Yeti

Hunting Rig for NM

BZNHNTR

Active member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
62
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
6,001
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

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
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.
 

3855WIN

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
2,167
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

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
2,976
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.
 
Last edited:

newtexican

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
16
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!
Can’t speak to your off range oryx or unit 29, but we ride dirt bikes and drive around unit 30 a lot. The roads are pretty rough in spots. We’ve gotten a ton of rain the last couple of months so without a doubt there are some crazy wash outs. Definitely bring a side by side or older vehicle.
 

BZNHNTR

Active member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
62
Can’t speak to your off range oryx or unit 29, but we ride dirt bikes and drive around unit 30 a lot. The roads are pretty rough in spots. We’ve gotten a ton of rain the last couple of months so without a doubt there are some crazy wash outs. Definitely bring a side by side or older vehicle.
Thanks, that seems to be the consensus that an older rig is a must down there. Will probably pick something up before the hunt, have until February. Bad time to be buying a pickup though. Side by side would be fun but not in my budget and would not use in MT.
 

Valley1320

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
620
Location
East central NM
Can’t speak to your off range oryx or unit 29, but we ride dirt bikes and drive around unit 30 a lot. The roads are pretty rough in spots. We’ve gotten a ton of rain the last couple of months so without a doubt there are some crazy wash outs. Definitely bring a side by side or older vehicle.
I think maybe all of NM is washed out by now😂
 

CowboyLeroy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
365
Location
DIXIE, GA
I hunted 29 last season, the roads weren't as bad as everybody made them sound (possibly an indictment on brooks County georgia) but like they say carry a spare, a plug kit, and a small compressor and you'll be fine
 

mxracer317

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
484
Anyone know what the roads are like in unit 17? I’m gonna be going down with my nine-year-old who drew a youth only deer tag in November.

I have a Polaris general, and ideally would want to get out and put some boots on the ground, but with a nine-year-old I think it’s more realistic taking the side-by-side. Especially what I’m hearing with rough roads in NM.

Any thoughts?
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
6,001
Location
SW NM
Anyone know what the roads are like in unit 17? I’m gonna be going down with my nine-year-old who drew a youth only deer tag in November.

I have a Polaris general, and ideally would want to get out and put some boots on the ground, but with a nine-year-old I think it’s more realistic taking the side-by-side. Especially what I’m hearing with rough roads in NM.

Any thoughts?
Roads? Few, but well used. Leads to some of the most remote rugged country in the state, rocky. NM.
See lots of ohv flats too at the local garage. Broken ohv's...
Go where they don't.
 
Leupold Banner

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
100,406
Messages
1,587,486
Members
31,513
Latest member
Bluetix
Top