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Another hunting year has come and gone again. 2010 was a great year for us.7 out of 8 tags were filled. I am very greatful for the amount of success that we had last year. I am very greatful for even all the tags we were able to draw and obtain last year. It was sure New Mexico's 2010 Hunting at its best. Our Family (The Cortez Family) were very fortunate to not only Hunt but to also cheer on our good freinds and other family members in the year of 2010. Here are some of the highlights of 2010.
Dad 2010 turkey

My 2010 Antelope. scores 82 3/8

Little Bros first antelope

Little Bros first elk

My Elk

New Mexico has one of the best animals to hunt in the world. They transplanted The oryx back in the 1940s because the population in africa was going down. They trans planted like 70 oryx in the white sands missle range NM. They took off like wildfire so the state of NM started hunting them around the 1970s and people have been hunting them ever since. It is a one in a lifetime draw hunt or as many call it an (OIL) Oryx hunt. We the Cortez family have been very very lucky on drawing so many of these OIL tags.

My 2010 Jan OIL oryx

My Moms 2010 Nov OIL oryx

Ray Cortez (Uncle Ray) 2010 Dec MI OIL oryx

As you can see 2010 was a very great year for us. This isnt even all of the hunts we went on this year. Hopefully 2011 will be as good if not better to us. I will be posting on every hunting, scouting, fishing ect we will go on this year. We hunt every thing from sheds to turkeys to pretty any thing we can in the beautiful state of New Mexico. The goood the bad its all going to be here.

Come on 2011! Let see whats in store for the Cortez Family!!!!


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OK let's start off the season as we do every year with...


Over here in New Mexico we have the Merriams turkey which in my opinion is the most beautiful turkey you can hunt because of those white tipped tail feathers. Well we were very fortunate to be successful on 3 mature Merriam toms. The goal this year was to get my little brother his first turkey but he never could work the perfect shot. My dad was able to get a clear shot at one of the birds and my little brother told him to take it so he did. Later on in the season we got into some more birds and again my dad was the only one with the clear shot, so he bagged his second bird. At this point my dad was done because he had filled both his tags. My dad felt a little bad because my little bro was first priority, but never had a good shot because of some branches in his way and with these smart turkeys you have to act fast. The last day of turkey season was here and we got into one more bird. He had to of been one of the most stubborn turkey I have ever seen. We set up in the most perfect setup and after half an hour he never came in. He just kept gobbling and strutting over a little hill. So I went solo on the stalk after him. I went over the hill and their he was strutting. He busted me as I rose up my gun and I shot him at 45-50 yards. That Winchester High Velocity just laid him out and I had got my 2011 turkey. These are all public land birds. My little bro was not able to bag a turkey this year. BUT next year was his year.

My dad's 2011 first turkey

My dad's 2011 second turkey

My 2011 turkey


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We normally don't go to the hills specifically looking for sheds but we do shed hunt. We do all of out shed hunting while turkey hunting. When the turkey action is low we like to roam the hills looking for some bone. Killing 2 birds with one stone. I hardly ever take ATL field photos because I either don't have any camera with me or I just simply forget. It is rare to find deer sheds where we turkey hunt and where we find elk sheds but I found 3 of them this year in Colorado on a turkey season. I found these deer sheds this year around mid May so they are a little white. Here are some of the sheds we found this season.

My Elk finds this year.

This is a good example of a classic elk shed. Looked for the other side and was not able to find it. Every time someone says elk shed I picture this antler.

Deer sheds I found this year.

This was a big mule deer shed.Off a deer pushing 170in.
I put a turkey box call and a ruler to show the the size. I was again not able to find the other side to this giant. I think someone else picked it up.


My stash of antlers over the last 3 years including this year


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The first big game hunts of the year are antelope. My dad and I both have tags for this unit.

Here are a few pics of the bucks from this unit.


Sorry not the best pics.



All these bucks are shooters!


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RE: Antelope

Alright guys we got two bucks from this weekend. Here is the story/pics.......


Opening morning was clear as we were passing by San Antonio mountain. Not a cloud in the sky as it broke daylight. That was a plus because it has known to pour on us in the past on this hunt. It never rained a drop. My dad and I were on our way out to the bottom of the valley to start glassing for bucks when we see two bucks running about 500 yards from us. Nothing big but nice decent bucks. The morning went on and we were glassing for bucks to go after. I was watching this one buck through the spotting scope. He was a big wide one about 15in long and 6 1/2in cutters. Had to of been a couple inches of 80.Very nice buck. As we were glassing some more. Sure enough they were already coming our way and fast. They had to of covered 500yds like in 2 min. As they popped their heads out we could see some nice bucks. One of which was pushing the 80in mark. They ran right in front of us about 130 yards. The big one was still in the back and didn't want to follow the heard with only his head popped out at about 230yards. I shot the second biggest buck. Nice buck about 70 in. I would have liked to of shot the bigger one but it happened very fast and Im real happy with the one I got.

Here are some pics.....
The T/C Omega's first kill



Me and my little bro

My dad and me. Thanks dad for taking us out to enjoy the outdoors.

The crew

Here are some more pics of the first buck.


Just after


As this hunt goes on it gets harder to get close to these antelope. In my opinion you got to be in the right place at the right time to score later on this hunt. It got real hard. We could not stalk these things at all. The morning went on and it was pretty slow. We started watching one of out friend across the hwy and looked like he shot a good buck. As my dad was looking over there through the spotting scope he saw a flash of brown pass in front of the scope fast. It was an antelope buck running from another hunter. He saw us and started running even faster. The buck stopped. My dad grabbed the omega and shot him at 230 yards right in the heart. Perfect shot

Here are some pics of my dad's buck....

My little bro admiring my dads buck






Some more pics of the hunt.




Uncle Brian


All and all it was a very successful hunt not only in the harvest but spending time together in the hills.

Its a good way to start off a good year

My little bro and my uncle brian have a doe antelope hunt coming up here pretty soon. Stay tuned for that.


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Early season mule deer scouting

I have a mule deer tag in this unit. The hunt is october 29th -November 2nd

Here are some pics through the spotter.


Check this big boy out.


Again sorry about the pics. These are the best 3 pics out of like 10. I have got to get some kind of scope cam adapter for the spotting scope.

Ps. My little bro and my uncle have a doe antelope hunt this coming weekend along with 6 other tags of our friends. Stay tuned.


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2011 Antelope Doe Hunt

Our antelope hunting adventures of 2011 comes to an end after this last weekend of a very fun doe antelope hunt. We filled 8 out of 8 doe tags last weekend between our friends and family. I only have pictures of 5 out of 8 does harvested due to we had to kind of split up to get all 8. The bucks we saw must have got the memo that it was a doe hunt because they were a tease.


My uncle Brian was first up due to he had the smallest/hardest ranch along with 2 other of our friends who had tags for the same ranch. The priority of this weekend was to get them an antelope before we went into the big ranch. George was the first one to harvest an antelope. Not much of a story on his antelope other than he made a great 300 yard shot with his .243.

Next was my uncle Brian. We had been trying to get him an antelope in this ranch the whole day and it just wasn?t working out. It was pretty funny because there was this cow elk roaming with the group of antelope that we were after. She would go everywhere the antelope went. The antelope kept leaving that elk in the dust. Every time they would stop the elk would bed down because of exhaustion trying to keep up with the group. It was pretty funny.

We went back to camp to eat lunch and then head back out. By this time 2 of our friends have already tagged out on a different ranch. (Which I don't have pictures of). After a few congrats we were back out chasing these antelope. We had entered the small ranch and we could not locate a single antelope. Finally after a half hour of glassing we spotted a lone doe bedded down. Perfect! My dad and Brian go for the stalk and she busted them right away. She got up, ran a little and just looked at them HEAD ON. Normally when antelope look at you head on they are curious on what you are. I'm sure all of you guys heard of flagging an antelope. So that's what they did because they were pretty much busted. My dad was waving his cap back an fourth trying to keep the antelope from running off. My dad even started acting like he was fixing the fence. Ha Ha. Sure enough they walked within shooting distance. Brian makes a great one shot kill at 260 yards. As we were watching from a distance I yell ?Woo Hoo?. My little bro yells ?Woo Hoo My Turn?. Now it was finally Santiago?s turn to harvest an antelope doe.

Santiago was very excited to be the one behind the rifle. As we were driving down the road we spotted a small group of antelope. The group had about 3 does and 2 bucks. The antelope rut was on. The more mature buck was chasing the immature buck and the does around which allowed my little bro and my dad to get within shooting distance. Santiago takes a shot at about 273 yards. Santiago had just harvested his second doe antelope.

It was now Roberto?s turn to get one. We have a ?ZEBU? cow decoy that we wanted to give a try. It worked like a charm! At times it was hard to pick out Roberto with the cow decoy as he mixed in the real cows as he got close to the heard of antelope. Roberto got within range in no time. He took his shot and dropped his doe antelope.

It was now Jose?s turn. Hunting these antelope is a lot easier when they are by themselves. One set eyes looking at every move you make is a lot better than 20. Antelope also make each other nervous when they are together. It was already getting kind of late in the day when we spotted this doe. She was all alone. Jose makes a great shot and he now has his doe antelope. His was the last antelope harvested.

Here are some more pics of the hunt.
Just after Santiago dropped his doe

Taking a break to dehydrate

Few deer



Like I said these bucks must have got the memo that it was a doe hunt.




It was pretty funny. This buck was bedded down facing us then got up turned around and bed down facing away from us. I guess he didn't want us looking at him.




It was a very fun weekend. I can't believe that the antelope hunts are all over. They just came and went. Now it's time to chase those bulls. Can?t wait!

Till Next time



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Elk Scouting 1

Few pics from out scouting for my muzzy elk hunt on Oct 8th. CAN'T WAIT!





More scouting pics too come soon.


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RE: Elk Scouting 2 / pre hunt

Here are 2 pics of the second scouting trip. Not many pics because it got dark on us quick. We did see a group of about 15 elk one of which was a 6x6 herd bull. His rack was pushing about 300 inches. It would be great to connect on a bull like that. Sorry no pics of them because it was too dark. Some great country and good rut activity.
The aspens are starting to turn yellow. Should be a beautiful weekend.

The only pic I got of an elk. Sorry about the pic. ha ha

This elk hunt is a muzzleloader hunt. I will be using a new very good bullet. THE NEW BARNS T-EZ BULLET!

I have been shooting these bullets and they are great and very accurate.

I will be shooting an T/C Encore 50 cal

This will be THE LONGEST week ever!



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Elk success

I was amazed when I knew I drew a muzzleloader elk tag this year. I have been looking forward to this hunt since June. I have been on this hunt in the past years with my dad behind the muzzy and another year when my uncle was behind the muzzy. They both got bulls on this hunt. NOW IT?S MY TURN!!!!

Our adventures on this hunt first started with previous scouting trips to this unit and practicing with the muzzy. We saw a few good elk that I would be more than happy to harvest on my hunt. I have been getting in shape for this hunt in my weight lifting and conditioning class at high school a month and a half before the hunt. I could not wait one more minute for this hunt and I still had a week to go before opening day. Talk about the longest week of my life.

We found our selves a week later heading up with the camper trailer for the weekend. It was a 3 day weekend for us. We had Monday off from school and work. We decided to invite my uncle (hunter3380) and my cousin from Albuquerque to tag along with us on this hunt. My brother could not make the first day of the hunt due to his commitment to a football game. Some good hunting weather was coming in that night.

After a sleepless night we woke up to 4 inches of fresh snow. Great for fresh tracking. Before we left the camp I made absolutely sure I hade everything I needed. We left camp and I had the most serious look on my face the whole way up. I don't think I even said a word. We got to our spot and waited with the windows crack listening for bugles while it was breaking light. We began walking barely able to see and it was still snowing. We put tape over the muzzleloader barrel in order to keep the moisture out.

As we walked, we would stop to glass and throw an occasional call? NOTHING. We kept on walking up the canyon when we came across some fresh tracks. We were debating to follow them because they looked like bull tracks. We decided to keep walking up the canyon hoping to run into a bull. About 2 miles from the truck my dad decided to change directions and go on top of a ridge to glass some saddles that are found in between the canyons in hopes to glass up a bull to put a stalk on.

About half the way up the ridge my cousin sees a cow elk about 75 yards below us and tells my dad. I was above everyone about 20 to 30 yards when my dad tells me to get down to their level. I get down there and see a few cows passing below. Right behind the cows a bull pops out. I pulled the hammer back on the T/C Encore and put crosshairs right behind the shoulder of the bull and squeeze off an off hand shot. The bull along with his cows runs off in the same direction where they came from. He did not act like he was hit. As I loaded up, my dad went to where the bull was standing. NO BLOOD! At this point I'm thinking, how did I miss him at 75 yards while he stood there perfectly broadside. We followed the tracks and finally saw some little specks of blood. I thought oh no, I wounded him. We followed the tracks and the group of elk seemed to be headed to an open valley. As we got closer to the valley, my dad saw the bull piled up stone dead. He only made it about 100 yards. The shot was a complete pass through in the lungs with a 290 grain Barnes T-EZ. A big WOO HOO!!!!!! I shot him Jim Shockey style with tape over the barrel.

Everyone says ?now the work begins? I don't think so, I believe its part of the hunt. My cousin and I left back 2 miles to the truck to get the single wheeled game cart while my dad and uncle stayed behind at the kill site to field dress the elk. When my cousin and I arrived back with the game cart, I noticed that the elk is still in one piece. My eyes just about popped out of my head when I my dad told me we were going to cart out the elk whole about 2 miles. It was not easy but we did it. It took all of us to get that elk out whole. That game cart is great. I don't know what we would have done without it. My cousin and I ended walking about 8 miles that morning back and forth. The last 2 miles back to the truck were the hardest.

I know how you guys like tons of pics so here you go!

pics of the hunt


Here is what we saw when we looked into the valley.

Here is where he piled up

perfect shot



Here he is


My cousin and me

My dad and me

My uncle and me

The crew



Before pack out

2 miles to the truck. Here we go!

At Camp

The ivories

proud little sister with my bull

It was a great weekend/hunt. Spending time with friends and family is what it's all about. I am very proud of my bull and can't wait till next time.


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RE: Elk success

Ok guys after an hour of debating on which I should euro or not( Because it's a pain in the ??.), I decided to euro my bull and my friend?s bull that he harvested that same weekend.

Here are the pics of my euro





I Believe that Public land and DIY hunting is the best form of hunting and would not do it any other way. It was a very great weekend.

Stay tuned... I have a deer hunt in the next 2 weeks in the same unit.


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Fresh Elk Jerky

I pulled out some elk jerky from my bull this year and thought I would share with you guys how I make jerky.
First I pulled out 7 sliced jerky roasts to defrost

We had every slice cut to about 1/8 of an inch thick.

I then marinade the meat by dipping the meat with 2 of my favorite marinades for jerky.



A pic of the setup

I spread out the jerky slices evenly across the tray as close as possible together and then season with spices.


After all the trays are filled I put them in dehydrator for 18 hrs and temperature at 150 degrees F.





18 hrs later we have a bunch of fresh jerky for the whole family to enjoy.

Ps. I killed a deer last weekend. He is a small 2x3. I will post it later because I left the camera in my uncles truck and will recieve it in the mail later on.


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Mule Deer success

Out of our family I was the only one that drew a deer tag. In this unit there is a decent amount of deer but the bucks are hard to come by. We were scouting this area out back in Aug and spotted a real nice tall buck in a hard to reach area. He had to be pushing 170 inches with one crab claw bottom fork. Well they ended up killing him on the first hunt, but that's the way it goes on public land.

The first day we found our selves in an area where we knew held a lot of deer. We walked and walked for about 4-5 miles in and saw a good amount of does. NO BUCKS ANYWHERE!!! While walking back about 1 mile from the truck we spot another group of deer and this time there was a buck. It was a small 2x3. Pretty much a fork with a crab claw 3 on the left horn. I passed him up to search for a bigger one.

That evening we headed toward another area where the deer have been known to be in the past. There were people everywhere there. It seemed that all of the 100 tag holders were in that area. We had a change of plans at the last minute and hunted elsewhere. Again, we again saw lots of deer but still no bucks.

The next morning we decided to hunt a little lower in elevation away from the crowds to see if the deer have started to migrate. Down low we didn't see but one lone little fork buck that we barley got a look at. We hunted hard the rest of the day. Seeing nothing but does. Where are the bucks?

Monday was the last day we had to be out there. We decided to go back to where we saw that little 2x3 on Saturday. Not with intentions of killing him but because we saw the most deer there and the least amount of people. But if that little 2x3 showed himself again I was going to take him. Sure enough he showed himself. You know that rule that people always say ?Don?t pass something up on the first day that you will be happy with on the last day? Ya?.. that rule don't apply to me too good. Made a great shot at 286 yards at an uphill quartering shot.

It was a very fun hunt. Saw tons of deer a day. Hunted real hard for a good buck but we could not find one. Even though my buck was a little guy I'm happy and he will make a great 3rd mule deer for me.

Some pics of the hunt
Few does


Looking for the deer



Beautiful country


Here he is





Special thanks goes out to My Uncle Brian (hunter3380) for coming along with us and my Dad (crazyelk) for taking my little bro and me out.


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RE: Mule Deer success

We went out for my Tio Ray's and my Aunt's cow hunt in 52 last weekend and it was a mess. HUNTERS EVERYWHERE!!!! To make a long and difficult story short we were unsuccessful due to other hunters.(NO ETHICS) After a few missed shots later we ended up not being successful for this hunt. Even though it was a stressful hunt we still had fun time hunting together as a family.

Here is a few pics from the hunt.








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Little Bro's cow hunt

My little bro was again not successful in drawing a tag this year so we bought him a cow tag. This is the same tag that he had last year. This hunt was a blast last year. My little bro tagged out quick with a huge cow elk. (His first) Hopefully we have a repeat this year.

We went for a little ride about a week before the hunt and we were surprised on the amount of snow in the unit. Mobility was going to be a problem. There were 3 foot drifts of snow entering the hunting area where my little bro got his elk the year before. We decided to hunt the southern part of the unit in hopes of less snow.

The morning of the hunt had temperatures of around -10. A bone chilling morning. We spotted some elk as daylight broke. A group of about 5 bulls. As it got more light we began spotting more and more groups of wintering elk. Lots of bulls. Seemed like more bulls than cows. Then we finally spotted a group of about 20 cows. The stalk was on. The lead cow was already on to us and none of the elk in the group gave my little bro a shot.

We went back into town for lunch and then decided to come back and hunt the evening. We right away spotted another group of elk feeding through the trees. Stalk number 2 was on its way. The elk had no idea that we were there. My little bro picks out the biggest cow elk out of the group and takes his shot. He now has taken his second elk at 277 yards.
Having a good time

Very cold morning

This is where she piled up



Little bro with his second elk

The crew


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