New Mexico Elk, Mule Deer Hunt – #115

New Mexico Elk, Mule Deer Hunt – #115


NM-115-trophy-pic-sawtooth-300x225  The Gila in Southern New Mexico! Magic words to the ears of many elk hunters- years of tales of giant elk have made generations of hunters drool over the thought of a New Mexico hunt in the Gila region. This hunt takes place in some of the best big game units in New Mexico. This is a family run business that has been in operation for a number of years.  The outfitter himself has been hunting in the area for thirty years.  He does most of the guiding himself. His hunts take place in Unit 15, a primitive weapons unit often considered to be the finest unit in the Gila. He also hunts the famed surrounding units 12 and 13. He often takes even bigger bulls from these lesser known units! If you are hoping to tag a true giant bull elk, he does it, and does it every year! Now lets be realistic – not everyone will tag a giant; and not everyone will even kill a bull –but your odds are good here. Some units are muzzleloader or bow only, and some are rifle. There are other New Mexico units with higher success, but not with bigger bulls. In recent years, all the elk he killed were between 300-340 class bulls.

He has fully guided hunts all of which include: guiding, meals, lodging, transportation to and from the airport and trophy and field care of your animal.  Accommodations include a log cabin, bunkhouse or guest lodge.  Meals are home cooked.  Hunts take place in elevations between 7,000 and 9,000 feet. Cover is pinyon and juniper with good visibility. Most of the terrain allows for easy walking, the use of a four wheeler and four wheel drive pickups.  All hunts are fair chase. The tags are tough to draw, so instead of waiting years to draw, most of our clients opt to purchase a private land voucher hunt – which is of course more expensive. The landowner will sell the outfitter a private land tag for several thousands of dollars; and the outfitter buys the voucher and he can then get your elk license over the counter, using the landowner tag as authority to do so. You still must pay for the actual elk license though- around $560 usually. BUT- you avoid waiting years for the draw and you instead immediately get onto good private land elk hunting! DO BE AWARE THAT ONCE THE VOUCHER IS PURCHASED YOU WILL NOT GET ANY REFUNDS!!

OR- if you do not want to spend the money for a private land voucher — then you can apply for public land tags (FIRST YOU SHOULD SIGN AN OUTFITTER CONTRACT FOR BEST DRAW ODDS) and he will hunt and guide you on public land; however— IF you draw- you will NOT hunt any private ground. Public land draws are not easy to win here. But it is possible if you persevere for several years.

He does hunt elk on public ground in the Gila, but most of his hunts are on private ranches within and around the Gila, where the bulls have much less pressure. Archery hunts take place in September at the beginning of the rut.  Hunting methods include spot and stalk, calling in the morning and hunting around water holes.  Muzzleloader hunts are in October toward the end of the rut (scopes and sabots are legal). On his ranch hunts, (free ranging of course), you will purchase a landowner tag, which means you do not need to gamble in the draw, just buy the hunt. You can then use the voucher and your license can then be purchased over the counter.

We have hunted the Gila area many times-there are some awesome bulls on the private lands and some also on the public lands too – with over 400 class bulls taken almost yearly in this area of New Mexico. Be aware that he also hunts nearby units such as Unit 12, which allows rifle and produces some giant elk. So you have a variety of weapons choices here! Big bulls fall to rifle, bow and muzzleloader.

How good is the elk hunting here? Back a couple years ago, when we spoke with him on November 1st,  he had taken a 340; a 335; a 356 and a 405 B&C!! Those are world class bulls and success like that is not unusual for him. Ranch type accommodations or cabins, depending on where you hunt. Good food and guides. He was recently in several premier TV shows and his various ranches are just excellent. Butch booked the president of one of the bow manufacturers, into this hunt for archery in 2008, and he killed a 373 with bow; a rifle guy took a 375. Another client of ours took a 340 self guided on one of the outfitters ranches, also with bow. But do not think everyone will take critters of that size! Nor will everyone succeed here. But point is- the big boys are present in reasonable numbers.

This outfitter also offers antelope hunts and mule deer hunts. Please inquire-some of those ranch mulies are truly huge and very under hunted!!

NM-115-trophy-pic-2007  His family ranch is located in southwest New Mexico. Outfitter was raised on a cattle ranch and he’s been hunting in the area for thirty years.  His philosophy is to keep it small. He tries to personally guide the majority of hunters that book. When he cannot guide a hunt he uses guides that were also raised in the area and have at least 10 years hunting experience. He believes it is the guide that can make or break an outfitting business.

He outfits in some of the best big game units in the country. He provides fully guided hunts, which include guide, meals, lodging and trophy and field care of your animal.


You will be hunting in elevations between 7,000 and 9,000 feet. Most of the hunting is in terrain that allows for walking, the use of a four-wheeler, and four-wheel drive pickups. All hunts are fair chase hunts. With determination and hard work you will have a memorable hunting experience.

PRICING: (prices subject to change if landowners voucher costs)

Ask us for the current list as tags are limited and availability changes quickly.

Most private and public land elk hunts are $3,500-$3,600 per person for 2×1 guiding, or $4,500-$4,600 for 1×1 guiding. This DOES NOT include the cost of your tag (usually $773) or the landowner voucher. The cost of the landowner voucher will vary, but will generally be $3,000-$5,000 each. Please call for availability and pricing. Sales tax of 6.8% is applicable on all hunts and is due upon arrival in camp.



The Ranch. This 2,000-acre ranch is located 3 miles north of Pie Town. Terrain is rolling hills and very conducive to walking. These hunts take place in Unit 13, a primitive weapons unit.
• 6-Day Bow Hunts – September 9-14 or September 19-24
• 5-Day Muzzleloader Hunts – October 15-19 or October 22-26

Sawtooth Ranch. This 9,500 acre ranch is located in Unit 13. This is a primitive weapons only unit. The elevation is 7,200-8,000 feet. It lies east of the Continental Divide near Pie Town.
• 6-Day Bow Hunts – September 1-6, 5-10, 9-14, or 19-24
• 5-Day Muzzleloader Hunts – October 15-19 or October 22-26

Double X Shortes Ranch. This 8,000 acre ranch in Unit 15 ranges in elevations between 7,000-9,500 feet. It is located 10 miles south of Pie Town. The terrain consists mostly of pinion and cedar trees. The easy slope of hills makes this ranch conducive to walking. Located within the ranch boundaries are five natural springs that run year round and permanent water troughs. The owner manages a few head of cows but the main focus is to provide quality elk and deer habitat. Methods of hunting include calling and spot and stalking in the morning; in the evening, sitting in treestands and ground blinds located around natural springs and water holes as well as some spot and stalking.
• 6-Day Bow Hunts – September 1-6, 5-10, 9-14, or 19-24
• 5-Day Muzzleloader Hunts – October 15-19 or October 22-26

Ghost Elk Ranch. This 30,000 acre ranch is located in Unit 12 north of the Continental Divide, near Pie Town. The elevation is between 7,200-7,800 feet. The landscape consists of rolling hills with pinion and juniper trees. There are dirt tanks throughout the ranch which hold water year round for the deer and elk. Rifles are allowed in this Unit.
• 6-Day Bow Hunts – September 1-6, 5-10, 9-14, or 19-24
• 5-Day Rifle Hunts – October 1-5 or October 7-11



6-Day Elk Bowhunts

• Units 13, 15, 16 or 17 – September 1-6, 5-10, 9-14, or 19-24

5-Day Elk Muzzleloader Hunts

• Unit 13 – October 15-19, October 22-26, or November 19-23
• Unit 15 – October 15-19, October 22-26, or November 19-23
• Unit 17 – October 15-19, October 22-26, or November 19-23

5-Day Elk Rifle Hunts (these hunts are about $500 more than listed above)

• Unit 16A – October 15-19 (Tag is $773) or October 22-26 (Tag is $548)
• Unit 16D – October 15-19 (Tag is $773) or October 22-26 (Tag is $773)
• Unit 16E – October 22-26 (Tag is $548)


TAGS: You can draw these tags in the lottery but odds are not great. Having a signed contract with an outfitter ups your odds, but still they are just fair odds. THE LANDOWNER VOUCHER ALLOWS YOU TO BUY YOUR ELK TAGS OVER THE COUNTER AND AVOID THE DRAW. You must also purchase a Hunting License and a Habitat Stamp.


PH: 1-307-637-5495  email: