Archery NM elk

Brown229

FNG
Joined
Jun 12, 2023
Messages
13
I've been on a few archery elk hunts in New Mexico. I've always gone the 2nd season. It's a DIY hunt. Each trip I have gotten plenty of opportunities, however finding the monster is much more challenging, obviously. In the area I hunt they are screaming from the first day of the hunt. Call in plenty of satellite 5x5s and small 6x6's. It seems that even the small bulls already have a few cows in the harem. Was thinking about sometime in the future trying the first season to see if some of the bigger bulls are not cowed up and more responsive to calls as they are cruising for cows. The area I hunt is pretty high elevation so it is usually 40s in the morning and mid 70s by day. Looking at the weather it is pretty similar temperature throughout September so I do not think the first season is crazy hot. I usually chase them in the timber in the morning and find watering sources for the afternoon/evening. Anyone have thoughts on trying the first season to try and get the monster?
 

Speck1

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Aug 5, 2021
Messages
131
It sounds like you have access to NM tags with some certainty. If that’s the case then you might as well give first season a chance and see what happens. Public or private? I prefer second season because I like to hear them but that doesn’t mean it’s easier to kill a big one. If I had a source for a tag every year I would test that theory😁
 
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Brown229

FNG
Joined
Jun 12, 2023
Messages
13
It sounds like you have access to NM tags with some certainty. If that’s the case then you might as well give first season a chance and see what happens. Public or private? I prefer second season because I like to hear them but that doesn’t mean it’s easier to kill a big one. If I had a source for a tag every year I would test that theory😁
Public land. Agree on the screaming issue. In the area I’m in they are screaming first day I’m there. So might be good idea to see what first season like.
 

Oldirtdog

FNG
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
31
Location
AZ
I backpack hunted NM first archery elk last year at higher elevation and the elk didn’t start bugling until day 13 which made it tough for thick timber areas. I was on tons of fresh sign everyday (fresh rubs from the previous night), and sat a few wallows but things were slow.

I scouted and found the big 350+ bull I was targeting who had a harem in July already btw. I was able to locate him on day 4 of the hunt and spent a few days on him (glassing him and the herd up daily) and got close but ended up pulling out to a new area a few days later because he was in a pocket too far to pack out without meat loss. I will say that the weather was warm last year and I was on a poor moon cycle so they were busy during the night.
 

LuvsFixedBlades

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Mar 17, 2022
Messages
202
Location
Colorado
I believe the opening season is better for killing big bulls in the good units of NM.

Personally, I prefer to hunt the second season because being in bugling bulls as much as possible is the experience I'm after, but that's the only reason.

If you have the chance to hunt NM regularly and a big bull is your goal, if you know/learn how to hunt the early season effectively, you will have better opportunities. IMO.
 

Brooks051

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
133
If I have read correctly and have my facts straight some units in NM will be more prevent with your "standard" bulls because of the way the state manages it. I'm not saying you wont find a monster, but the general age class will be lower.
 
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