I drew Ibex Muzzleloader, season dates 12/6-20 (non-resident). Florida Mountains of course.
Don't ask me how many times I have applied before drawing unless you want to get REALLY upset about the lack of a point system in NM. And, because only the rifle tag is O-I-L, I think I can apply again next year and have the same odds as you drawing...
As a non-resident, I calculated 2014'd draw odds at 0.2% (2 NR tags; 1000apps).
You will find that a lot of hunters would rather have the draws set up with no points at all. All the states with either preference points or bonus points have is point creep to the point that a new hunter just starting out will have very slim chances of ever drawing a tag. Now states like New Mexico should consider certain tags to be once in a liftime tags no matter what the weapon is just so that a person can't draw two or more in their lifetime if they are really lucky. By the way I had a friend that is that lucky.
Congradulations on your tag and now the real fun begins. Scoutting trips and the planning that will take place before the hunt. That is unless you hire a guide and then it is just the anticipation of the hunt itself.
Went 1 for 6. I did get my 3rd choice Elk in the Gila wilderness, which I'm very happy with.
Need to start getting in shape and scouting.
jdp congrats on the ibex tag. It's fun chasing those things. I only had a chance with bow, but last year my nephew drew a youth tag. We only had 3 days to hunt due to school activties he had and were not able to connect.
Last year I drew antelope, deer, oryx (returning OIF/OEF once in a lifetime), and barbary. I also bought a private landowner cow elk tag. I also bought a leftover javelina tag.
I filled the antelope tag. 276 yd shot with a muzzleloader... Let's just say there was no wind, everything was a weighed powder charge and I'd been practicing banging a 12" gong 9/10 times at 370 yds with the muzzleloader.
The deer tag was unit 30, first rifle. 19% success rate last year if I recall correctly... It's also my first mule deer.
the elk tag
and the oryx tag. This is my first oryx... 34" bull. Absolutely delicious.
Weather you hire a outfitter or do it yourself is a big difference. If you hire a outfitter they are the ones that are going to be doing the leg work to find the animals and put you on them once the season starts.
If you plan on doing it yourself you better plan on getting into the area at least 4, 5, or more times after the middle of July to figure out what you want to do. You will also have to plan on how to get the elk out of the area by yourself. If you have horses it would be a big plus in not a big minus, that is where the outfitted hunt would be nice, the majority of them will have access to horses to pack them out.
Last year I drew unit 61 here in Colorado for the muzzle loader hunt. I scoutted the area for about 3 weeks total and ended up hunting in a area that we really didn't know that well after the area that we had scoutted turned up as a dud the week before the season started. So those 3 weeks were really wasted as far as knowing where to hunt. If I would of hired a outfitter I would of showed up the day before the hunt without knowing a thing about the area and not scoutting it a day. The outfitter would have dinner ready for me that night and have breakfast cooked the next morning and have a sandwitch ready for me to take out on the hunt. Outfitted hunts are nice but you pay for them. But then you also pay for your DIY hunt and may end up with nothing, the same with a outfitter but the odds are in your favor if you hire one.
I have been able to talk with a few folks who have hunted the Valle either themselves or with friends and I think I am gonna do the DIY route. If I don't end up getting one then I have noone to blame but myself. However the sense of accomplishment will be their if I do connect. I do not have horses, but I have rounded up 3-4 guys with strong backs. I plan to scout a few times in late summer (August) but out of respect to the bowhunters that start in the Valle in Sept 1st, I am gonna hold off on scouting then.
Hunting is not usually a pursuit where instant gratification abounds. It takes a lot of time, practice, resources and patience to be a successful hunter. So when someone decides that an area they hunted only once without taking an animal is worthless and devoid of game, I don't quite understand it. These people usually jump from game management unit to game management unit; trying a new one every year.
Now don't get me wrong, there are people that just enjoy scouting and hunting...