Yeti

Friend bailed on our upcoming New Mexico mule deer trip

PrairieHunter

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May 17, 2018
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Laramie, WY
Spend the $ on gear like optics, not a babysitter.

You have what is apparently a pretty good tag, this will be a great opportunity for you to gain confidence in your ability to hunt the West. If this was a Colorado OTC unit I would agree that an outfitter is probably the way to to for the first time but this is different, you can do this. Just a matter of can you wake up early and not sleep in? Can you walk at least a few miles per day? Can you look through binoculars for a few hours per day? Can you deal with being alone?

On a side note are tags transferable in NM? If you had a tag to offer you would definitely not be hunting alone.
 

skunk

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Apr 18, 2018
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On a side note are tags transferable in NM? If you had a tag to offer you would definitely not be hunting alone.

You can only donate tags back to the state and they'll make it available to a youth hunter (or something along those lines).
 

silasd

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Feb 27, 2017
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New Mexico
I've solo hunted many times in 21. It's a very nice unit, especially for deer, and a great experience. My $0.02: save your money and enjoy the solitude. With a rifle, you should have no problem filling your tag in 5 days.
I've toyed with going solo but can't get over the irrational fear of bears and cats at night. I'd be curious to know if you ever had any experiences with that when you solo.
 

AggieOutlaw

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May 22, 2016
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I've toyed with going solo but can't get over the irrational fear of bears and cats at night. I'd be curious to know if you ever had any experiences with that when you solo.
The scariest experiences are always skunks or raccoons or shadows or imagination

Enjoy the solo hunts. It’s safer in pairs. It’s more liberating solo. Get an InReach and go out alone.
 

Werty

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Apr 23, 2018
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Bzn, mt
I've toyed with going solo but can't get over the irrational fear of bears and cats at night. I'd be curious to know if you ever had any experiences with that when you solo.
That's always in the back of your mind, but you get over it. The first couple of nights I'm a little restless, but by the third I'm out. You just have to go and build a tolerance for it.
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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Wyoming
I had a NM elk tag 2 years ago. I seen more bears than i ever could of expected...every single day i was within 30 yards of one. Had 2 different encounters with them in dark while walking to my glassing spot. You could not of paid me to sleep in a tent there! I dont know what deal was but that roughly 5 square miles area was packed with them, never found a kill or anything just a dense population. Add to that lizards, snakes and hand sized spiders...i will do long walks each way!
 

Alpine01

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Jun 23, 2019
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Colorado
I've toyed with going solo but can't get over the irrational fear of bears and cats at night. I'd be curious to know if you ever had any experiences with that when you solo.
I can't speak to NM but I solo hunt in CO in the wilderness areas. I almost always see bears in the spring and summer when I am out scouting. Had two walk past my camp at ~80 yds in the early evening this last spring (one each over successive days) and they paid me no attention at all. Come elk/deer season when I have a bear tag in my pocket, never spot a single one. Keep a clean camp and you should have no problems. I also come across a lot of fresh lion tracks when I am out but have yet to spot one even though my head is really on the swivel. I am sure they are watching me though. I figure that unless they are sick or starving, the chances are pretty low of having an encounter. Like Werty said, the first night can be a bit restless, but afterward I tend to settle in pretty well as the night sounds begin to have a familiarity and anything out of place is more easily recognizable.
 

silasd

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Feb 27, 2017
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Location
New Mexico
I can't speak to NM but I solo hunt in CO in the wilderness areas. I almost always see bears in the spring and summer when I am out scouting. Had two walk past my camp at ~80 yds in the early evening this last spring (one each over successive days) and they paid me no attention at all. Come elk/deer season when I have a bear tag in my pocket, never spot a single one. Keep a clean camp and you should have no problems. I also come across a lot of fresh lion tracks when I am out but have yet to spot one even though my head is really on the swivel. I am sure they are watching me though. I figure that unless they are sick or starving, the chances are pretty low of having an encounter. Like Werty said, the first night can be a bit restless, but afterward I tend to settle in pretty well as the night sounds begin to have a familiarity and anything out of place is more easily recognizable.
Thanks. I remind myself that every time I am out in the woods I say to myself how empty it is. I expect after the first couple of nights things will settle down.
 

silasd

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Feb 27, 2017
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New Mexico
Yep same here. I'm working on it though. My imagination gets going pretty good at times.
I'm going to start by sleeping out in the backyard with the dog and work up from there! We have bears and cats in our area. I might even experiment with the 550 cord and bear bell system. My rational brain says don't worry about it. My irrational brain says stay awake and shoot when you see their eyes. Trying to find a balance in between!
 

Alpine01

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Jun 23, 2019
Messages
67
Location
Colorado
I'm going to start by sleeping out in the backyard with the dog and work up from there! We have bears and cats in our area. I might even experiment with the 550 cord and bear bell system. My rational brain says don't worry about it. My irrational brain says stay awake and shoot when you see their eyes. Trying to find a balance in between!
One approach is to get up into a campground that is relatively well-off the beaten path but that you can drive to and just camp one night next to your vehicle. That way you can always get inside your car/truck if needed. Do that once then stretch it to 2-3 nights. Then backpack in a few hundred yards and camp one night. A couple hundred yards makes all the difference but your are not far from a safe haven if necessary. Build up your distance and duration until you are ok with being several miles from the trailhead and on your own. It also lets you really test out your campong setup in terms of what works and what doesn't and what is essential vs. what is nice to have. I've paired a good 8 lbs of gear out of my pack taking these trial runs.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Durango Colorado
I'm going to start by sleeping out in the backyard with the dog and work up from there! We have bears and cats in our area. I might even experiment with the 550 cord and bear bell system. My rational brain says don't worry about it. My irrational brain says stay awake and shoot when you see their eyes. Trying to find a balance in between!

Yea I seem to hear things then my imagination goes wild. The reason I know mine is an irrational fear, is I can go camping with just me and my eleven year old and we sleep great. He offers no protection from the things that go bump in the night.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Durango Colorado
One approach is to get up into a campground that is relatively well-off the beaten path but that you can drive to and just camp one night next to your vehicle. That way you can always get inside your car/truck if needed. Do that once then stretch it to 2-3 nights. Then backpack in a few hundred yards and camp one night. A couple hundred yards makes all the difference but your are not far from a safe haven if necessary. Build up your distance and duration until you are ok with being several miles from the trailhead and on your own. It also lets you really test out your campong setup in terms of what works and what doesn't and what is essential vs. what is nice to have. I've paired a good 8 lbs of gear out of my pack taking these trial runs.

Haha. I have done this and ended up just sleeping in my Jeep. I am a complete wuss. I really will try this though
 

Westxhunter

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Apr 26, 2020
Messages
100
Same Boat

Man this sounds so familiar. I haven't deer hunted in probably 20 years. Although I have hunted upland birds the last 10 years. After watching Randy, and Rinella I have decided to start doing some western spot an stalk hunting. I am backpack hunting unit 30 for mule deer by myself this year Nov 11-15. My wife is about to kill me if I get one more piece of gear in the mail. I have had to start all over, buying a tent, pack, optics, a lightweight rifle, and enough merino to choke a horse. I would like to find someone else interested in western spot and stalk hunting, but everyone I meet in Texas just wants to shoot deer over a corn feeder. If your flying out there, let me know how you are getting the meat back. I would like to try Idaho some time soon, but I'm not sure about the logistics of getting the meat home.
Same here, I may be going solo for Unit 30. Good Luck, this looks like a great unit if you're willing to put in the miles.
 

Cheesehead

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Dec 6, 2017
Messages
601
Getting worried about skunk. Haven’t heard from him since his tag was drawn. Are the grizz getting worse in NM?
 

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