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Location: Edgewood NM
Joined: 06/12/2010
Posts: 27
Looking for some advice

Hey everyone,
I have been looking around for a while and decided to finally sign up. My son (10) and I got drawn for deer and elk here in NM this year, and it will be our first year chasing elk. We got drawn in unit 16e for the Dec cow hunt, and I was looking for a little advice. We are planning a few scouting trips, but I will assume that come Dec, their habits will be much different than they are in July-September. Anyone have any suggestions for that late cow hunt? Thanks

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Re: Looking for some advice

My buddy got drawn for the October bull hunt. Generally I'd say you'd want to be looking at the lower country, especially near farmlands, but 16E doesn't have much of that, and December in New Mexico may or may not have enough snow to really push the elk down. The highest elevations around Pelona Mountain and the Luera Mountains are only 9,000 feet. So, in your scouting, I'd have an eye out for places the elk might come down if there is a bad snow, but otherwise, I'd expect them on the mountains still. However, I've heard enough people talke about finding them out on the Plains of St. Augustine to think that could be an option too. One other thing, with Pelona Mountain being mostly bare on the south face, it seems a reasonable place to look for elk in the late seasons.

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Location: Edgewood NM
Joined: 06/12/2010
Posts: 27
Re: Looking for some advice

Thanks for the info... I am really looking forward to getting out there and trying to find where they hang out and learning what I can before the hunt. I hope the weather cooperates with us since it looks like alot of the plains to the north of Luera are private.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Re: Looking for some advice
duckdog98 wrote:
Hey everyone,
I have been looking around for a while and decided to finally sign up. My son (10) and I got drawn for deer and elk here in NM this year, and it will be our first year chasing elk. We got drawn in unit 16e for the Dec cow hunt, and I was looking for a little advice. We are planning a few scouting trips, but I will assume that come Dec, their habits will be much different than they are in July-September. Anyone have any suggestions for that late cow hunt? Thanks

You are correct....come December they will more than likely have moved from their summer/fall ranges but that all depends on weather and snowfall in the area you drew which I know nothing about. If the snow has driven them down our of the high country the good news is they are generally easier to find. There will be no leaves on the trees and thier color stands out well against a snowy background. The key to late hunt is lots of glassing, it's even more effective during a late hunt than it is during the fall seasons because it can find elk quickly. They will be in lower elevations where they can find grasses to feed on and the snow is not too deep (less than 6 inches is where they are comfortable but they can stand more).

Your best option is to ask local biologists where the elk will winter within your unit. Usually they are more willing to help out someone who is new to hunting elk and youth hunters so be sure to point out those facts when calling. To find a biologist call Ranger Stations within your unit or state wildlife agencies and simply ask if you can get in touch with the local biologist.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

gameyes's picture
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Joined: 07/15/2010
Posts: 1
Unit 16E

I was just up there in unit 16E a week ago.  I also drew a Dec. cow hunt there.  I drove the entire perimeter of the unit.  Most of it is the plains of San Agustin - and much is private.  The best public access I found was around Pelona mnt. in the south.  I drove all the public roads I could. I tried to get up to Luera Peak - but that is state trust land and only accessible 7 days before your hunt.  There are LOTS of elk in this unit!  I saw three herds of cows well over 40 each.  Many smaller herds.  4 bachelor herds of 14+ bulls each.  As far as hunting there in Dec....  the elk will still be around the open areas where they feed but close to the pinon/juniper/ponderosa cover that they can slip into.  Public access roads are few and far between - and if there is weather during your hunt these could pose a problem as most of them are rutted and look like they could be a pain when soggy.  If you have specific questions I can try to answer those.

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Location: Ajo, Arizona
Joined: 07/09/2010
Posts: 66
Congrats, I hope you and your

Congrats, I hope you and your son have a great hunt

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Location: Edgewood NM
Joined: 06/12/2010
Posts: 27
Thanks gameyes.... we are

Thanks gameyes.... we are going to try and get out there soon so I can find my way around. Sounds like we may have a decent hunt.....Wink

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