One of the best known elk areas in New Mexico is the famed Unit 4, a northern unit having virtually no public land, and an area carefully managed by ranchers and outfitters to provide premium elk and muley hunting.
This is mountainous country, interspersed with both high and low-lying ranches. It is a scenic area, with a plethora of elk and some gigantic muleys. Many of the twenty-odd ranches this outfitter hunts are lower lying private ground with areas of parks and meadows, scattered water tanks, and conifers ie. outstanding late-season elk habitat. Others are high-ground ranches.
We have worked with this outfitter for about 15 years or more and he has been operating for over 20 years in New Mexico, with a sterling record for honesty, hard work and producing elk. We have probably sent him over 150 clients. He controls leases on more than 30 different private ranches with totaling countless acres. Elevations average from about 7,000 feet to as high as 10,000 feet, resulting in a variety of cover and hunting styles, depending on which ranch you hunt and the dates. High country or low, he covers it all, and has some big mule deer too, plus bears.
Many of his guides have been with him for over 10 years, and some for over 20 years, which says a lot for the quality of the operation. Unhappy clients do not tip well, so guides leave. Here the many successful clients make it worthwhile for a top notch guide to stay on. You get the benefit, so please take good care of your guide!
This outfitter has been featured on numerous television shows with many of the well-known TV celebrities. The outfitter also donates a hunt on a regular basis to the Make A Wish Foundation and Wounded Warriors. (Butch donates monthly to wounded warriors). This is a class guy, a no BS sort, who will tell you how it is, and who enjoys getting clients their elk. Also, all this outfitter’s New Mexico elk hunts INCLUDE THE LANDOWNER TAG! So you do not have to enter any draw! Just buy the hunt and the landowner tag allows you to buy your elk license over the counter. That license is approximately $550 plus a $65 hunt license. High success, good bulls, a class operation and no draw.
He also offers a variety of different elk hunts in New Mexico:
• He has three types of archery hunts in New Mexico. One is the inexpensive TREESTAND HUNT; a second type is SEMI-GUIDED– doing both stands and guided spot and stalk; and the third type is the classic FULLY GUIDED spot and stalk bugle hunts for bull elk. Deer are free on these archery elk hunts!!
• His less expensive early September tree stand hunts over waterholes and known elk hotspots are a real bargain we think! Around 30% of clients arrow bears on that elk hunt.
• He also offers New Mexico rifle elk hunts running from late September right into mid-December!
• He hunts more than 20 ranches. This area has almost no public access. So seeing lots of elk is the norm.
• And he has some cheap cow hunts. Plenty of choices there!
• He also offers an elk/mulie combo rifle hunt (draw for mulies- should be 100% draw IF you apply before deadline in late March – or he can back you up with a landowner tag if you fail to draw!). He has an option on the rifle elk hunts of killing a bear for a $500 kill fee, during the first three weeks of October. License required for bear of course. They are over the counter, but must be bought 48 hours in advance of your hunt. Good deer too!
• He has a very interesting New Mexico muzzleloader mule deer hunts, and we have seen video of some great deer in the 170 to high 180 range.! That deer hunt is a draw, but draw is normally around 100%.
• And he has an excellent New Mexico antelope hunt with 100% success. He has you apply to draw a tag (about 47% draw). If you do not draw he will use a private land tag, so you are sure to go! That hunt is in late August, and is 3 days long. He will also do archery antelope in mid-August from blinds over waterholes.
In short, many choices, many different hunts, and the free deer and cheap bear on some hunts is a definite bonus. His tree stand hunts are a bargain, but of course success in terms of opportunity is just a bit less, as compared to spot and stalk. However, you do get excellent shot opportunities and you do have bear and deer options! He also offers both 1 X 1 hunts and 2 X 1 hunts, and we think the $500 difference to hunt 1 X 1 is certainly worthwhile. They also have the ability to tailor the hunt to your physical ability, so if you have any concerns in that regard discuss it with us, and we will coordinate a plan with the outfitter to match your abilities to one of his ranches. He even does quite a few handicapped elk hunts. And his New Mexico hunts include landowner vouchers — allowing you to buy your elk tag over the counter, avoiding the draw. (But you still must pay for the license, of course).
The outfitter manages these ranches to produce thick-beamed bulls and gray-muzzled muley bucks with remarkable consistency year after year. Because of his dedication and effort, this outfitter averages around 95%+ opportunity on both bow and rifle elk hunts on his fully-guided hunts, and shoots about 150 bulls each year. He only shoots 5×5 or better bulls and more typically 6x6s, and has been doing it for years. Dead on the ground rifle averages are typically about 80% and about half of that for bow, which is still excellent. That’s about as good as it gets! Mature 5×5 and 6×6 bulls taken here will generally run 260” to 280”, with a few bulls hitting up to 320”. Most good outfitters in New Mexico produce trophy elk in that same range. That is the reality. The outfitter also offers very reasonable cow elk hunts with almost 100% success (see pricing at the end of the write up). His deer consistently beat the 170”-175” mark, meaning truly excellent bucks. Lots of color-phase bears too. On all his elk rifle hunts, the shots average 250 to 350 yards, and some much longer. Be prepared to do that! It will pay off. Call us if you want some advice on long range rigs.
Accommodations are in two different lodges, each with 5 double-occupancy bedrooms. There are usually 8-10 hunters in camp per week on all hunts.
TREE STAND ARCHERY ELK HUNTS will average lower rates of success due to weather. In a dry year, success is excellent; in a wet one, much less so. Most clients will get into elk, and about 30% tag a bear. Again, these are just averages, and much depends on shooting abilities and the amount of moisture. Typically this is dry country, but you never know. To kill with a bow, you should be able to shoot consistently to 40 yards as a minimum, and 50 and up is better. Black bears can be taken on this hunt, just add $500 trophy fee if a bear is harvested.
These treestand hunts are very popular and are priced lower than any other elk hunts by this outfit. The bear hunting on stand hunts is excellent, with 38% harvest success. About 80% of the bears are of a color phase (chocolate, cinnamon or blonde). The archery deer hunting success is low, but some good ones are harvested.
DATES 2020: September 1-6 or 8-13; Noon to Noon
SEMI-GUIDED ARCHERY ELK HUNTS:You are guided in the mornings using spot and stalk and calling for pre-rut bulls. In the afternoons, you are put in a treestand over waterholes and other travel areas. Normally good opportunity. Deer are free, just apply for the license by March and the draw should be 100%. Bear tags must be bought 48 hours in advance and a $500 trophy fee applies. We really like this pricing:
PRICE: 2×1 $4,450; 1X1: $4,950
DATES 2020: September 1-6 or 8-13; Noon to Noon
FULLY GUIDED ARCHERY ELK HUNTS:These guided hunts are the typical spot, stalk and call hunts that so many hunters love. He normally hunts two periods – from around noon time September 12 until about the 17th; or from noon on September 18 until the 22nd, doing two hunts for archers. Prime bugle time! You can book 1×1 or 2×1 hunts. Because of the many ranches he leases, you can expect to see and be into multiple bulls normally. The habitat here is often fairly open, so seeing elk is pretty common. Stay in ranch-type lodging with ranch-type meals. Deer are free – just apply by March and the draw is close to 100% for bow. Bears are a $500 trophy fee. Licenses are not included.
PRICE: 2×1 $4,950; 1X1 $5,450
DATES 2020: September 15-19 or 20-24; Noon to Noon
FULLY-GUIDED RIFLE HUNTS
This outfitter has bull elk hunts with rifle in October, November and December. The area of his hunts is in Northern New Mexico in a unit that is almost exclusively private land. The entire unit is managed for good quality elk. In our experience, good private land is where the highest success rates are to be found. Another plus is that all his elk hunts include the landowner voucher (often those cost $3,500 to $5,000 alone). Having the voucher means you do not have to apply in a draw. You buy the hunt which includes the voucher, and then you take the voucher and buy your license over the counter!
Regular rifle elk hunts are 5 days in length, are fully guided, and include your lodging, your meals and your landowner voucher.
His October rifle bull hunts are usually the first to sell out, primarily due to nice weather and scenic country. It is not their best month success-wise, but they still come in at about 80% successful. Good weather is the norm in October.
His combination elk/mule deer hunts are in September for archery and in late October for rifle. You must apply for a tag in March, but if you fail to draw or apply, they back you up with a landowner tag, so you can be sure you will have one tag for elk and one for muley.
His November rifle bull elk hunts hit the migration and he leases a number of ranches that intercept the migration routes. Weather can be a factor, but these hunts can be elk central. Over many years, this has been the time frame with the highest success and biggest bulls. This is often the time of year that those big herd bulls travel down to lower elevations, meaning onto his ranches. These hunts usually involve snow, making the elk easier to spot, which is a real advantage. And a number of his ranches are situated on prime winter range habitat, ensuring elk stay there for the groceries they need so badly at that time of year. It is a time that often works well for whitetail hunters, whose seasons are over in their home states. Also, we can often get you into these hunts at the last minute.
2020 RIFLE ELK HUNTS
Bull Elk October Dates
Oct. 1-5, 4-8, 8-12, 12-16, 17-21
Price: 2×1 $7,100; 1×1 $7,600
November and December Dates
Nov. 8-12 and 16-20
Dec. 1-5, 9-13, 17-21, and 27-31
Price: 2×1 $6,450; 1×1 $6,950
HI-COUNTRY CAMP- WE STARTED THREE SEASON AGO WITH THIS CAMP OVER 10,000’ IT RUNS ON GENERATOR POWER AND HAS RUNNING WATER AND FLUSH TOILET.
The hunting is awesome! Just like our other Camps ☺ We only take 4 hunters per week and it is usually one group of friends or family. Priced the same as our regular fully guided hunts. September Archery and October rifle till the 23RD.
Archery 3rd -7th , 10th -14th and 20th -24th / Rifle Oct. 1st -5th , 7th -11th , 13th -17th & 19th -23rd
ALL HI-CAMP HUNTS ARE 2X1 GUIDE SERVICE ARCHERY 2X1- $4,950. RIFLE 2X1- $7,100
These are 3-day hunts with 99% success for decades, and most clients tag out in 2 days. Your hunt is over when the elk is packed out. And if you are worried that you might not be able to handle such a hunt, consider that the average age of his clients is 63, and he takes hunters more than 20 years older than that each year and still gets them an elk (even bulls). His clients take close to 100 cows each year! In November and December, the elk are down low in the sage and agriculture at about 7,000 feet. If you can shoot straight, you will almost certainly get your cow elk. No room or meals, but they are close by (outfitter provides you a list of nearby suggested motels). Guiding and packing are provided. Arrive afternoon of the day before the hunt for safety orientation, planning and test shooting of your rifles. Shots can be long, so you should be capable to at least 300 yards. Practice and use a bipod! Hunting license $65; cow tag $347.
2020 – REGULAR COW ELK HUNTS WE SUPPLY GUIDING, PACK OUT AND PRIVATE LAND AUTHORIZATION CODES TO BUY YOUR ELK LICENSE GUARANTEED LICENSE NO DRAW
RIFLE COW HUNTS – NOVEMBER- 5th -7th , 13th -15th, 21st -23rd
DECEMBER 6th – 8th, 14th – 16th , and 20th-22nd
PRICES – 1X1 $2,200 or 2X1 $1,950. PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE ROOM AND BOARD
IN-CAMP COW ELK HUNTS IN DECEMBER DATES ONLY. 6-8, 14-16 AND 20-22, 4 NIGHTS and 3 DAYS HUNTING. ROOM and BOARD INCLUDED. PRICES- 1X1-$2,750. 2X1- $2,450.
SEPTEMBER MUZZLELOADER HUNTS: Mule deer killed during the outfitter’s September muzzleloader hunts average 170 inches and up. The hunts are in Rio Arriba County, which has an incredible number of BIG MULEY BUCKS in the record book. You must apply for the draw in March, but it’s normally 100% draw. Add a bear for a $500 trophy fee. Scopes, sabots, pellets and in lines are all legal, and a bit of practice should get you easily out to 250 yards or more. This hunt routinely produces truly large mule deer and yet every year tags go begging! You really need to consider this hunt. With modern muzzle loaders a 250 yard shot is routine! You can spend a lot more money then this to tag a keeper mulie. You must apply in March for the tag- usually 100% draw but if you fail to apply or to draw– he can back you up with a landowner tag most years. So it is never too late to try and book this hunt.
A 160-170” class buck is a reasonable expectation. Bucks will be in bachelor herds, and 80% will be out of velvet.
MUZZLELOADER MULE DEER DATES – SEPTEMBER 27-30
MUZZLELOADER MULE DEER
PRICE: 1X1 – $4,950; 2X1 – $4,450
BULL ELK AND MULE DEER RIFLE COMBO DATES – OCTOBER 20-24 or OCTOBER 31- NOVEMBER 4.
PRICE: 1X1 – $8,750; 2X1 – $8,250
OTHER EXPENSES: Observers are $1,000.
NOT INCLUDED: Your transport to and return from Chama, NM; sales tax you pay on arrival; game processing, skinning, caping and taxidermy (they field dress and transport to processer and taxidermist); gratuities.
LICENSES: Hunting License $65; Elk license is currently approx $555; deer $290; bear $264 (must be bought 48 hours in advance of hunt); antelope is $290.
ALL ELK LICENSES ARE OBTAINED BY PRIVATE LANDOWNER AUTHORIZATIONS = GUARANTEED. PRICES INCLUDE LANDOWNER TAG, BUT NOT THE ELK LICENSE.
Fly into Santa Fe, rent a car, drive north 100 miles about 2 hours.
NOTE: ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE UNTIL DEPOSIT RECEIVED. PRICES QUOTED DO NOT INCLUDE TAXES OR YOUR LICENSES. THOSE ARE PAID SEPARATELY DIRECT TO THE OUTFITTER.
OUTFITTER PAYMENT POLICY:
50% DEPOSIT PAID TO HUNT NATION AT TIME OF BOOKING.
30% PAID TO OUTFITTER 120 DAYS BEFORE THE HUNT.
20% PLUS NEW MEXICO STATE SALES TAX PAID ON ARRIVAL.
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