Leupold Banner

New Mexico Unit 16 Mule Deer

The_Jim

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
43
Hey everyone, a buddy and myself drew the late archery FAD tag for 16 this year. I have never been South of the San Jauns so this is definitely going to be some new country for us. Were planning on setting up a camp roughly between 16A &16B so my questions would pertain to that area.

From what I understand the deer rut happens in January in that area. Can anyone tell me when the rut peaks down there and if we have a good chance at seeing bucks chasing does Jan 8-14?

What does typical weather look like for Mid-January? Highs, Lows, Precipitation, Etc?

How are the forest roads? Should I bring an ATV or are they good to drive with a pickup?
 

Valley1320

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
620
Location
East central NM
Idk about in the gila, but over here across the state the big bucks have jud now got with the does. Havnt seen them really rutting hard yet. I think the first week of the bowhunt is going to be really sweet
 

swhunt21

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Messages
21
Seeing the same thing in my area near central nm, bucks are starting to push does and rut activity has started to pick up. So far this year, moisture doesn't seem to be much of a factor, there will be some snow up in the high elevations (in spots) but other than that the southern half of the state has been pretty dry, main concern is wind. Most roads in the area can be travelled with a 4x4 pick-up. Highs and lows can fluctuate but as of late the days have been mild but the nights are cold (as expected this time of year). The areas closer to the foothills of the Gila (hot springs area) seem to hold more mule deer. Hunted the area a few years back during muzzleloader season and never did see any big bucks, but saw plenty of smaller forked bucks, I would be interested to see how the rut plays a factor in the Gila hunt, best of luck!
 

Kaitum

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
712
Location
New Mexico
Haven't been up on the forest in awhile but may drive around this weekend to take a look. In the Silver City area lately I'm seeing more deer movement but nothing I'd call rutting activity yet
 

Lostinthewoods

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
796
Idk about in the gila, but over here across the state the big bucks have jud now got with the does. Havnt seen them really rutting hard yet. I think the first week of the bowhunt is going to be really sweet
I'm hoping for a fun first week. I'll be after them in 2C.
 

The_Jim

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
43
Thanks for the reply’s everyone. I’ll let you guys know how things go.

Rut hunts are just plain fun because you never know what you’ll see or when you’ll see it. I hope our gun season in Nebraska never gets moved for that reason.

Good luck to all you guys that are hunting that week too!
 

The_Jim

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
43
Got back late Saturday unfortunately unsuccessful. We hunted the 9th-14th.

We lost almost a whole day because some genius from Florida took a rental minivan down an old road(not shown on the MVUM) and tore the oil pan off the van. Another hunter gave him a ride back to Reserve the day before and we gave him and the tow truck driver a ride to reserve after the tow truck broke the studs off his driver side wheel getting the van out :ROFLMAO:

We found a few groups of Does hunting the 16A and 16B border but there was no rutting action. Never did pick up any bucks down there.

Ended up moving to 16E because @ShadowValley mentioned he had seen some good bucks in there. We instantly picked up an ok 4x4 chasing a doe. Got about 75 yards and just plain did everything wrong. Too much excitement after not seeing a buck for 3 days... That was the only buck we picked up for the rest of our hunt. We glassed up bedded does but they were alone. On the last day we started still hunting through the juniper and walked up on a couple groups of does again, no bucks though. If I did it again I would go the first week of the hunt or plan it around the moon. It was like daylight until about 2-3am every night...

Thanks to the the fellas that responded to this thread. I really appreciated the input and hopefully can reciprocate it back someday.
 

Wallydeuce

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
1,015
Location
NV
It wasn't a complete dud. You know the unit now and will be better prepared for your next hunt. Thanks for the write up.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
100,398
Messages
1,587,172
Members
31,512
Latest member
fadilale
Top