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JB, Is that the area, in the Gila, north of the Membres River valley? Glen and I hunted there a couple of years. There are some very large mule deer in there and some really nice elk. Not a lot of them, but the ones that we've seen are pretty big. I have a rack from a muley buck I took there in 1994. It's wide and heavy, but the points are pretty short. If I can find one, I'll post a picture. If not, I'll post a picture of the rack.
Yep, I just went and looked on the NM DNR site. That is the unit we hunted. South east of Reserve and west of Soccorro. There is some serious old growth forest in the north west section of the unit and some high plains in the north east. The southern part of the unit is mostly deep canyons and mesas. There are some pretty large alpine meadows in the eastern part of the unit, above the Aldo Leopold Wilderness area. There are lots of seeps and springs about everywhere you go and that makes for tough hunting. Some of that area is thick with poison oak. You're liable to find anything in there or nothing. We found numbers of mule deer around places like Tom Moore Canyon and Black Canyon. We hiked into the Gila from the east side and found lots of sign. It's tough country to walk and horses or better yet mules would be a definite asset. If you need any more info, send me an email. I believe I still have topos for most of that area.
I feeling pretty lucky (the tag is in the bag) Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket too smilies/biggrin.gif
This is my first season of elk hunting on my own. In this area, should I figure on camping or staying in a motel?
A friend of my brother in law, drew here 2 years running an offered his maps and data but I really want a second opinion on the area. Did you sit high and glass for the muleys?
We hiked to the top of the mesa's and walked a ways and then walked out to the edge and peeked over the edge. Glassed the south facing slopes and the creek bottoms. I sat and watched a juniper tree with a large sawed of limb for almost an hour trying to figure why someone would come all the way into this wilderness to saw a limb off of a juniper. Then the sawed off limb lifter it's head. I got a great view of all eight points on each side as he walked off.
I would forget about a motel. There isn't one for some distance. We always camped out. There are some good camp spots along Tom Moore and Black Canyons. There are some more farther north along the west side of the Gila. Just outside of Reserve. On the east side, as you skirt the Soccorro Plain, there are some really great hunting spots where the Elk gather before they split up.
We'll have to talk more. I hope you're not planning on hunting that area alone. It's pretty remote.
Good glasses and good boots will be the rule of the day.
OK JB, this is the buck that came out of the Gila. He was taken just north of Tom Moore canyon. We saw several more just like him that year and the year after. Nice mass, great spread, but not much for depth on the forks. Body wasn't real big, maybe 240-250 lbs. Very dark in color as are the antlers.
Unit 16 is broken up into five units for elk. A through E, 16-a has lots of elk and easy access. 16-b is primarly wilderness with good numbers of elk. 16-c doesn't have the numbers of elk the other units have and has really been overhunted the last couple of years. 16-d has lots of elk and easy access and you can find areas away from roads. 16-e has access problems but good numbers of elk.
For deer it is all one unit.
Are you hunting elk or deer? I hunted 16a and really saw some toads. not a lot but some huge bulls. We had to do our best to get away from the gypsy camps along the roads before we really found anything to our liking.
JB, It only looks like the circus is in town during hunting season. All along ?? I think it's NM 22, from the Membres Road to the Forest Service Camp, there are RVs and tents in every nook and cranny. In areas like the camp ground in the bottom of Tom Moore, it looks like downtown Las Vegas at night. Lights everywhere. They will hunt somewhere for a couple of days, then move up or down the road. We found that the farther north you go, the fewer camps there were. Eventually, we found deer and elk where everyone had moved on.
If you draw for an elk hunt get a copy of the landowners that have unit wide tags. If they get unit wide tags they have to allow access through or allow you to hunt for elk on their private land. They don't have to take down the no hunting signs but they do have to allow access. http://www.gmfsh.state.nm.us/
You will need Adobe to download the list, you can get Adobe on the Game and Fish website free.
Glad to see some of this is finally statring to sink in!........May I suggest an area a little closer to Denver? smilies/wink.gif .......lots of game and plenty of strip bars smilies/eek.gif ...may wind up running as much as the NM hunt by the time you cram all those dollars down the crotch of some half naked babe for a few days....but at least you would have been phucked by your own choosing.....instead of being raped in the NM draw! smilies/yawn.gif
Hmm? It seems I am at odds with the majority again. I have never drawn a tag to hunt elk in New Mexico, but I have hunted deer there. While on those hunts, I have seem some humongus bulls (Naturally while deer hunting you see big elk!) I believe that the largest bull I've ever seen walking was just north of Glenwood while scouting for a deer hunt. I have a difficult time accepting that the elk in New Mexico are second rate. It may be that there are more smaller bulls proportionately that some places, but I would have to way that New Mexico grows some bruisers.
Yeah Smaltz.....they have a few there, but I never make it down that far. They have bars for every persuasion in Denver. If you kink it, they have it!..... yeah, SPANK ME BABY! smilies/fight.gif ....WHOSE YER DADDY?! smilies/hump.gif
Nice try Dan.....they know you were asshole deep in that shit smilies/rolleyes.gif ...."while I was sleeping".....YEAH,RIGHT! smilies/biggrin.gif
Danr.....NM is bad MOJO....if you apply there, you'll have a year of bad luck.....it would be a much safer bet to just do the Jackson Hole Line shoot....less money and headache and you get to visit with your pals....
The big bulls in New Mexico are a myth propagated by the tourism boards, motels, restaurants and outfitters in that state. Don't waste your time or money applying there. My buddies and I go there only because we like a certain waitress.