Hunting Rig for NM

BZNHNTR

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
34
I got lucky this year and drew an offrange Oryx and unit 29/30 Barbary Sheep. In my research I've read/heard several complaints about the roads in these areas beating up your rig but hoping to get some more specifics from those who have actually driven some of these roads. What makes them so bad (large rocks requiring high clearance, narrow desert brush, narrow tread, steep arroyos requiring a short wheel base, sharp rocks, etc.)?

If you have also been around MT how do the BLM/Forrest Service roads compare, are they way worse in NM? We drive basically anywhere in MT and have no concerns with taking our primary vehicle, but we plan to keep it for a long time and don't want to destroy it or be very limited on where we can go on this hunt.

We are considering selling our older Colorado that doesn't get much use and buying an older jacked up 1/2 ton short box that would have enough room for 3 people and gear, a lot more clearance, and we would have no concerns with scratches. Would this be a good choice?

Our primary rig is an 18 Chevy 1500 crew cab long box that is typically our road trip and hunting vehicle, fairly stock except for leveling kit and bigger offroad tires. We are not ones that are afraid of a scratch but don't want to take half the paint off it either or tear out the drive train! Would we be safe just to take this?

Thanks!
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
4,605
Location
SW NM
NM roads are #1 in worst. And that's the good paved ones.
I've never hunted down there but drove around a lot a few years back. Typical NM dirt/rock roads. Even good tire can get eaten,but take them.
It will get scratches & take extra spares.
NM has lot's of lava. Rocks are everywhere and cut side walls ez. Roads wash out in desert country all the time.
 

kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
409
Location
El Paso, TX
Take a plug kit and small compressor in addition to your spare. I keep a small spray bottle with soapy water in with my plug kit. I don't want to mess around with changing tires on uneven or soft terrain. As long as it's just a puncture and the tire is still seated, plug it and move on.
 

BZNHNTR

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
34
All good advice! Extra tire is on my list and have ARB plug kit already. Soapy water spray bottle is genius, adding that to the go list for sure!
 

3855WIN

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Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
1,975
Location
Mississippi
We were down in Hank4elk country some years back and had rented an SUV from the airport. We blew out two tires at the same time on a NM state hwy that was gravel.
Two spares is a great idea.
 

ImBillT

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Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
2,290
Oddly I’ve not yet had a flat in NM while in the oil field or while hunting, BUT ground clearance is a very good thing, and read up on driving in sand. They named a few county roads after rodeo riders, so that should tell you something. Expect rocks, deep sand, and washouts.

I actually encountered two hunters that brought a front end loader to repair roads. They were locals who knew a road had washed out and had access to a loader from work, but still.

I have probably damaged my truck on more than half my hunts in NM, but I also made an elk scouting trip in a Camry and didn’t have any major issues.
 
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jrabq

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
574
Location
NM
When I hear "NM hunting rig" I think of a pickup with a lazy boy, or at least a good lawn chair in the bed.
 
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