NM Elk Unit 16C Hunt

trailrider121

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
14
Well guys I finally drew a New Mexico Elk bull tag in Unit 16C October 16-20th. Been applying for some time now, and it happened. Now this is my first elk bull hunt, and super pumped to do this hunt in unit 16C. I did a cow elk hunt last year in Wyoming with a party and it was blast. I'm a rookie at elk hunting, so this adventure will interesting. I've never hunted New Mexico before and been searching the web for ideas of the area. I'm posting here for some guidance in the area, maybe good places to camp, general info of the area, etc... Onx shows good data in the lower portion of the unit, and finding watering holes is key. I plan to camp out in a wall tent and hike around looking for elk. Any help would greatly appreciated, thanks..
 

ND_Hooligan

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Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
29
Location
North Dakota
The best advice I can give you is get out before season to do some scouting to get the lay of the land which will be invaluable during the season. South of the highway that intersects the unit is much more rugged and secluded and will produce many more sanctuary areas than the northern half. The northern half has roads throughout it and from my experience was much more crowded with hunters because of the ease of access. As far as camping I would suggest setting up near the Beaverhead ranger station as it is about as centrally located as anywhere when it comes to accessing the whole unit. There is a campground over by Black Mountain but both times I've been to 16C it has been crawling with people. Good luck on your hunt and please post reports when you are done.
 

trailrider121

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
14
The best advice I can give you is get out before season to do some scouting to get the lay of the land which will be invaluable during the season. South of the highway that intersects the unit is much more rugged and secluded and will produce many more sanctuary areas than the northern half. The northern half has roads throughout it and from my experience was much more crowded with hunters because of the ease of access. As far as camping I would suggest setting up near the Beaverhead ranger station as it is about as centrally located as anywhere when it comes to accessing the whole unit. There is a campground over by Black Mountain but both times I've been to 16C it has been crawling with people. Good luck on your hunt and please post reports when you are done.
Thanks for the info. I do plan to scout a few days just to get to know the area a little.
 

come2elmo

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Joined
Aug 18, 2018
Messages
237
Location
South Texas
I’m headed west of there next for some camping with the kids and scouting for fall. So far no closures along hwy 59.
 

trailrider121

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
14
Congratulations on the awesome tag! Good luck!!
Thanks... I can't wait to elk bull hunt this year. Super pumped as this is my first bull hunt. I get it, most guys dont want to give much details about the unit. I'm not look for good hunting spots, just for looking general information of the area.
 

cedahm

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
938
Location
Colorado
Thanks... I can't wait to elk bull hunt this year. Super pumped as this is my first bull hunt. I get it, most guys dont want to give much details about the unit. I'm not look for good hunting spots, just for looking general information of the area.
There are a lot of good 'General Info on 16C' posts here.

I will say there were 2 new wrinkles between when I had the tag in 2016 and my buddy's tag last year :

- In 2016, water was decent. Not a 'good' year but not a horrific one. Elk were in their normal patterns (which is to say, not easy at all, but not desperate for water). In 2020, water was the primary issue (70+ days of no measurable precipitation before it snowed 6" the second to last night of 2nd rifle last year). If you could find more than a manhole sized bit of water last year that was away from a road, being used by elk, and not known to everyone else, you were golden. But that's like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

- The largest ranch in the unit (Adobe) went Unit-Wide last year with landowner tags so their property was accessible except for the section around HQ (which is where the water was and where the elk were piling into). That significantly changed the dynamics in the unit relative to pressure. We talked to a couple of their guides and they weren't sure if they'd go UW again this year, but I would confirm that.

Best of luck - it's a special place and while the terrain isn't high altitude or massive elevation changes, it's rugged and the elk spread out quickly in October.
 

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