New Mexico Elk Hunting: A Classic Pursuit from A New Angle
New Mexico Trophy Elk Hunting has turned out to be superior elk hunting for world-class bulls! Many of the finest New Mexico elk hunts take place in the highly acclaimed Gila of Southwestern New Mexico and surrounding areas of New Mexico and Arizona. Several skilled and experienced outfitters in this area of New Mexico with years of experience in elk hunting, coupled with the exceptional genetics of elk breeding, have enabled many hunters to consistently enjoy success rates second to none on world-class bulls. Most of the terrain on New Mexico elk hunts is not extremely steep, even though elevations range from 6,000-9,000 feet.
New Mexico rifle hunts also begin in early October and run through early December, with many New Mexico elk-hunting trips lasting up to five days. Rifle hunters have enjoyed both high average success rates and shooting opportunities. Stand hunting is not nearly as effective on rifle hunts, requiring more physical ability from the hunter. Horses and mules may sometimes be used. In some cases, the shooting can be across deep canyons at fairly long distances. For this reason, large caliber, long-distance rifles are recommended, such as a 300 mag. etc.
Archery elk hunting in New Mexico begins at the start of September and runs to its end, and elk hunters have consistently enjoyed trophy-sized elk results, with many of the bulls harvested qualifying for the P&Y record book. New Mexico archery elk-hunting methods include spot and stalk, calling, stands over water, wallows, and other proven techniques implemented by truly the best guides in the business. Most shooting is from 20-35 yards, and while many New Mexico outfitters do not encourage shooting beyond 40 yards, this may vary with individual hunter capabilities.
Muzzleloader elk hunts begin in early October and run through late November. These are often longer, five-day hunts. Most muzzleloader elk hunts take place in primitive weapon-only areas that haven't been rifle hunted in years. Muzzleloader elk hunters have enjoyed high success rates and shooting opportunities in New Mexico, as well. On the earlier hunts, hunters can expect bugling bulls. Many elk hunters of this kind rely heavily on calling and what is referrred to as “chasing bugles”. During the later hunts, the bulls have moved into bachelor groups into their winter range, which make spot and stalk hunting methods effective. Stand hunting over water is also effective, depending on weather conditions. The modern muzzleloaders of today have increased the distance of these guns considerably. New Mexico and Arizona do not have any restrictions on muzzleloaders.