Well back home empty handed! Good thing I didn't clean/thin out the freezer of older elk meat before I left. Didn't see a bull, let alone a big(bigger) one. And only saw small bucks! Didn't even see a grouse to help justify $90.00 of small game licenese. Unit 45 was pretty tough on me/for me this year. I don't like the season being in October. I've only taken 1 or maybe 2 bulls out of 45 since the season was moved into October. I was 6 for 8 the last years the season was in September. Didn't even take time to catch a trout!! Found where the elk including large(larger) bulls were hiding on the last afternoon of the hunt, but couldn't connect. Well, on to dreaming about next year!!
See, that's your problem, you still had the meat in the freezer.... I actually have a buddy, the one who pointed me towards Unit 62 in Colorado, that would bring entire hind quarters of elk back from his trip to see his parents in Montrose. He said his dad was cleaning out the freezer for the upcoming season. And, he would end up getting an elk and a deer, sometimes 2 elk, each year. Maybe that was the issue, you are correct.
Sorry you didn't get one, or even see one. Tough to go through a season like that sometimes. There's always next year, or the next season you go out, right?
Good luck on your hunt. I will not be hunting in New Mexico this year. I hope you have a good time and make it back safe. Make sure to bring back a ton of pictures and report back and let us know how you did.
As I sit and glass, which is common for hunters out west, I have sort of quickly discovered something I never learned when I was younger.
In my youth I had enthusiasm and spirit. In my middle to advancing years I have creaky knees, arthritis, and I tire more easily than I used to. Where I used to sit on the cold hard ground I now look for that soft spot to sooth my tired muscles. That leads me to my tip.
Carry your soft spot with you!
In my pack I carry an air filled, ultralight, camping pad....