NM unit 16 archery mulie rut

1Arrow*!

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I have a tag for NM Unit 16 (Gila) for Jan 1-10 which, supposedly, coincides with the mulie rut down there. Does anyone have experience hunting that unit (actually 4 contiguous units) and in that time of year? If so, can you advise as to where to focus, base of operations (I assume Silver City), etc? Thanks in advance.
 

HighDesertSage

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It's gonna be a tough hunt, but not impossible. Deer densities are low, as are success rates. I lived in Las Cruces for about a year and spent some time hiking in those mountains. Most of the deer I saw were on private, where there was water. Start scouting now and find where the deer are getting a drink. Chances are they will bed on public, close to privately owned stock tanks. You can set up an ambush point there. Or get to a high vantage point and glass. If the rut is on the deer will be moving. Stay out all day.

I believe those are desert mule deer subspecies, which should make for a unique trophy. Good Luck!
 

HighDesertSage

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I pulled out some of my old maps for that area. Check out the area between Tadpole Ridge north to Sheep Corral Canyon Road. There was alot of springs in there and I saw deer there. Double check to make sure that is still unit 16.
 

1Arrow*!

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reply to ishootdasmallnones

Thanks for the comments. I am looking at maps right now. When I hunted unit 15 a few years back the wolves had seriously impacted the area (for both cattle and deer). I do not know how that issue has evolved in the meantime. BTW the wolf I watched for about 400 yards lumbered along with much less grace than a coyote. Maybe that big head unbalanced him, eh?
 

1Arrow*!

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Thanks to all for your thoughts/replies. I already figured out the boundaries of Unit 16 and that the Tadpole ridge area was south. However, the 3 valleys northwest of road 152 look as though they should have sufficient riparian habitat and low enough elevation to perhaps draw and hold mulies at this time of year. What say ye?
 

hank4elk

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Yep,lotsa land north & west of 152. Wilderness.
Check with Mimbres station for road closures & NM hwy dept. they close it in winter a bunch.
There are tons of deer around Silver,that's for sure.
 

1Arrow*!

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I have been wondering whether or not this is really a “rut hunt” at all? Everywhere else (at least close by, such as southern Colorado) the mule deer rut is late November and possibly some into early December. But January 1 – 15? Might this be a hunt primarily for the benefit of otherwise relatively destitute communities in the region (such as Reserve) to bring in “hunters” and their money rather than a bona fide biologically legitimate “hunt”?
 

hank4elk

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The rut is usually Dec -Jan around here for mulies I believe.
There just aren't the numbers of mulies here there used to be. Not nearly.
Unless your Jeramia Johnson and can walk in and out of the wilderness in snow in winter,I'd say hunt lower....
 

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