds charge a fee.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: ducknbass] #7687906 12/13/19 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ducknbass
Throttle down in 4wd low doesn't work?


Works, but some of those BLM/NF roads will beat your front end out


Donate to TX Youth hunting program.... better to donate then to waste it in taxes

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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688020 12/13/19 07:19 PM
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One thing about 4x4, when the BLM has a notice that says you need 4x4, you may not really need it, but there s a darn good chance you will. Usually with no phone service you will be on your own,


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688026 12/13/19 07:35 PM
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yeah, I want to go next year and starting to look into it

I don't want a "guaranteed" trophy hunt nor do I want to spend that kind of money
I love the mountains and want the experience of the hunt with a high probability of success on a cow for the meat
Rifle hunting..


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688077 12/13/19 08:28 PM
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*cracks knuckles*

CCoker: New Mexico does not give out any cow tags to non-residents. You will have to buy a landowner voucher ($600-1200) plus the elk tag from the state (~$300). All draw tags for non-residents are for mature bull only. Residents may apply for either-sex tags. Most of Colorado's either-sex and cow elk tags end up on the leftover list and can be purchased over the counter.

As stated, New Mexico has plenty of public land. The NMGFD website has a lot of information on it, pay special attention to the number of tags available for each hunt. If there's only 10 tags, there could be 0 to 1 tag available for a DIY non-resident.

You do have to pay your tag fees upfront in NM, so initial out of pocket can be rough if you don't think about that ahead of time.

I think that physical limitations should be the number one thing when considering your hunts. If you have bad knees, don't choose the roughest unit in the state just because it has better draw odds. It has better draw odds because it is almost impossible to hunt. I made this mistake this year on a 3rd choice deer tag in New Mexico. Got to the unit for the first time and quickly figured out that I was not in the least prepared for the areas the Coues' deer hang out, especially hunting alone. Places look much different in person than they do on Google Earth.

I have spent far too much time digging into the application side of things. With points or applications in 11-14 states per year. I can help you put together an application strategy based on what you can spend each year on applications and tags and what you want to hunt. For example, I plan to spend about $2500 per year on applications and tags (approximately half and half). These consist of applications and points purchases in about 11 states on average and 3-4 tags. I had 4 draw tags in 2018 and 3 in 2019.

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Fitzwho] #7688085 12/13/19 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fitzwho
*cracks knuckles*

CCoker: New Mexico does not give out any cow tags to non-residents. You will have to buy a landowner voucher ($600-1200) plus the elk tag from the state (~$300). All draw tags for non-residents are for mature bull only. Residents may apply for either-sex tags. Most of Colorado's either-sex and cow elk tags end up on the leftover list and can be purchased over the counter.

As stated, New Mexico has plenty of public land. The NMGFD website has a lot of information on it, pay special attention to the number of tags available for each hunt. If there's only 10 tags, there could be 0 to 1 tag available for a DIY non-resident.

You do have to pay your tag fees upfront in NM, so initial out of pocket can be rough if you don't think about that ahead of time.

I think that physical limitations should be the number one thing when considering your hunts. If you have bad knees, don't choose the roughest unit in the state just because it has better draw odds. It has better draw odds because it is almost impossible to hunt. I made this mistake this year on a 3rd choice deer tag in New Mexico. Got to the unit for the first time and quickly figured out that I was not in the least prepared for the areas the Coues' deer hang out, especially hunting alone. Places look much different in person than they do on Google Earth.

I have spent far too much time digging into the application side of things. With points or applications in 11-14 states per year. I can help you put together an application strategy based on what you can spend each year on applications and tags and what you want to hunt. For example, I plan to spend about $2500 per year on applications and tags (approximately half and half). These consist of applications and points purchases in about 11 states on average and 3-4 tags. I had 4 draw tags in 2018 and 3 in 2019.


This should just be a sticky note. Spot on


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688166 12/13/19 10:17 PM
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I am open to Colorado, wherever within a "reasonable" drive from central Texas
I am in decent shape and can do anything short of a 2 week self supported Dall sheep hunt at 14K feet smile

I don't want to pay for a draw, rather just commit and bite the bullet


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: ccoker] #7688175 12/13/19 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ccoker
I am open to Colorado, wherever within a "reasonable" drive from central Texas
I am in decent shape and can do anything short of a 2 week self supported Dall sheep hunt at 14K feet smile

I don't want to pay for a draw, rather just commit and bite the bullet



You are not out much if you don’t draw NM, when you look at success rates I’d say you need to apply, but have CO as your 90% most likely backup


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688245 12/14/19 12:06 AM
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I have a cousin living in Estes Park, man, he posts pics all the time of Elk.. he is not a hunter though
Looking at that area as well


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: EddieWalker] #7688338 12/14/19 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
Years ago I hunted public land in New Mexico. I applied for and drew a muzzle loader tag in an area that only allows primitive weapons. It was close to the Arizona border, but I forget the name of the unit. We didn't have ATV's and it was about two hours one way to the closest gas station that also sold a few other things, but not much.
That sounds like where I used to go for mule deer. It was muzzle loader or archery only for mule deer and archery only for elk. Part of the Apache National Forest not far from the AZ border. Decent mule deer and tons of elk. Also saw a couple of pet coons (aka black bears). We camped at about 8000 feet and hunted up to somewhere around 11000. I'd die up there today.


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688354 12/14/19 02:09 AM
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Yep, there's no shortage of elk in Estes Park

Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688366 12/14/19 02:19 AM
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been watching "Team Elk" on Amazon Prime
one of the places they hunt a lot is in New Mexico
of course, they are after trophies which are stupid expensive
But a 2 day guided cow hunt for meat is reasonably priced
like 2500 per person if you book at the same time


180k acres
11 hour drive from Austin

http://www.expressuubar.com/elk


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: ccoker] #7688380 12/14/19 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ccoker
been watching "Team Elk" on Amazon Prime
one of the places they hunt a lot is in New Mexico
of course, they are after trophies which are stupid expensive
But a 2 day guided cow hunt for meat is reasonably priced
like 2500 per person if you book at the same time


180k acres
11 hour drive from Austin

http://www.expressuubar.com/elk


One of the most expensive ranches in New Mexico second only to the Jicarilla.

With that said you are going to be successful and you will be taken care of. Also the terrain is very forgiving


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688418 12/14/19 03:08 AM
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I don’t need to be pampered but I also don’t want to spend a week on a DIY and not even see an Elk
Know people that have done that!

Certainly open to other options
Just happened to look at their website tonight
Been binge watching that damned show


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688530 12/14/19 11:25 AM
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My last trip to NM for elk was a cow hunt on an Indian reservation. No drawing but a sure thing. One thing you will discover is that there is an oxygen shortage anywhere elk live.


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Re: NM elk hunting newbie questions [Re: Hunter_Man] #7688653 12/14/19 02:40 PM
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oh yea, I have been mountain biking at elevation lots of times.. I recall the first trip to Durango and thinking I could hammer up a steep pitch on day one..


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