Unit 45 New Mexico


Sep 14, 2012
My brother in law and I drew a 1st rifle elk tag for New Mexico. We are looking to do a backpack hunt. I was wondering if anyone on this site would want to point us to a few areas/drainage areas to try? We were thinking of trying the wilderness area to hope to get away from people. Does anyone know how well this unit can be spotted with a spotting scope, or should we leave em at home. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
My buddy had a sheep tag in there last year. He saw a lot of elk but they were quite deep in the Wilderness....too far to haul one out on your back IMO. He was on horseback. This was in mid August....depending on weather they may not be as deep for 1st rifle
I've hunted it a few times. Great country.
Good critters over all. 300" bull is a trophy.

You can find places just inside or outside the wilderness to hunt. As usual per NM,you get away from the roads in the forest,you'll find elk. I hunted the edges as most of the packers head aways in.

But doing the drop camp or having a pack out option is best,IMHO. It is high country.
Oh,try and avoid east side and LV. They don't play nice around those parts IMHO. People in Pecos are nice folks.

Good Luck and Good Hunting!
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Thanks for all the info....It sounds like we should have plenty of area to cover in that unit.
I will keep an eye out this summer , will be in 45 horseback a few weeks packing salt . I see quite a few elk on those trips but where they are in summer can be very different (weather/snow etc) than even the earlier muzzleloader season. Here are a couple of unit 45 bulls from a pack trip three years ago

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Be ready for anything, this was the first week in October during the 2011 muzzleloader season in 45. The elk moved clear down the mountains near the trailhead, should have hunted from the parking lot!

Great pics Zia!
Last time I had mz tag got 2ft @ 9k and elk poured out of high country and I hunted the benches above the river/road. Elk all over and nobody else except in trucks and up high. '07.
Those are great photos, thanks so much for sharing them. That is a nice looking bull you got there as well!!
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