E-plus review

hank4elk

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The whole E-PLUS system is up for review,finally,sort of. Was suppossed to be done every 4 years since inception in '05,but hasn't been. Just tweeked. Poorly.
Then it will go to Commission for vote,before the elections.
Then new commission.
Online reviews are ongoing before decision in Aug.......Public meetings next week.
 

hank4elk

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So I finally got the paperwork Sat. from E-Plus program review to re- sign up or decline or get an appeal. We usually get the sign up papers in Jan. , but with all the ranches being reviewed & graded, it took a while.
Trying to stay up on what was being proposed as opposed to rumors has been difficult. Throw in new Admin. & the whole commission being replaced....

My ranch scored an 8 with a 1 elk multiplier (a factor not mentioned in proposals). Needed a 7 or more to score high enough to apply. I have hundreds of dated pics frozen in my old pc & dated pics are required for this grade...lol
The deadline to sign & return is June 1 so I signed up again as RO & will appeal the elk multiplier before next year. I threw in a note to head of E-plus who I have had sit down with, showed true property line modification on map they sent & denoted where the well & dirt tanks are. Sent a few copies of the pics of few animals I do have ,the new solar pump & on ground habitat... & wait.

I had just gotten home when phone rang & it was a guy from NMG&F calling to check if I had gotten paperwork & signed. I was shocked. A returned phone call...lol.
We talked about grading & the elk factor & dated pics. He said I did the right thing,sign up again & get appeal in for higher grade in before next year. Guy started his career in my unit & knew where my place was so that helped.
We agreed the grading alone will cut out a quarter of the ranches I know & is long overdue.

So my ranch is signed up again in E-Plus program & I wait to see where they place me & how many tags I get to give away this year,maybe.
I did luck out on draws so I will be hunting @ HOME with a unit wide tag for elk & deer.

There will be 4 times the draw hunters here this year for elk & half the deer hunters in my unit. A step backwards & a step forwards....IMHO
I love New Mexico!
 

dwatling

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Mar 18, 2016
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I wish the tag allocation wasn't so lop sided in some units. I think the majority (51% or higher) should go to the public draw. It's tough to draw a tag in NM.
 

hank4elk

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My unit is 60% private & 40% BLM & State. 60% of total tags go to draw. Based on total acerage ,elk population,etc.. G&F says.
The new rules will hit every unit after ranch reviews.
The buying of ranches to get tags are over for small places for the most part in NM. Folks were buying 40 acres,subdividing with some family member & applying for tags...total BS if you ask me. Just like tiny places that could be fenced getting UW tags.
I know this is public lands forum, but working with ranchers in the west is a big factor in critter management all over the west.
Working with ranchers in my unit has brought elk back from being wiped out after 1900 & none here until 1960's again, to now it is included in the Greater Gila Herd with thousands of elk.
 

dwatling

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I agree ranchers are contributing a lot if not the most towards elk restoration in New Mexico. It's just frustrating when you see the number of tags that are in the draw and the number given to land owners. NM had become a pay to play state when it comes to elk hunting, the deepest pockets just buy a tag every year. But if they are going to make the changes you described that should at least help, it's a step in the right direction. Gets rid of the people just taking advantage of the situation.
 

hank4elk

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Well they did it. Unit 12 is now COER & part of the Greater Gila Herd. Draw tags tripled & half the ranches cut it appears.
And the previous years lists gone from G&F website. Good thing I keep some records.
My ranch is on no list now. Going to have to wait when they decide to maybe return a phone call message. 10 years in the program & no call,letter or e-mail notice after meeting the grade to stay in program. My ranch scored an 8 with 7 being the base to stay in...
Good thing I just spent $3500 not counting labor to replace the windmill with solar. Good thing I drew a tag for here as I will have no feed again for any cattle.
Oh wait,there are no elk here...all the goggle pics show bare desert lands in a fuzzy tone so that proves it.....
 

sjl2012

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So with the 8, are you in the year to year lottery for for a RO or UW SLO tag or will you simply not be able to hunt your ranch anymore?
 

hank4elk

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Minimum score to meet Q's was 7. My place scored 8. I did not appeal or send any pics . I signed where they said . I am not on either list & have received no notice as to statis before list was published online. No one here received notice that I know of.
Talked to several ranchers today who are very upset,some just plain pissed they are not there either anymore....
I left messages & e-mails with E-plus head & all.
One guy talked to new head & got bs runaround he said. This guy got 2 tags & scored an 11 with extras added. BS. Guy has 3 wells,7 tanks, 40 ac of plots on 3000ac. He got 1 MB & 1 A. Used to get 6 MB,4 A & 4 ES...he is selling his ranch & moving out of NM,he says...
Every rancher I know says they were lied to by E-plus admin in SF. Even the big guys...who got most of previous yrs tags.

Personally I am done with NMG&F.
If I hear back or get letter to appeal from E-plus , I might stay in program. Otherwise,screw em...I will hunt my place when I draw tags I guess & feed & water wildlife year round still.
I sure have no plans on doing anymore habitat improvements. Nor getting involved with any other groups or projects anymore. The Posted/No Treaspassing signs showed up in my mail today.
Sad.
I now see they have pulled direct link to E-plus LO list off the main page...........must have gotten a few calls huh...........
 
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MTGomer

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Hank, for those of us less informed can you lay out the basics of how this works?

I’ve been told that when a landowner gets these tags they are transferable and some of them allow unit wide hunting. But the caveat is if those LO tags allow the holder to hunt off the property, then the ranch is in turn, made somewhat available to public tag holders. Is that correct?

Meaning that the changes to the system that are disgruntling landowners such as your self, will result in a negative impact to public access to private land?
 

hank4elk

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Basicly that is it,numbered vouchers that can be presented to NMG&F for the tag fee & lic & your good to go. Rancher who receives vouchers can sell, give away or just keep & not use. This is a depredation type program to offsett elk damage to feed(grass) & or water sources.
The regulations & options/rules for involvement in E-plus are on NMG&F website. Whole new ballgame this year.
One could ask for elk proof fencing help from G&F,but that is only partial cost payment I hear.
In E-plus you are signed into Ranch Only(deeded lands only) or Unit Wide,in which the ranch is suppossed be open to all hunters in unit & voucher is good for entire unit like regular draw tag. Good on Any accessable Public Lands, Ranches in UW program or ranches you are lucky to get written permission for and can access their leased lands too.
My unit has always been RO,until this year.
NMG&F & guys selling UW tags will tell you ALL the signed UW ranches are open for hunters,draw & UW tag holders.....yeah right.
My experience has been seeing locked ranch gates & harrassment from the ranchers & most of all the outfitters. If you can get service & call G&F they might get to it in 5 days...after your hunt,if your lucky. Or enough folks call & complain & maybe the gate will be unlocked. I could be full of shot,but that is what I have seen in NM.

Now that my unit is in E-plus Gila COER herd & UW, the tags are actually valuable. Check some websites to see what NM LO tags & hunts are going for this year. Check 15...
I could not give a tag away 8 yrs ago.
Guys that got nothing will secure their gates too I imagine. The "just cattle" guys are real wary now too so that will not help public land hunters. Been a bunch of treaspassing since the draw,folks poking for spots. Ways into small pockets with water.....like my place.lol
The outfitters that have been working with those ranchers will not be helpful either. Some of them sold tags they now have to refund. Ranchers seeded fields & drilled more wells....etc

We worked for years to get good herds & hunts for people in unit 12.Now that hard work could be gone in one year. 3 times the draw hunters & this dumped on the ranchers.
Looks like antelope are on the block next month with unlimited OTC tags. They just got back in good numbers....
 
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I thought that same thing when I heard that about the antelope tags. How could the G&F expect anything else other than a possible slaughter? I am not sure if I understand the motivation or reasoning for that change?
Sorry to hear about the EPlus fiasco you and others are going through.
 

Khunter

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If they have slashed the number of LO tags and moved those tags to public draw it is a great thing.
 

sjl2012

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Not necessarily, you take several landowners like hank that don't get tags and aren't unit wide ranches and you have a LOT of sanctuaries. Especially when you look at the size and number of ranches that got just 1 tag. You're going to have twice as many people on public pushing the elk to private, a lot that isn't hunted. Unit 9 2.0......
 

hank4elk

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Correction,
3 times the draw tags in unit 12 as last year, which was twice the previous year total,on the same amount of public lands...40% of unit total acerage.

& the unit 9 2.0 is spot on...funny the same biologist most credited with the distruction of Unit 9 & 10 herds quality in recent years was handed Unit 12 & when all our disappointments in NMG&F started.
Take all the tags residents.
You will see AZ,MT,WY,TX style hunt ranch leases in NM with locked gates so fast your head will spin & the few ranchers to be leased will make out way better. Ted Turner 2.0....

I do know where I will be with my highly coveted 2019 2nd hunt AW MB Unit 12 draw tag.... on my useless 140 ac ranch.
 

hank4elk

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Well I finally got mail from NMG&F & my ranch is in the SCR & is being reviewed as per my appeal. I also received an RO MB authorazation.
Luckily I got my pics off my old hard drive installed in new pc & am sending them in to show elk water & habitat. Dated game cam pics for elk.
I sure hope the new grading screens out some more places that really do not qualify,let alone benefit wildlife.
Sure can see a big uptick in folks out scouting too. I did post my ranch today,sad.
 

TLowell02

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Sedan, NM
Glad you got your authorization and they're hearing your appeal Hank. Hopefully G&F gets the kinks worked out soon and they hire a knowledgeable elk biologist.

Bummer you've had to post your property.
 

Rzrbck918

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Bixby Oklahoma
Hank, I have cursorily searched for previous years EPLUS allotments, do you happen to have the printouts showing more than just Unit 12?
 

hank4elk

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Hank, I have cursorily searched for previous years EPLUS allotments, do you happen to have the printouts showing more than just Unit 12?
I too oddly could not find them either on G&F website,but I do have some from previous years.........somewhere.....
 

hank4elk

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Glad you got your authorization and they're hearing your appeal Hank. Hopefully G&F gets the kinks worked out soon and they hire a knowledgeable elk biologist.

Bummer you've had to post your property.
Life in these times I'm afraid...the posting & locked gate.

They did get some info right. I was told by local GW that he saw what I did last year when they did fly surveys here(1st time in yrs),lots more bulls than usual. Now with all the extra tags & chance at a real nice bull we have more looky folks than normal. NO folks is normal...lol.

So what is strategy ? Offer way over normal & hope for a large cull of bulls & elk in general? Knock back the herd this year? I am speaking of unit 12 here. Big ranches kept some cow tags & none went to SCR that I can find. I hope it offsets the large number of bull tags issued. To LO's & in the draw. Lots of cow tags issued in draw too.
 
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