Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

2024 Take Back Your Elk Report

I haven't ever used or looked into the EPLUS system very much. This thread has been enlightening.

One of my issues with this issue is this stance


My understanding is that EPLUS is open to EVERYBODY. That means a resident is just as able to purchase a landowner tag as a non-resident. To say that the system is skewed towards those willing and able to pay a premium for elk tags is an argument that I can see. I just don't see the point in pitting residents against nonresidents here.

Also, what is the proposed solution? Presumably, the goal as stated is to give fewer tags to the landowners and put those tags into the public draw (more public, less private). Okay, but if the elk are on private land that the public cannot access, how does that help anything? More pressure and more people on the public lands that we hunt. I don't get it.

I think I agree with bulldawg87 above. Making more of the private land tags unit wide (and, thus, opening the lands held by those receiving tags to hunting by the general public) seems to benefit everyone while still recognizing the landowners for their efforts to improve habitat.
The reality is some of the best elk resources, especially from central to southern NM, are on private properties. Water is such a key herd support feature in NM. There would be so many less elk without these resources developed by landowners. This would then bleed into overall elk population and decrease the amount of draw tags even...as many elk come off Public lands and feed and water on Private Lands. Without private land habitat development, less elk for everyone, even in the Public Draw Pool.

I personally know four landowners right now putting in water wells, surface equipment and drinkers / ponds for EPLUS....in 3 different units.

One is doing this to get his land qualified into the system by adding a well, surface equipment and drinkers / ponds.

Three other properties are working to increase their scores to have better opportunities at tag authorizations and hopefully better odds at bulls over cows when they draw.

I know several other landowners that have done the exact same thing a few years ago too. All for elk, not cattle.

This is EPLUS in action, doing what it was designed to do.

That is just the few people I know. That same habitat is being developed all across the State because of the EPLUS system.
 
Not disingenuous. If a landowner gets $5K for a tag, what of that money goes to support the herd? Somewhere between zero and something, but definitely below $5K.

Don't for a minute think that $5K is a high price, they can go for much more. Again, NMDGF sees none of that, just the license and tag fees collected on top of that.

Hank is an exceptional landowner. Not many do the work he does for habitat, and to do so he should be reimbursed in some fashion - in this system today, it is tags. The system today, however, ends up being severely skewed to benefit the high-dollar-capable nonresident, rather than the residents the herd is supposedly held in trust for.

Curiously, the only folks I have noticed here defending the NM system are NM nonresidents.

David
NM
Hank is not unique in the work he does for elk at all. EPLUS is built in a way that it encourages land owners to do the same type projects Hank has...as I know many.

Also, what if you found the trust is better managed and supported by those non-residents and/or Landowners...in turn improving the trust for Residents.

That is exactly what I think is happening with the current program in NM.

People like to point to AZ as a comparison for Anti-EPLUS reasons. AZ is next door, has similar water issues....but AZ does nothing for Landowners to benefit Elk. However, NM does support landowners and gives Everyone opportunities to benefit from private lands. Comparitively, NM has 2x to 3x as many elk vs AZ. That equals more opportunity for Residents in the draw too.

So which state has the better system? I'd say NM as the elk herd is way larger and the resources are being provided to grow those numbers further.
 
Last edited:
I'm in for the 15th year. RO 140acres
The new project is in works. I found a welder to build the riparian cages for trees. 10x10x7feet. 3.
Narrowleaf cottonwood, aspen,wild plum,berries.

Most of the folks around me are in the UW pool for the $.
UW Tags here are going for $5-10k.

I won't open my little place to the public. I give my tags away, if I get them.
My place is wildlife habitat.
But my water benefits thousands of acres of surrounding public lands.IMG_0006.JPGIMG_0008.JPG

I think the tags should have a 1 transfer limit. No middleman. And the final price paid gets taxed for wildlife benefit.
 
I'm in for the 15th year. RO 140acres
The new project is in works. I found a welder to build the riparian cages for trees. 10x10x7feet. 3.
Narrowleaf cottonwood, aspen,wild plum,berries.

Most of the folks around me are in the UW pool for the $.
UW Tags here are going for $5-10k.

I won't open my little place to the public. I give my tags away, if I get them.
My place is wildlife habitat.
But my water benefits thousands of acres of surrounding public lands.View attachment 319633View attachment 319634

I think the tags should have a 1 transfer limit. No middleman. And the final price paid gets taxed for

I'm in for the 15th year. RO 140acres
The new project is in works. I found a welder to build the riparian cages for trees. 10x10x7feet. 3.
Narrowleaf cottonwood, aspen,wild plum,berries.

Most of the folks around me are in the UW pool for the $.
UW Tags here are going for $5-10k.

I won't open my little place to the public. I give my tags away, if I get them.
My place is wildlife habitat.
But my water benefits thousands of acres of surrounding public lands.View attachment 319633View attachment 319634

I think the tags should have a 1 transfer limit. No middleman. And the final price paid gets taxed for wildlife benefit
The end seller is supposed to collect tax currently. Weather that is a outfitter or landowner.

Much of the money paid to unitwide properties (or any authorization sale) does go wildlife benefits. It is just directly managed by landowners vs the govt. Which is better and will go much further.

Many many landowner are reinvesting dollars back into the elk herd. Significant dollars.

And unitwide benefits all public land hunters at the tune of almost 600k acres of ADDITIONAL land that can be hunted. No trespass fees, no knowing the landowner...to everyone. No limited number of hunters, just hop a gate and start hunting.
 
That’s true @TheTone. And the support is pretty easy to identify as well- most often from people who’ve become accustomed to having their existence subsidized by others (see post directly above mine).
Transferable landowner tags are a subsidy.
I can see the point of view that transferable tags might be the only thing keeping a ranch viable and keeping it from being sold to some coastal billionaire or subdivided, but they are a subsidy.
 
The end seller is supposed to collect tax currently. Weather that is a outfitter or landowner.

Much of the money paid to unitwide properties (or any authorization sale) does go wildlife benefits. It is just directly managed by landowners vs the govt. Which is better and will go much further.

Many many landowner are reinvesting dollars back into the elk herd. Significant dollars.

And unitwide benefits all public land hunters at the tune of almost 600k acres of ADDITIONAL land that can be hunted. No trespass fees, no knowing the landowner...to everyone. No limited number of hunters, just hop a gate and start hunting.
The only reason ranches go unitwide is because there is no elk on the land during hunting season or they would be ro tags 600k acres of access to land with no elk really helps...
 
The only reason ranches go unitwide is because there is no elk on the land during hunting season or they would be ro tags 600k acres of access to land with no elk really helps...
It depends, a couple of units that I hunt have properties that go unit wide because they are inholdings or connect pieces of state land that make access easier. I haven't actually killed an elk on one of these properties but they have been very useful and saved some miles at times. And they did have elk sign on them.
 
I'm in for the 15th year. RO 140acres
The new project is in works. I found a welder to build the riparian cages for trees. 10x10x7feet. 3.
Narrowleaf cottonwood, aspen,wild plum,berries.

Most of the folks around me are in the UW pool for the $.
UW Tags here are going for $5-10k.

I won't open my little place to the public. I give my tags away, if I get them.
My place is wildlife habitat.
But my water benefits thousands of acres of surrounding public lands.View attachment 319633View attachment 319634

I think the tags should have a 1 transfer limit. No middleman. And the final price paid gets taxed for wildlife benefit.
If everyone did it like you hank I wouldn't have anything against it. I don't appreciate when a guy gets a elk voucher or two for his 25 acres, makes it unit wide and makes 5k-10k a tag and of course no one is gonna go hunt his little piece of land during elk season. And if someone does they try running you off.
 
SOME landowner are reinvesting dollars back into the elk herds.
Their I tried to fix your statement. Hopefully it's a lil more correct now. Lol
I know guys that do both and most of them pocket the money and doesn't do a thing for elk. I'm not convinced that the reason our elk herd is growing is because of eplus tags. I know plenty of ranchers in our area that put in water to help elk and deer where they don't get a dime from selling elk vouchers.
 
If everyone did it like you hank I wouldn't have anything against it. I don't appreciate when a guy gets a elk voucher or two for his 25 acres, makes it unit wide and makes 5k-10k a tag and of course no one is gonna go hunt his little piece of land during elk season. And if someone does they try running you off.
There are very few ways he could get two tags on 25 acres. There is a limited way for three years it could happen...but very limited, with habitat incentives that are not part of the orginial qualifying score.

And that VAST majority of properties that small will never qualify in the first place and get 0 tag authorizations forever. Buy one, try and enter it...it won't make it.

They may can get the water, but they can't get enough forage or cover score to typically get it into the current eplus model.

Most, if they did make it, will score lower than properties with less resources. At this point, becuase they score less, they are more likely to not draw a tag as an SCR or draw a cow.

But it is a drawing still.
 
There are very few ways he could get two tags on 25 acres. There is a limited way for three years it could happen...but very limited, with habitat incentives that are not part of the orginial qualifying score.

And that VAST majority of properties that small will never qualify in the first place and get 0 tag authorizations forever. Buy one, try and enter it...it won't make it.

They may can get the water, but they can't get enough forage or cover score to typically get it into the current eplus model.

Most, if they did make it, will score lower than properties with less resources. At this point, becuase they score less, they are more likely to not draw a tag as an SCR or draw a cow.

But it is a drawing still.
All I'm saying is he's in and gets at least one tag a year some years he gets 2 and he's UW 🤷‍♂️
 
The only reason ranches go unitwide is because there is no elk on the land during hunting season or they would be ro tags 600k acres of access to land with no elk really helps...
That is definitely not the only reason. Sometimes a ranch waters and feeds elk for a long period, but come hunting season the majority of those elk move off to other areas. They provided habitat for months and now they aren't there to hunt....very good reason to give that guy a unit wide tag option. He raised elk all spring and summer, for you and me.

Some of these ranches simply create easier access points into public lands. Some unlock public lands althogher.

A lot of unitwide landowners are boardered by neighbors that are also unitwide and it is a way to also hunt the neighbor too. RO tags can only be used on deeded acerage in the Primary Zone. They could not hunt the neighbors land with a Ranch Only tag.

Some landowners boarder a peice of landlocked public or hard to access public. They couldn't legally hunt the landlocked land they lockin without going unitwide...as a RO tag would be invalid.

Many unitwide properties are slap full of awesome elk hunting. I keep having success on unitwide properties and hardly ever see anyone else.

Keep telling people there are no elk there..it makes my unitwide land hunting less competitive.

A significant portion have good water, habitat and forage.

I'm sure some also need to be eliminated too...but most I have encountered I could hunt. Including a 20 acre place in the Gila with a pond that was getting hammered by elk.

If I shot a bull on the forest around that 20 acres, going to that water, it jumps that fence and isn't unitwide, I may never recover that bull. If it is unitwide, I can immediately access that private property to recover my elk....or just hunt that pond to start.
 
The interesting part of all this is that you're missing where the money goes. Instead of a limited number of tags being sold by the state to NRs at a price commensurate with what other western states charge, we see thousands spent for tags that go to landowners pockets. How does that benefit the herd? None of that money goes to managing or benefiting the herd.

The system in NM is unbalanced. It is interesting that everyone I have seen comment on this explaining how wonderful the NM system is appears to be from out of state. Could it be, el Guapo (movie reference), that the porous system in NM is to your benefit as a NR willing to pay?

David
NM
1710867950964.gif
 
If everyone did it like you hank I wouldn't have anything against it. I don't appreciate when a guy gets a elk voucher or two for his 25 acres, makes it unit wide and makes 5k-10k a tag and of course no one is gonna go hunt his little piece of land during elk season. And if someone does they try running you off.
Or when it comes across that the only reason landowners want to do work that benefits wildlife is so they can get some tags to make some money off of.

I’m still willing to trade my less than quarter acre city lot for some ranch where the owner is just so overburdened by all the wildlife they have to deal with
 
Or when it comes across that the only reason landowners want to do work that benefits wildlife is so they can get some tags to make some money off of.

I’m still willing to trade my less than quarter acre city lot for some ranch where the owner is just so overburdened by all the wildlife they have to deal with
If landowners do the work to make money, that means it is working and elk still are gaining resources and habitat...nobody else is doing the habitat work. That habitat work has a cost too, and often times a significant cost. The value the tag brings creates habitat.

A lot of water in NM is very deep. To drill the well, put in surface solar equipment. These wellsmany times cost in surplus of $50k. Then you still need to run pipe and put out drinkers, build a pond, etc. Way north of $50k is very realistic on most properties across NM. Some are somewhat cheaper, none are cheap.

SO much habitat exists and ranges are expanding for elk because elk have significant value in NM.

The land itself in many areas of the primary zone in NM is cheap relatively. The cost to often get the water is not.

Buy some land and give it a shot. Great investment opportunity, gain additional elk hunting opportunities, improve habitat for elk and other wildlife. Make it unitwide and let everyone else also have access to your new water features and acerage!

Win for public hunters, win for elk, win for your investment porfolio in time.
 
Last edited:
The amount of greasy money flowing through NM politics cannot be outdone. We sit on one of the fattest bank accounts of all of the states, yet 25% of our population lives in poverty. Politicians get a "walking money" handout, to simply give away to patrons. The difference between the "swells" and the rest of the population is amongst the most stark in the country, and once your position is secured that greasy money starts to flow. So, yes, the pushback comes from a thin slice on the top, either making money on the system or getting their trophy hunt every year. We reg'lar folk have no real chance to change the game, unless there is a change in the Governor's Mansion occupant that cares about the citizens of the state instead of the perks of the office.

The two new appointees to the Game Commission appear to be more of the same, so i expect the 25-26 report to look the same.

David
NM
I would hardly call the ranchers I know as getting greasy money or being part of the thin slice of the top. They mostly work their bottoms off to keep the ranch solvent. The increase in cattle prices has been very helpful.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
111,423
Messages
1,958,214
Members
35,173
Latest member
240shooter
Back
Top