2018 New Mexico Elk Hunt

Our friend Jason drew an archery elk tag for New Mexico GMU 37 in September.  I didn’t draw myself but was lucky enough to help on the hunt for a few days.  Can’t give away our “secret” spots but this was near the town Capitan on Lincoln National Forest / BLM lands.

We moved around to several areas in search of the herd.  Warm temperatures kept movement down but we could hear bugling & got responses to our calls.  Our two graybeards were persistent & restless trackers.

Compared to the Midwest the access roads are on another level of ruggedness.  Bring your 4×4 and maybe a mouth guard to keep your teeth in place!

Came across several bones/carcasses during our search.  Looks like cattle but wouldn’t be surprised to find other animals.  Life on the open range can be difficult.

Some interesting insects & arachnids: A Common Thread Waisted Wasp carrying away a caterpillar during the hot & sunny morning, and wolf spiders (Hogna antelucana) coming out at night to feed (their eyes glow if you shine with a headlamp).

For two days we saw storms forming across the plains between the mountains.  Nothing really reached our area but the views were great.  Funny enough my “real” camera took this shot which didn’t work so well…

But my cell phone (Google Pixel 2 at the time) took this one.  #2 is more aesthetically pleasing to me but far less detail/pixels.  Goes to show sometimes it isn’t about fancy gear – just being in the right spot at the right moment.

We were in the mix each day but it was still hard to find any animals moving in the daylight hours.  Jason intensely scans the landscape for signs of life.  This is big country and patience is the key.

No harvests on this trip but we have applications in for 2019.  Keeping our fingers crossed for next year!

Hiking Data

Can’t share any maps this time folks – it would give away our hunting grounds.  Over the course of 3 days, my GaiaGPS hiking app logged about 15 miles with several thousand feet elevation changes.  Western geography ain’t no joke when it comes to hiking.

Lat = 33.5453568 , Long = -105.5722046 -- Show at Google Maps

2 thoughts on “2018 New Mexico Elk Hunt”

  1. Very cool pictures, great recap of the hunt. Curious if you prefer GaiaGPS over onX? I have heard good things about Gaia I just can’t get myself to go away from what I am comfortable with (onX). Anyways, keep on punching tags.

    • Thanks! As of now I prefer onX over Gaia for hunting purposes but that gap is getting smaller and smaller. Gaia also does some things far, far better than onX. If you can only have one for hunting get onX. But if you find yourself adventuring more often than just a couple weeks a year for the hunt definitely get Gaia and learn how to use it. Personally I use Gaia 90% of the time, and when I need to be perfectly sure of public/private land boundaries I use onX.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.