October is when we run our rifle elk hunts. The bulls are in rut at this time and normally a hunter will hear plenty of bugling. Our standard rifle elk hunts consists of four or five hunters. These hunts are conducted on several private ranches. We have continually cut hunter numbers threw the years in order to be at the point we are now at. We receive 22 permits each year that we could sell for bull elk hunts but are using only about half the permits taking only 10 to 12 hunters each year on around 100,000 acres of privately owned hunting property. This strategy is how, for the past 15 years, we have had success rates in the high 90 percent on 6X6 or better bulls. The elk population continues to increase on our hunting property with more and bigger bulls each year. This is due in part to light hunting pressure; resulting in a high percentage of big bull elk that are not harvested and are allowed to grow bigger. Our elk hunts all include a private land owner permit which guarantee’s a license, lodging and meals. All of our bull elk hunts are guided 1 x 1. We offer an ideal hunt for elk in the 320 to 350 class, and consistently take bulls each year over the 350 range.
The black bear finds an excellent home within our hunting area. The bears have prospered with little hunting pressure and the population contains a high percent of older, fully mature bears. we will have bear hunts the last of August along with combination hunts during antelope, elk and deer season. These hunts are primarily spot and stalk. We are taking mature bears every year. Furnished is lodging and great meals. The license is over the counter but hunters planning to bear hunt need to be purchased ahead of arrival, as the license is not valid for 48 hours after purchase. Bear hunts are guided 1X2. Our bear’s coat coloring ranges from shades of black, brown, red and blonde. Probably around half of our bears are a color other than black.
The winter and spring moisture was better than we have had in many years and that resulted in great antler growth in every species. Spring turkey hunts provided 9 hunters with 17 long beard toms. The antelope hunts ran 100% success with all 10 hunters taking bucks, most in the 14 to 15 inch range. The silver mule deer hunters all were able to take home great mature bucks mostly 3X3 but a couple of huge 4X2 not counting eye guards. Our elk hunts ran 100% success, 10 hunters were successful harvesting bulls ranging from 320 to 385, all bulls in 2015 were 6X6 or better, with many nice bulls left for future years. Our 4 gold mule deer hunters all were able to get bucks ranging from 170 to 186 inches with a couple really big mule deer that we spotted this year, that are still up for grabs for hunters in future years.
Check our Facebookoccasionally we will be posting pictures of some wildlife we are seeing across our hunting country through out the spring and summer months.
For the past couple of decades we have had very good turkey numbers, with the above average moisture that our area has received over the past two years they have had tremendous hatches. This has made for very high numbers of long beard toms and should make for great turkey hunting for the next several years.
Our Merriam turkey hunts are 3 day hunts that have a 2 bird limit. They begin in mid-April and continue through the early part of May. The turkey hunts include lodging and meals as well. The license is over the counter. Our turkey hunting country includes river bottoms and wooded canyons that are prime turkey habitat. This area may be some of the best Merriam turkey hunting found anywhere. Fresh spring growths in the hay fields concentrate the turkey near big cottonwoods where they roost. Hunters can expect to see high numbers of turkey during these hunts. We have never hunted our turkey hard, which means they are not normally “call shy” and most hunters harvest their 2 bird limit. Hunts are guided 1 x 2.
During late November and December, we have special land owner tags and are running “gold” trophy mule deer hunts that take place when the bucks are in rut. We have entered into special agreements with the New Mexico Game Department to offer these late season mule deer hunts. These tags are extremely limited and very few New Mexico ranches qualify for these tags. For the past several years we have taken very few mule deer hunters to help increase our buck size and numbers. We are seeing some tremendous bucks and the coming years will be great quality hunting. Hunters will have an exceptional chance at 180 and up trophy mule deer during these late season “gold” rut hunts. We take no more than 2 “gold” deer hunters per year on each qualifying ranch. All other mule deer hunts we conduct are classified as the “silver” hunts. All of our hunts are very limited in hunter numbers and we are hunting across thousands of private acres on each hunt. Our hunting ranches are located in some of the best mule deer country in New Mexico. Improving deer habitat, controlling predators and limiting hunter numbers has resulted in excellent bucks harvested as well as high success rates. Ranch-style meals and on site lodging are also included in the hunting package. The deer hunt licenses are over the counter or land owner tags, both a guaranteed license. Gold mule deer hunts are guided 1X1.
The “silver” mule deer hunts allow us to harvest a few fully mature bucks that we want out of the breeding herds. The bucks we are harvesting are mature bucks ranging in age from 5 ½ to 8 ½, mostly being 3X3 not including eye guards. They are extremely nice bucks; however, we do not fell these will ever have the typical 4X4 or better frame that we are managing for. Our silver hunts are conducted before the deer breeding season begins. The first hunt is the September muzzle loader; however, we also offer two rifle hunts in October. These “silver” mule deer hunts are guided 2X1 with lodging and meals included.
These are very exciting 3 day hunts and hunters will see high numbers of antelope. The first hunt takes place in late August and the second hunt in September, when the bucks are in rut. Antelope hunts include a private land owner permit, lodging and ranch-style meals. All hunters in 2015 harvested great antelope bucks, with the majority taking home 14 to 15 inch antelopes. Northern New Mexico has a well known reputation for large populations of antelope. The large, flat, open spaces of our top country make for ideal antelope habitat. We have had 100% success for the past 15 years on these hunts and have harvested some real trophy antelope. Hunts are guided 1 x 2.
We have had an increasing whitetail population in our area for the past 10 to 15 years AND WE ARE EXTREMELY EXCITED ABOUT THE QUALITY OF DEER WE HAVE TO OFFER.