2015 backpack elk hunt

hrpwelding

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jerseytown,pa
Wanting to hunt two states this fall. Already have plans for CO rifle. Have only hunted there. I'd like to hunt Id, Mt or NM. Anyone do any solo backpack rifle hunts that would like to share some tips or possible units to hunt? Antything within 10 miles of trailhead is preferred. Thanks.
 

Red Sparky

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Here in NM you will have to see if you can draw. The hardest thing to get around is the draw. I just started bow hunting elk and before that it was muzzle loader.. So the units I hunt in are usually not open to rifle and in the southern part of the state.. The only suggestion I can give you is from when I lived in Farmington and out by the Jicarilla Reservation to Chama was decent for elk but I only deer hunted there. That was about 11 years ago. Saw lots of elk along the highway driving from Santa Fe to Farmington after dark.
 

hrpwelding

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Thanks for the reply. Have you had any success with your muzzle loader? I'll be sure to look that way. I've got a friend who has family there in NM and they shoot a lot of elk. But from their truck on private ground. I'm really wanting to get way back. Not just to kill an elk but the overall experience. Thanks again for the input
 

Red Sparky

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I have killed three of them with my muzzle loader, all public land. Last year was my first year bow hunting and what an experience. I was in elk almost everyday, had a bobcat walk by at 5 yards, watched a bear for about 15 minutes at a water tank 40 yards away, had 10 Coues deer at 30 yards for about 15-20 minutes, watched 3 coyotes for an hour anywhere from 60-10 yards. It was a blast so hope I draw bow again. It is the experience and not the kill in my opinion. Too bad you can't put in for a WMA (wildlife management area) as last year they made that resident only.
 

hrpwelding

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That's the icing on the cake. Archery hunting has made me a better rifle hunter as well as made me appreciate what really is out there,if more rifle hunters hunted with a bow,and applied what they learn ed there would be fewer tags. How many elk can you harvest a year in NM As a resident? The way things are shaping up I'll probably hunt 2 consecutive Colorado seasons this year and scout and prepare for 2016 for another state. I could go with a guide bUT really like doing it on my own.
 

idaho elk hunter

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The Salmon River region in Salmon Idaho is a open hunt. You do not have to draw. It is a guaranteed big bull if you are willing to work for it. Good spotting scope and long range skills are needed. This is not for a person that THINKS they can shoot. This is not for internet warriors! For skilled hunters in shape a 350 class bull is in reason. Many 320 to 370 class bulls will be spotted in the spotting scope.

Go north of Stanley a few miles and take the logging roads to the left. Go as far as you can on the road and hike to the top of the peaks. Spot the peaks and meadows of the other Mountains that surround you.
 

hrpwelding

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Wow! Thanks for that info. I will look into that area. I am no trophy hunter but sure do like a challenge with the hope of a filled tag. Thank you again.
 

elkslayer44

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I live in Abuquerque NM and have a place in Chama NM. I'd say your best bet is to try to draw CO GMU 80 or 81 (I think those are the ones, or maybe it's 82) in CO (or buy OTC there) and try to draw GMU 52 in NM for the same time or one after the other. GMU 52 lies on the northern NM border starting about 25 miles west of Tierra Amarilla and goes to Tres Piedras and then north to the CO border. There are some nice elk in there, but not the really big ones like they have down in the Gila. I've seen some nice mulies on the CO side so you may want to put in for a muley tag too.
 

hrpwelding

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Great . I'll look into that also. I know I'll be in unit 54 either first or second rifle with a small group. But my other hunt will be a solo adventure. Again just looking for a hard to access place with little pressure and maybe a chance at an elk. A lot of effort goes into these hunts as you all know and I really appreciate the help. Hope I can return the favor.
 

elkslayer44

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There's a lot of back county in NM GMU 52 that doesn't get accessed by hunters unless they have horses or you decide to pack in. You should be aware that you can get a lot of snow in that high country starting in October (sometimes before). Usually though the big snows don't hit until November.
 

Red Sparky

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You can only harvest one elk here in NM, resident or non-resident. If I get a public draw land tag it is illegal to get private land tag. Then again elk tend to completely filled my small freezer and that is with giving some away. Figure 300-500 lbs. of meat depending cow or bull and size taken.
 

hrpwelding

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The snow is always a plus. I was up on mt.Washington Nh. last month trying out some new gear. That drawing system in Nm. is going to take some figuring. 52 looks good. That has some potential. The more I look at Idaho the less sleep I get. That is some huge land. Just waiting for some finalized plans from others so I'll know where and when.
 

elkslayer44

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The draw's pretty straight forward. No pref points. They used to have them many years ago but when I had enough to get a good GMU THEY DISCONTINUED THEM!! I think there's a good elk migration across the border into this GMU depending on snow fall.
 
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