NM 53 rifle bull?

davinski

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Jan 30, 2011
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309
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Western Colorado
Any advice from the peanut gallery on New Mexico unit 53 near Questa and Taos? I checked it out a little bit and have a couple more scouting trips planned before the Oct 17th season start. So far what I've found is that it's pretty thick stuff, probably better suited for archery than rifle. But I'm still stoked to have drawn the bull tag. I'm guessing it's like most places, they stay high until pushed downhill by weather or hunters. It just seems like it transitions straight from thick spruce forest down to open-ish oak brush...and houses. There isn't much in between.

I haven't checked out the northern country, the Latir Peak Wilderness, yet, mainly just the stuff between Hwy 38 and the ski resort. I guess that will be my dilemma, is where do I set up shop for the season, the south half or the north half?

Thanks in advance!

Dave
 

NM_ElkNut

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Aug 25, 2015
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I'd look to the north end, and try to stay away from 4-wheeler trails. There is a pretty extensive trail network , but people don't get off of them much.
 

davinski

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Jan 30, 2011
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Western Colorado
Thanks for the advice, gents. The north end looks a little further from civilization, I like that.

I didn't realize "peanut gallery" was derogatory.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/03/origin-phrase-peanut-gallery/

Who knew. I consider myself a member of many different nut galleries. I better quit using that term at work.

Longtime lurker, BTW, check out the join date. Just never had that much to say. I gravitate here when the butthurt just becomes too strong at 24HCF. Hopefully it's not catching. ;)

Thanks again.

D
 

NM Elk Addict

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May 14, 2015
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Central NM
Hunted in there last year. Very brushy in places, which is where you'll find the elk. A lot of road traffic. Stay friendly with the locals, you'll see them up there the whole time while they are cutting wood. Sometimes they'll give you a lead if you share a beer or two. Elk are everywhere in there, but very leery of traffic since the area is so busy. I agree with the pack in high if you want to find a decent bull, although you'll find that the Bulls are everywhere, just really skiddish. Good luck on you hunt.
 

davinski

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Western Colorado
Thanks for the advice! Yeah, the north-facing slopes all looked very thick with few holes for glassing/spotting any elk out in the open. With a little luck, I'll have a line on some horses too, so hopefully I can stay mobile.
 
Last edited:

bjtc_brian

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Oct 7, 2011
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655
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East Helena, MT
So, I am late on my update. Here is what I found. It is thick and steep! Where I was would be very difficult to rifle hunt. We only spent the day, and we walked the river bottom. It is a beautiful place though. Very lush and LOTS of water, streams everywhere. I am headed back up today to actually get to hunt. I'm not expecting much, except for the adventure and getting out to hunt(first time in 2 years due to moving)! I will actually take some pictures this time... hehe!
 

davinski

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Jan 30, 2011
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Western Colorado
Spent a long last weekend scouting and camping around the unit. Pretty cool country. Saw elk, deer, bears. I think I found a few places to start come October 17th. Met lots of nice folks around Questa, Red River, and Taos. Thanks for the advice!
 

SilverDollars

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Sep 4, 2013
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152
Location
Central Texas
Go east and north-east of Red River. Look at Bobcat pass area to the north. In this area there are plenty of aspen trees mixed with furs/spruce and smaller open meadows. Set up a base camp not too far from a water source(stream) and hunt this area. Your success will be best away from 2 tracks.
 

davinski

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Jan 30, 2011
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Western Colorado
Kinda forgot to follow up on this. Thanks for all the advice, the hunt was a blast. Didn't see a lot of elk, but they're in there. Glassed this guy and thought he was a 5-pt. Turns out he's the biggest 4-pt elk I've seen. He's been yummy.
20151019_080927.jpg
 

Bpfingsten

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Sep 30, 2020
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Any advice from the peanut gallery on New Mexico unit 53 near Questa and Taos? I checked it out a little bit and have a couple more scouting trips planned before the Oct 17th season start. So far what I've found is that it's pretty thick stuff, probably better suited for archery than rifle. But I'm still stoked to have drawn the bull tag. I'm guessing it's like most places, they stay high until pushed downhill by weather or hunters. It just seems like it transitions straight from thick spruce forest down to open-ish oak brush...and houses. There isn't much in between.

I haven't checked out the northern country, the Latir Peak Wilderness, yet, mainly just the stuff between Hwy 38 and the ski resort. I guess that will be my dilemma, is where do I set up shop for the season, the south half or the north half?

Thanks in advance!

Dave

Dave I have a similar tag to what you had a few years ago in New Mexico unit 53. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your experience and what I should expect.

Thanks
Bryce
 

sheff

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Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
233
Location
South Texas
It's a difficult hunt. Only hunted deer there around Ute mountain. Locals came in and shot cow elk well before shooting hours with the headlights of there truck. Ran most of the deer off. We never saw any good bulls. I suppose there are better bulls on the eastern side of the unit but what we saw was thick and hard to glass.
 

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