Re: NM Unit 57
I live about 8 miles away from the top of Johnson Mesa. Depending on the ranch you are on it can be all rolling grass land on top-- to oak brush, pine and ponderosa fingers dropping off. There is also some rimrock that can be pretty tall, once again depending where you are. There are also some tall moutains or peaks on top of the mesa. One called Towndrow peak to the west end and one called Red mountain toward the east. To the east it extends towards
an area called the crow foot where it drops off on the Folsom, NM side. I have hunted the area around Red mountain and the Crow foot. The area is not right next to Vermejo Park Ranch as I have also guided some hunts there. The Vermejo side which is on the west side of I25 starts just on the edge of Raton.
This unit is 55. The elk herd is much bigger in unit 55 of which Vermejo owns about 600,000 acres. Johnson mesa does have a healthy herd but does not consistently produce real big bulls. The biggest ranch on the Johnson Mesa side would be on its southern slope, it is the T-O Ranch. There are quite a few different land owners on top of the mesa it self. You can send me a PM if you would like more info, I may be able to help you out. Jamaro is right, rifle season starts October 1st and you can hunt for 5 consecutive days. Usually the earlier you hunt the better. However, there are areas on and around the mesa that hold a lot of wintering elk. With some luck you maybe on a place where the bulls like to spend the winter. If you are able to hunt country with draws, rimrock slopes or in general an area with sufficient cover I would be there to catch some rutting action on 10/01. Your friend and or the owner should be able to help with that info.