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Gonna be out here this fall, debating if I should try to get an outfitter. In central NM around albuquerque.

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Have hunted Elk just north (20 miles) of the NM line in CO. NM is elk mecca. Southern CO is great for elk also and tags are over the counter. Not sure what the requirements are for NM but you better start researching it now.

Jspooney goes out to CO almost every year. I'm sure he is full of info.

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Deadline for draw entry is March 17. Looks like a non resident has about a 6%chance on public land and high demand, quality units. The more I read the regs, the more confused I get

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I was gonna mention that your chances of a tag in NM are very, very slim. And several former OTC areas just across the NM line are now draw hunts as well. There’s a steep learning curve to elk hunting. But it’s worth it.
 

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I was out there a few years ago and was going to do it. With an outfitter, it was around $9k. I just couldnt bring myself to spend the money.
 

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NM is not very out-of-state hunter friendly. Their draw is limited to 20% for out of state licenses. Plus they don't allow you to accumulate preference points like Colorado and other states do. Under their system you could apply 10 years in a row and not draw a license or you could score one the first time you apply. This system might be considered fair if it wasn't for the fact that to apply for the draw you have to purchase a non-refundable out of state small game hunting license. Colorado has started doing this also, but in CO if you aren't successful in the draw you have the option to buy a license off of the left-over list or buy an over-the-counter bull license for the 2nd or 3rd season.

I haven't been elk hunting in NM since 2005. I've gone to CO every year since.
 

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Look at Cuba, NM. Outfitter is definitely recommended if you can afford it. The units are confusing to figure out. On X helps too. Good luck on getting drawn. I still have a resident license and havent been drawn in a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks ZKO, I am definitely leaning toward an outfitter, would love to get a landowner to let me hunt the Rio grande down below Belen, probably have better luck hunting a unicorn though. I'm supposed to meet with an outfitter this week. Still the odds are slim.

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Yup you need a guide. Belen is a train depot city on an almost dry river. They keep the Elk up in the mountains. I suggest a sight seeing trip this year to around Sunspot and take ALL the back roads to Mayhill. Taylor Canyon, 64, 223. Or Silver City up to the Gila cliff dwellings. No Elk in NM desert valley grounds.
 

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Gonna be out here this fall, debating if I should try to get an outfitter. In central NM around albuquerque.

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Depends, are you looking for a trophy elk or elk meat? NM private ranchers get tags all the time. We are setting up a Cow Elk trip this Dec with a rancher/outfitter (Red Dirt Trail )... with non-resident license, it will run around $1800.
We are also building points in Wyoming for a 2023/2024 Bull Elk hunt. We went to Idaho this past fall on a back country adventure. I do not recommend this unless you can ride a horse comfortably and are in better than good shape.

Good luck!
 

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No Elk in NM desert valley grounds.
But they have Oryx. I was driving out on the Missile Range and saw the signs saying Oryx crossing. Pretty freaking cool animal. Ended up seeing a few.

I know the tags are difficult to get on the range but I think the perimeter areas are not nearly as difficult.
 

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Depends, are you looking for a trophy elk or elk meat? NM private ranchers get tags all the time. We are setting up a Cow Elk trip this Dec with a rancher/outfitter (Red Dirt Trail )... with non-resident license, it will run around $1800.
We are also building points in Wyoming for a 2023/2024 Bull Elk hunt. We went to Idaho this past fall on a back country adventure. I do not recommend this unless you can ride a horse comfortably and are in better than good shape.

Good luck!
I wanted to give Idaho a shot this year with OTC elk and mule deer. Where did you hunt?
 

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Oryx hunts are on WSMR and you will have a guide, if you can get a tag. These are HUGE. I have come face to face with one while dirt bike riding. I turned around and let him be. Don't get them riled up!
 

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I wanted to give Idaho a shot this year with OTC elk and mule deer. Where did you hunt?
Selway unit 17... rugged terrain only reachable by horse back. Way too much wolf sign and never saw or heard the first Elk. Didn't even see a muley or white tail. Weather turned off hot. But the scenery was amazing.
 

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Selway unit 17... rugged terrain only reachable by horse back. Way too much wolf sign and never saw or heard the first Elk. Didn't even see a muley or white tail. Weather turned off hot. But the scenery was amazing.
I want a wolf too.
 

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But they have Oryx. I was driving out on the Missile Range and saw the signs saying Oryx crossing. Pretty freaking cool animal. Ended up seeing a few.

I know the tags are difficult to get on the range but I think the perimeter areas are not nearly as difficult.
The first time seeing one on White Sands was mind blowing.
 
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