Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Opinions on New Mexico scouting trip

Jonesy125

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Montana
Well a week from today I am planning to head down to my unit in New Mexico for a scouting trip. I’m flying down renting a truck and spending 3 days in the unit. Hunt isn’t until October. I have spent plenty of time e-scouting the area. A very small section of the unit was burned in the hermits/calf canyon fire but right now a good majority of the unit is closed by forest service because they are doing remediation work on fire lines they cut in. I spoke with forest service and the local biologist. Both seemed to think that it will re-open before the first archery season. Am I stupid to still go down considering 4 of the 5 spots I planned on scouting are inaccessible right now? I can still hike into a few areas and get a general lay of the land. I plan to have two days of scouting before the hunt starts also. Am I wasting my time doing this august trip and should I just add a day or two ahead of the hunt if I can swing it or should I just stick to my original plan???
 

2rocky

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Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
4,250
Use this time to assess road access points, and conditions. Drive all the roads. Talk to people. Ground truth your maps. Find a first and second choice base camp location and just get familiar with the lay of the land.

When I had my Valle Vidal tag, I had dinner with a campground host who clued me into a canyon, the next day I met an outfitter who offered his stock and had a unique access point to that very canyon and country. It helped me narrow down what part of the unit I wanted to hunt. People tend to be more free with info earlier before the season. Animals you spot in August will likely not be there in October after Archery and Muzzleloader season but they are more relaxed and you are more likely to see them out in the open.

It also was a very memorable camping trip with a woman for like our 3rd or 4th date....5 years later she's bringing me coffee when we wake up together...
 

mstep23

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2022
Messages
12
Well a week from today I am planning to head down to my unit in New Mexico for a scouting trip. I’m flying down renting a truck and spending 3 days in the unit. Hunt isn’t until October. I have spent plenty of time e-scouting the area. A very small section of the unit was burned in the hermits/calf canyon fire but right now a good majority of the unit is closed by forest service because they are doing remediation work on fire lines they cut in. I spoke with forest service and the local biologist. Both seemed to think that it will re-open before the first archery season. Am I stupid to still go down considering 4 of the 5 spots I planned on scouting are inaccessible right now? I can still hike into a few areas and get a general lay of the land. I plan to have two days of scouting before the hunt starts also. Am I wasting my time doing this august trip and should I just add a day or two ahead of the hunt if I can swing it or should I just stick to my original plan???
I wouldn't put too much worry into your hunt. The forest service guys out here work pretty quickly when things like this happen. They have been opening a lot of areas back up since the fire happened.

The good news is that we have been getting quite a bit of rain over the past month or two which should help you out.
 

Jonesy125

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Montana
Yeah my gut feeling is to stick to my original plan and hope for the best. The option of changing flights and having maybe 4 days before season to scout instead keeps popping into my head. My biggest concern is renting a truck during the actual hunt. Forest service roads in the unit are supposed to be pretty bad so it would be nice to have my own truck and four wheeler instead of showing up and ending up with a 2wd frontier or something. Also would rather not deal with the logistics of flying if I am successful.
 

mstep23

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2022
Messages
12
The roads can definitely be pretty treacherous here. The best roads I have seen are down South in the units close to Texas and Mexico, and even those were pretty bad. I would call ahead of time like three times to check that they have a good enough truck ready for you when you get here. I made the mistake of bringing my '94 2WD Toyota Pickup into the Gila mountains for a deer hunt last year.
 

Jonesy125

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Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Montana
I called two days ago to confirm my truck reservation for the scouting trip. I can deal with some setbacks on a scouting trip but don’t want it to happen during the hunt.
 

hank4elk

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Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
7,206
Location
SW NM
Heavy monsoon season and roads are washing out up there. You will get a good idea of where to hunt post burn. Bring rain gear.
 

Gila

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Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
557
Location
New Mexico
I called two days ago to confirm my truck reservation for the scouting trip. I can deal with some setbacks on a scouting trip but don’t want it to happen during the hunt.
If it were me...JMHO...considering the conditions right now, I wouldn’t do the scouting trip. It is what it is and you are going to hunt the tag. I would come down early those 4 days for the hunt using my own truck and hauling my own SxS. There has been a lot of debris flow from what I understand, so the main roads they should be able to keep clear. However, where you want to hunt, the roads probably will only be passable with a UTV if they are open at all. I am in the SW so I don’t know exactly what is going on up there, but have come to rely on my UTV to get where I need to go.

You can’t scout state land until 14 days before your hunt. Unit Wide properties scouting is permitted 2 days before your hunt. I think you may want to scout every acre of elk territory in that unit. The monsoons will pick up again after this weekend. Last week there were flood advisories and warnings in that area.
 

Jonesy125

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Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Montana
If it were me...JMHO...considering the conditions right now, I wouldn’t do the scouting trip. It is what it is and you are going to hunt the tag. I would come down early those 4 days for the hunt using my own truck and hauling my own SxS. There has been a lot of debris flow from what I understand, so the main roads they should be able to keep clear. However, where you want to hunt, the roads probably will only be passable with a UTV if they are open at all. I am in the SW so I don’t know exactly what is going on up there, but have come to rely on my UTV to get where I need to go.

You can’t scout state land until 14 days before your hunt. Unit Wide properties scouting is permitted 2 days before your hunt. I think you may want to scout every acre of elk territory in that unit. The monsoons will pick up again after this weekend. Last week there were flood advisories and warnings in that area.
I appreciate the input. Basically no state land in the unit and not a landowner tag. I agree and would like to scout as much of the area as possible but it’s a heavily timbered unit and I just won’t have the time to do much except hike in to 4 or 5 different areas. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do as far as cancelling the scouting trip or not. If I do go it will be more of a learn the lay of the land, access points and see if the areas I have e-scouted and can get into seem like they will hold elk come mid October.
 

Khunter

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Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
2,833
Location
western Colorado
I think it really depends on the unit whether you should scout now or just tack on the days the beginning of the hunt. He’s guy probably already told you how difficult access is or is not. There are so many units in New Mexico and have a road every mile or two across the entire unit diving in hunting elk is extremely simple process.

Every time I draw a tag in NM seems like there’s a elk behind every trade during the hunt. Those are a Gila rut tags so not knowing where you go your mileage may vary.

Enjoy every bit of the experience Those tags are so hard for non-residents to draw anymore.
 

Jonesy125

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Montana
Well I am pretty sure I am going to go on the scouting trip, at least I am packed and ready to go so I doubt I will change my mind now. I think this trip even though it will be more limited than what I had hoped for should still give me some intel and also help with some of the logistics for the hunt. Should have a good idea of if I will need to bring the atv with me, if I should haul the llamas all the way down there (hadn’t planned to as it’s a fairly roaded unit and getting away from open roads just really doesn’t allow you to go more than 5 miles or so.) I appreciate the input you guys that responded have provided.
 

SCliving Outdoors

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Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Messages
561
Location
South Carolina
Going now to scout and just learn the unit is not a bad plan. There’s a good chance elk in October will not be in the same place they are now. But just learning roads and all that stuff is highly beneficial when in a new area. I would try to add multiple days to the front end of your actual hunt dates if possible. The more the better especially for a new area. Elk hunting in New Mexico is amazing. I hope you have a great time. I’ll be down there in October also.
 

GilaYeti92

New member
Joined
Oct 15, 2022
Messages
1
Yeah not planning to look for elk at this time. Just check out some areas I have e scouted and kind of get the lay of the land.
How did your scouting go? If you are hunting 45, muzzleloader season just past and I have heard from a couple of guys who have not seen a Bull at all, fire did push them way further than expected.
 
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