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NM Unit 51 December Muzzleloader - what to expect?

MDW

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Joined
Oct 2, 2023
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Hey HTers

I am a newbie Hunt Talker here and so far have appreciated everything this community is about. I was hoping maybe someone has had this either sex, early December tag before and would be willing to share their experience. I live in southern Colorado so the unit is about three hours from me, affording me the ability to go scout. I went last weekend and got into some elk in a northern area of 51A that I had e-scouted. It was around 9500ft and was amazing elk country, but not necessarily the country I would normally hunt in December in Northern CO, where I am used to hunting. It was "probably" accessible by 4x4 with chains, even if there is some snow.

While it was great to see elk right away, I am still hesitant if that is the right elevation range for December, and I think that my primary zone will be dependent on snow depths, but maybe not - maybe the elk start herding up anyways? I see from the SNOTEL stations in the area that there could be no snow to a foot of snow by the first week of December.

I am not looking for specific spots or anything but curious if anyone has hunted this season or if anyone living in the area can speak to how quickly the elk migrate when the snow comes, if it does. Area 51B looks like it has good potential if the animals have migrated since it is lower PJ. Any insight would be much appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing more stories from this year and thanks in advance. Also, if anyone would like more detail on my scouting trip I am happy to share. I drove down the middle of 51A from top to bottom. It was damn rough but nothing too bad since roads were dry. Beautiful elk country the whole way and also saw quite a few turkeys. Hoping to check out 51B next weekend.

-Mike

Night 1 Camp where elk were bugling from every direction
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Looking SE towards from the top of Jose Maria Canyon
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Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt

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