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Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle.
 
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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-14-17, 
08:59 PM (MST)
"Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum, but somewhat new to hunting elk as well. I've gone elk hunting the last two years in NM Unit 53 with no luck. Not even a sighting.

This year I drew Unit 16b. I've never been down there and I curious if anyone would offer some help and tips. It would be greatly appreciated.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  TerynItUp      Apr-15-17   1 
  RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-15-17   2 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  scottr      Apr-15-17   3 
  RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-15-17   4 
   RE: Newbie, hu...  TerynItUp      Apr-16-17   5 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  scottr      Apr-16-17   6 
  RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-16-17   7 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  muleywhispe...      Apr-17-17   8 
  RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-18-17   9 
   RE: Newbie, hu...  BUGLEnmIN      Apr-18-17   10 
    RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-26-17   11 
     RE: Newbie, hu...  BUGLEnmIN      Apr-26-17   12 
      RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Apr-26-17   13 
       RE: Newbie, hu...  Kalalau      Jan-29-18   14 
        RE: Newbie, hu...  480_277      Jan-31-18   15 
         RE: Newbie, hu...  BUGLEnmIN      Feb-01-18   16 
          RE: Newbie, hu...  480_277      Feb-02-18   17 
        RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Feb-02-18   18 
         RE: Newbie, hu...  DoeNob      Feb-16-18   19 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  Joe2Kool      Feb-16-18   20 
  RE: Newbie, hu...  mikey250      Feb-16-18   21 
 RE: Newbie, hu...  Kalalau      Feb-16-18   22 

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TerynItUp
(504 posts)
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Apr-15-17, 
04:49 PM (MST)
1. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

16B is a great place to have an elk tag. You are aware it is entirely wilderness area I assume? I have never hunted 16B before but I have done quite a bit of research. From what I have learned, there are elk just about all over the unit. Horses are an asset, especially in the early seasons when the temps are high.

What hunt do you have?

Hunt Hard. Shoot Straight. Kill Clean. Apologize to No One.

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-15-17, 
08:02 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Thank you for the reply. By "entirely wilderness" do you mean thick and hilly and hard to hunt? I was trying to get away from that, which is what we dealt with in unit 53.

I don't mind hiking a bit, but we don't have horses or quads.

It looks like (on google earth) there are mostly just trails and hills. I think I read somewhere that most trailheads are packed and it can be hard to get away from other hunters.

I'll be pulling a 36ft travel trailer so, unfortunately, I might be restricted as to where we camp, but if there are trails that can be driven in a Jeep Cherokee, that will help.

1-247 is the hunt I drew. It's rifle in late October.

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scottr
(169 posts)
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Apr-15-17, 
08:15 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

16B is almost entirely wilderness. Meaning your access is by hoof or foot. No atvs, no mountain bikes, nothing. Luckily there is some really good hunting within a couple miles of the boundaries. Even with that you might want to have some horses or mules on stand by if you score. I think it usually cost about $500 to get a bull pulled out. Which is well worth it.

BTW the Gila Wilderness is a truly special place. I hope you enjoy your hunt.

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-15-17, 
08:20 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Thank you, Scott. I guess I'll pack my hiking boots. We're just a few city boys getting into hunting. I have hunted deer for several years. I'm a veteran infantryman and love the wilderness. I think we'll enjoy it. It's just a matter of learning how to hunt elk.

The more I learn through reading online, talking to others, and my own experiences, the more I realize there is no "surefire" way to hunt elk, but every tip helps.

You say "$500 to get a bull pulled out." Who pulls them out? Who is a point of contact for something like that?

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TerynItUp
(504 posts)
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Apr-16-17, 
10:47 AM (MST)
5. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

LAST EDITED ON Apr-16-17 AT 10:48 AM (MST)

Biggest thing for that unit is to be prepared. You need to be prepared to hike into elk country each day, your jeep won't be of assistance. You also need to be prepared and have a plan for getting a bull packed out of there in the event that you all kill one. Every year bulls are killed and meat is lost in 16B because people don't have adequate plans to pack their bull out in a timely manner.

There are services you can contract to pack an elk out for you all if you kill one, which I hope you do! You can search in the NM forum for packing services in the Gila Wilderness and you will find plenty of resources.

Good luck to you guys.

Hunt Hard. Shoot Straight. Kill Clean. Apologize to No One.

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scottr
(169 posts)
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Apr-16-17, 
05:44 PM (MST)
6. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Are you going to be able to do any scouting?

Towing that size trailer my limit some of your trail head options.

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-16-17, 
06:39 PM (MST)
7. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

>Are you going to be able
>to do any scouting?
>
>Towing that size trailer my limit
>some of your trail head
>options.


Yes. I'm going to have to figure out if I want to go down from ABQ for a day or try to stay overnight and possibly drag the trailer down to test it out.

As far as dragging out a kill, I guess we'll just have to hoof it out by foot on several trips. We'll have a total of 4 able-bodied men to help pack out the meat, but I'm sure it'll still be a rough go. I guess only a few scouting trips and decent planning will tell us how rough it might be.

Would anybody happen to have intel on a start point or decent area? I'm not looking to get someone's secret spot or honeyhole, just somewhere to start with.

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muleywhisperer
(184 posts)
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Apr-17-17, 
10:39 AM (MST)
8. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

I've hunted the wilderness several times in the last few years. Here is the run down, huge country! There is deep canyons, smooth rolling hills, steep mountains and water everywhere. I hunt usually by foot but do take down 3-4 horses and mule's to pack with. Guides and outfitters like to believe they own certain areas and can be a nuisance but they can also be helpful when crap hits the fan! If you access from loco mountain down towards aeroplane Mesa and into the flying V there are good elk numbers and few hunters. This is wide open country and you can literally glass for miles. The problem is because it is so open the elk feed out of there quickly and move towards iron creak and into porcupine canyon and moonshine canyon. This area is good hunting and is down hill the whole way but when you head back, well you get it! Hanging cross canyon is also in the area and again is good hunting but you need to pack in its a few miles down there. U-trail outfitters hunts this area and will pack you in or out or pack out an elk if need be.

Another good access point is through Willow Creek. I believe San Francisco river outfitters uses this access point and can also pack you in. A bit steeper country but, real good hunting!

Beaverhead I never hunted but some giants came out of there last September.

Dang I'm writing a novel and not comment! Listen here is the key, the elk hunting is great unit wide, fitness is key, lots of walking if you don't have horses. Plan for all emergencies, zero cell coverage anywhere in the area with phones only on private ranches which are few and far between. I recommend you buy or lease an emergency communications device if your going in deep. Hang your food if packing in, lots of bears! And the damn wolves are not "curious", those basterds will attack unprovoked. Good luck and hope you kill a true Gila monster!

One last comment, my group of hunters that hunt unit 53 have gone 6-6 on bulls during the archery seasons up the the last 4 years. Not one of those elk were killed within 1.5 miles from the nearest road. If you don't like to hike this hunt in 16-B will suck, no roads or access by vehicle anywhere! Good luck!

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-18-17, 
03:07 PM (MST)
9. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Thank you so much for the information and tips. This is great to know. I wish I had done better research before I put in for that area, but we'll hunt it anyway.

Looks like we'll be doing some major walking.

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BUGLEnmIN
(1416 posts)
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Apr-18-17, 
04:59 PM (MST)
10. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

>Thank you so much for the
>information and tips. This is
>great to know. I wish
>I had done better research
>before I put in for
>that area, but we'll hunt
>it anyway.
>
>Looks like we'll be doing some
>major walking.


Hello Mikey , I've cover that entire place from North to south east to west. Of course elk are there it's the Gila wilderness. As far as not having pack animals I'll tell you straight up that you're at a huge disadvantage. If you p.m. I can give you my number and talk on. The phone about good places to hunt on foot. As far as outfitters being a pain in the butt I can tell you it's the other way around!!! Time and time again I see elk completely wasted because people on foot ,or horseback do not know their limits and get in over their heads. Tom does run the best outfit in the Gila out of willow creek , but after the fires and floods those trails on the map no longer exist after a certain point because it looks like bombs went off in the canyons and the dead fall from the trees blowing down booby trap the others so be careful who you take advice from . Idk which hunt you drew or what your financial situation is but drop camps would be great . Any how if you'd like to chat p.m. me good luck.

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-26-17, 
04:40 PM (MST)
11. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Ok, so I've done some mapping and google earth research in the Loco Mountain area. I think this is a good start. I'll probably camp just north of the 16b boundary line and hike into the unit. How is this area after the fire?

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BUGLEnmIN
(1416 posts)
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Apr-26-17, 
04:54 PM (MST)
12. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

>Ok, so I've done some mapping
>and google earth research in
>the Loco Mountain area. I
>think this is a good
>start. I'll probably camp just
>north of the 16b boundary
>line and hike into the
>unit. How is this area
>after the fire?


Mikey the area is fine!!! But everyone​and their momma will be there lol you got my number man ,if this is the area you're interested in I can get into more detail on areas close to it but less traffic.

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Apr-26-17, 
04:57 PM (MST)
13. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Cool. I figured people would be all over it. I may hit you up again after a scouting weekend.

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Kalalau
(15 posts)
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Jan-29-18, 
05:36 PM (MST)
14. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

I'm wondering what happened on this hunt? Some helpful & really good info up above. Would like to hear from you.

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480_277
(25 posts)
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Jan-31-18, 
07:46 PM (MST)
15. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Not for the OP because obviously his hunt is over. But my unit 16 Gila hunt was 18 miles in on horse/mule.

Big country is an understatement . But great elk hunting.Lots of bears

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BUGLEnmIN
(1416 posts)
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Feb-01-18, 
08:59 AM (MST)
16. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

I didn't see 1 elk 🤔🤔😋

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480_277
(25 posts)
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Feb-02-18, 
04:20 PM (MST)
17. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

I was lucky to hunt before the Gila got written up in all the rags. Drew a nonresident tag the first try......

I think the cat is out of the bag...

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Feb-02-18, 
09:10 PM (MST)
18. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

>I'm wondering what happened on this
>hunt? Some helpful & really
>good info up above.
>Would like to hear from
>you.


Well, this is a strange story. I'll start off by saying I did not tag an elk. On the way to the area, the trailer I was towing to haul the two quads we had, blew a tire near reserve at about 2AM. We stayed the night at a nearby camping area and were able to get and close matching sized tire for the trailer in Reserve.

At the start of the hunt, I saw a couple groups of bulls and cows the 1st day of the hunt, but they were about 1500 yards or further. Pushing them were several small groups of hunters that seemed to total about 7 or 8 hunters. My group decided there would be no way we could get into the elk they were chasing, before they got to them, so we went a different way. That's where the hunt basically ended. We finished off the day walking about 10 miles and never again seeing elk.

On day two, two guys from the group decided to take their quads to the insertion point we used the first day. The idea was the same, they'd take the quads, and myself and another friend would drive the Jeep Cherokee. Once near the insertion point, we used the quads to escorts us up the mountain then continue on foot. That plan worked well day one, but day two took a drastic turn. On the way to the insertion area, one of the quads caught fire. It was towed to the insertion point by the other quads while we followed laughing. Once at the insertion area, the guy with the quad that caught fire was escorted up the mountain by the other guy with the working quad. The quad returned and picked me up and dropped me off successfully. On the way back down the mountain to get the last man, the battery fell out of the battery area and sheared off the terminals. We proceeded to use paracord to magically tie the terminals down enough to have decent contact and about 30 minutes later, off goes the quad. Roughly 15 minutes after that we observed the Jeep rock climbing up the mountain as the quad had died again and the battery from the other quad was a different size and would not swap out.

So with everyone up the mountain, we proceeded to walk yet another 10 miles without success. Upon day's end, we return to camp and get my truck with the trailer for the quads. As we are about 1/2 to the quads, my rear driver's side tire blew out. A quick spare swap and away we went. We got to the quads and the guy with the fiery quad decided to start the quad and try to load it before it could get too hot and burst into flames again except that would be too easy. No, instead the quad caught fire again and proceeded to start a small grass fire. Luckily, I had not yet unloaded a 5-gallon water jug from the truck and I was able to use that to put out the grass fire and the quad. So after a few tense moments both quads were eventually loaded and we were on our way back to camp (about 10 miles away). As luck would have it, my rear passenger side tire blew out as well. This time I had no spare left. I hobbled it back to camp and ruined my rim.

Day 3, myself and the Jeep owner drove 4 hours to Socorro in search of two used tires for my truck and 2 new trailer tires. After searching 3 different tire shops we finally got the tires we needed and burned the rest of the day driving another 4 hours back to camp.

Day 4, we walked about 12 miles (total) down along a small river and we felt really good about it. We even located some blinds that were likely built and used for bow hunting. We saw, and heard NOTHING! Tired and defeated we climbed what felt like Mt Everest and got on to a trail that would take us back to the Jeep. Out of energy, out of water, and out of motivation, we wondered with our heads drooping down and little desire to continue to hunt. As luck would have it, I led us to within 200 yards of 4 elk. By the time and caught the scent and looked up, I saw all for asses galloping away. I'm not even sure if there was a bull among them, but I'd be willing to bet there was.

So I looked at my hunting partner who looked back at me with complete disappointment and asked him if he wanted to pursue them. He just shook his head and we continued to the Jeep.

We spent the rest of the evening and night drinking our sorrows away. We didn't even hunt day 5, as even my travel trailer was done and the battery was dead and the generator was out of gas.

A terribly wonderful and fun hunt that yielded only stories of terrible luck.

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DoeNob
(825 posts)
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Feb-16-18, 
02:12 PM (MST)
19. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Ah...elk hunting...sounds about right. Sorry you had a goat rope. Had a few myself - the lueras ate my quad this last fall!

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Joe2Kool
(668 posts)
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Feb-16-18, 
06:50 PM (MST)
20. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Sometimes you just gotta laugh at it! I remember sranding beside my stuck truck with the bumper ripped off one time and saying "one day this will be funny...ah heck, it's funny now"!

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mikey250
(9 posts)
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Feb-16-18, 
08:32 PM (MST)
21. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Oh we laughed several minutes later.

It was an adventure for sure. Makes for good campfire stories and reminiscing.

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Kalalau
(15 posts)
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Feb-16-18, 
11:43 PM (MST)
22. "RE: Newbie, hunting NM Unit 16b Rifle."

Its always a good story one way or another. Better luck next time.

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