New Mexico Elk & Antelope #319

New Mexico Elk & Antelope #319

NM-319-great-New-Mexico-bull-300x225  Hunt Nation is continually on the outlook for high quality outfitters, outfitters that meet our requirements and provide high client satisfaction. This outfitter has been outfitting 16 years, with an emphasis on NM elk. He also has some huge antelope- not having taken anything under 78″ for the last several years- and some over 80”. Only 10-15 of those antelope hunts are available each year. He also does White Tail deer and Mule deer in Texas. He also guides for Oryx, Ibex, Merriams Turkey and Rio Grande turkey,

319.antelope-225x300  His main elk area is GMU 34- a unit with some of best bull/cow ratios in the state. He also hunts units 47, 30 and 29, and does a few in the Gila (mostly draw hunts ). He says that on one of his SMR ranches (a Special Management Ranch under NM rules) — he has not killed a bull under 340″ for several years- that ranch is 9,000 acres. On his other ranches, (some of which are also SMR’s) bulls run 270 to 330 in scores.

His main elk area is in south-central New Mexico’s Unit 34, where the bull-to-cow ratio is the best in the State. He also hunts Units 47, 30 and 29, and a bit in the Gila. His elk hunts run the full spectrum from average all the way up to premium trophy quality, so he’s got something to match just about any desire and budget (including rifle, archery and muzzleloader).

NM-319-another-nice-bull-300x225  All of his ranches were already full for 2021 elk hunts. So, we were excited when he told us this past week that he had acquired a new ranch lease. The new ranch is just under 9000 acres and it actually touches some of their other leases, so there’s no surprise here. They know the hunting will be good as they used to have the lease a few years back but couldn’t maintain it.
They are very happy to have it back. It in Unit 34 (which is in New Mexico’s “Special Management Zone” zone for elk).

NM-319-big-Merchant-Ranch-bull-300x225  They usually only take 2 elk hunters at a time, to ensure a quality experience. They might consider a group of 4 depending on the dates. They are expecting bulls mostly in the 280″-320+” range, but they do get some much bigger each year on this series of ranches. The cost is $10,500 per hunter 2×1 or $12,500 per hunter 1×1, and $750 for a non-hunter.
All prices include meals, lodging and a guaranteed access to purchase your State license/tag (approx. $650), so no draws to contend with. Tax of 5.125% applies to each hunt price.

09/01-09/05 – Archery 2 spots
09/08-09/12 – Archery 2 spots
09/15-09/19 – Archery 2 spots
09/20-09/24 – Archery 2 spots

10/1-10/5 – Rifle 2 spots
10/10-10/14 – Rifle 2 spots
10/23-10/27 – Rifle 2 spots
11/18-11/22 – Rifle 2 spots
11/27-12/01 – Rifle 2 spots
12/11-12/15 – Rifle 2 spots
12/18-12/22 – Rifle 2 spots
12/27-12/31 – Rifle 2 spots


NM-319-huge-aoudad-1-300x225  Their Aoudad (or Barbary sheep as they are called in New Mexico) hunts take place on a private ranch in the canyon country of the Texas Panhandle. The ranch has a large resident herd of sheep producing gold medal class rams from 28-30″+ with rams harvested every year over 32″. Often referred to as a poor man’s big horn sheep, Aoudad are a beautiful & unique trophy with chaps and heavy sweeping horns. Licenses are over-the-counter and can be purchased at any authorized license vendor or directly from Texas Parks & Wildlife. With comfortable accommodations on the ranch, plentiful sheep and the possibility of taking feral hogs or predators for an additional fee, if you are looking for a trophy ram, this three day hunt is the one for you!

NM-319-aoudad-camp-living-room-300x225  NM-319-nice-aoudad-300x225

They also offer rifle, muzzleloader and archery mule deer hunts on private property in New Mexico and Texas. These licenses are over-the-counter and can be purchased at any authorized license vendor or directly from the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish or Texas Parks & Wildlife.

In New Mexico, archery mule deer hunts are either in September or January. During the September hunt the bucks are typically velvet antlered and make a beautiful mount. During the January hunt the bucks are generally in the rut in this part of New Mexico, and this is the optimal time to hunt. The most successful means of hunting during both seasons is stand hunting over water sources.

Rifle/muzzleloader hunts are also typically stand hunting in Texas or spot and stalk style hunts with many hours spent glassing in New Mexico. In Texas the season is generally in middle to late November, which is during the rut.

They have harvested several bucks in the 160-180 inch range, but most mature bucks will be in the 140-150 inch range.

New Mexico mule deer hunts can be conducted in combination with an elk hunt for an additional fee.

Texas mule deer and white-tailed deer hunts can be conducted in combination with Aoudad, feral hogs or predators for an additional fee. In addition, because our ranches have both species you have the option of harvesting either a mule deer or white-tailed deer during the mule deer season.

All of their deer hunts are five days in length.


Bear hunts are conducted on private property and public lands, depending on the type of hunt. These licenses are over-the-counter and can be purchased at any authorized license vendor or directly from the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish. The license must be purchased at least two days prior to the beginning of the hunt.

The season opens on August 16th each year, and bears can be hunted with any legal weapon from August 16th until August 31st. Beginning on September 1st, bears can only be hunted with archery equipment to coincide with the archery elk season.

The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish establishes a quota system for the harvest of bears in each zone. The ability to hunt bears is directly affected by this quota, e.g., if you begin hunting and the bear quota is reached in the bear management zone you are hunting, then you cannot continue to hunt bears in that zone. Because an outfitter cannot control this quota system they cannot guarantee you will be able to hunt the entire time scheduled. The later in the season you wait to begin, the more likely the quota will be met and all bear hunting will have to cease. Hunt Nation would want you to speak with the outfitter before booking a bear hunt. One plus is lots of color phase bears!

Bear hunts are conducted using two methods: the use of hounds or stand hunting over water. Hunting with hounds is the most effective and can be a true adventure. Their particular houndsman has produced 100% shot opportunity. Because the season opens in August, the temperatures can be very warm. This can make stand hunting over water sources also effective.

Like mule deer, bear hunts can be booked in combination with elk hunts.


319.antelope-225x300  This is a pulse-pounding hunt for the fastest land mammal in North America. The hunts take place on a 95,000 acre private ranch with varying terrain from open grasslands to mesas. This particular Hunt Nation outfitter prides himself in harvesting true trophy speed goats with several bucks harvested each year scoring above the Boone & Crockett minimum. This is not an overly demanding hunt physically as much of the hunt is conducted via truck or ATV. You will spend most of your time glassing over groups of antelope to locate the buck of your dreams before pursuing your trophy on foot. Hunts take place from mid-August to early September so this makes it a great hunt for the family before the school year starts. Also, because of the large numbers of game and ease of terrain, it is a great first hunt out west.


Both the Merriam’s and Rio Grande sub-species of turkey is a much sought-after trophy for every serious turkey hunter (and a requirement in order to attain the turkey slam).

There is nothing like hunting Merriam’s in the mountains of New Mexico. To hear the flapping of the their wings as they fly off the roost on a ridge at sunrise, or hear the answer of the gobblers echoing through the canyons, is a thrill words can’t describe!

NM-319-very-nice-aoudad-300x225  While the dates can vary depending New Mexico Department of Game & Fish rules, opening day of season is typically around April 15th each year. These licenses are over-the-counter and can be purchased at any authorized vendor or directly from the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish.

Rio Grande turkey hunts are conducted on a private ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Longbeards are plentiful and the season typically runs from the end of March until early May. Licenses are over-the-counter and can be purchased at any authorized vendor or directly from Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Turkey hunts for both Merriam’s and Rio Grande are conducted on private property are three (3) days in length.

TRANSPORT: HUNTERS FLY TO WHERE? Fly to El Paso, TX (NM GMU’s 29, 30 & 34) ; fly to Albuquerque, NM (Unit 47); Fly to Amarillo, TX for Texas Aoudad and deer
FOOD AND LODGING IS INCLUDED. It will vary from a ranch with home cooked meals to possibly a motel with meals provided at a nearby restaurant.
Meals and lodging included. License (approximately $650) and 5.125% tax not included
1X1 hunts are available: Cost is $2000 for a 5 day elk, $2800 for a 7 day elk hunt. For 1×1 Antelope or Aoudad add $600.

Cross D Ranch (Special Management Ranch) Unit 34
14,000+ acres Guaranteed landowner tag Lodging is a house on the ranch
Archery elk 9/8-9/14 (2 openings) $12,500 2×1; $14,500 1×1
Rifle elk 10/8-10/12 (2 openings) $12,500 2×1; $14,500 1×1
Rifle elk late season flexible dates (1 opening) $8500 2×1; $10,500 1×1
300″+ bulls with very real possibility of 330″+

Circle Cross Ranch (Special Management Ranch) Unit 34
3,500 acres Guaranteed landowner tag Lodging on ranch sleeps 20 comfortably
Rifle elk 11/14-11/18 (1 opening) $8500 2×1; $10,500 1×1
280″-330″+ bulls

Merchant Ranch Units 29 & 30 (borders 34)
Approximately 15,000 acres Guaranteed landowner tag Lodging on neighboring ranch
Rifle elk with dates available November through December (3 openings) $6500 2×1; $8500 1×1
250″-300″+ bulls


Antelope 100% 100%
Aoudad 100% 100%
Elk archery 90% 80%
Elk rifle 98% 98%
Deer 100% 100%


BEST DATES BY SPECIE: Elk (archery) 9/7-9/24; elk (rifle) 10/1-10/12 on Cross D, Merchant, & Fleming;
November through December on Circle Cross. Antelope all seasons in August are great. Aoudad is December
through February.

DEGREE OF PHYSCIAL EXERTION: varies from easy to moderately difficult depending on species and ranch
Circle Cross can be difficult although we hunt from blinds during some of archery season. Cross D is very gentle for an elk hunt. Fleming is gentle for an elk hunt. Merchant is fairly gentle for an elk hunt. Antelope ranch is gentle. Texas Aoudad can be moderately difficult. Texas deer is hunted from blinds.

Archery elk is run and gun and blinds. Rifle elk is spot and stalk. Antelope is spot and stalk conducted from
vehicles. Aoudad is spot and stalk. Texas deer is from blinds. NM deer is spot and stalk.

• HOW DO YOU TRANSPORT MEAT or TROPHIES? Prep for transport home or will transport to meat processor and/or taxidermist we recommend
• COST OF MEAT or TROPHY TRANSPORT? $0.00 cost for transport to processor or taxidermist. Customer pays for all meat processing and taxidermist and shipping from either
• HOW ARE HUNTING PERMITS/LICENSES ACQUIRED? Hunter is responsible for purchasing licenses for all guaranteed landowner tags. Detailed step-by-step directions to purchase the license online are emailed to the hunter once the balance is paid in full.
• DEADLINES FOR DRAWS, COSTS, WHAT UNITS TO APPLY FOR: Draw hunts for elk, deer, antelope, oryx, Ibex, rocky mountain and desert bighorn sheep are typically due in March. Outfitter will assist and charges $25 per hunter application. We can and do apply for the hunter. However, the vast majority of his hunts are on private land with guaranteed landowner tags.
• DISCUSS CAMP AND FACILITIES: All camps have houses on the ranch or in the area. All linens are provided. Hunter only needs to bring hunting gear and personal toiletries. ARE THERE HOT SHOWERS? Yes

Phone: 307 637 5495 email: