Unit 51 elk

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,730
Hey guys. I am from Utah and I am looking to see how things look in that unit. I dont need spots (UNLESS you have a 400" bull tied up for me), lol. I know where I will be hunting, for the most part. I have 1st rifle season Oct 11. Excited to get down there. We plan on hunting the North end in the middle of the unit.

A few questions.

I have heard it can be bad being close to the reservation, with theft or vandalism. Anything I should do or not do to be safe?

Anyone seeing anything good this year with the extra moisture? Lots of elk?

Anyways, any advise or tips would be great.
 

505Hunter

Active Member
Messages
278
Hi Robiland. Just came back from your state, love it!
Unfortunately, anywhere you go in NM is going to warrant the need for extra caution when it comes to violent/property crime.

Make sure you lock up items at camp, always lock your vehicles and never leave anything in open site. I’d setup a game camera around camp that way you can catch anyone who might wander over there.
Also never hurts to keep a side firearm on as well.

51 is a good meat unit with the option for good bulls. I think you’ll have a good time. Best of luck to you!
 

JJhunt

Member
Messages
82
Hi Robiland. Just came back from your state, love it!
Unfortunately, anywhere you go in NM is going to warrant the need for extra caution when it comes to violent/property crime.

Make sure you lock up items at camp, always lock your vehicles and never leave anything in open site. I’d setup a game camera around camp that way you can catch anyone who might wander over there.
Also never hurts to keep a side firearm on as well.

51 is a good meat unit with the option for good bulls. I think you’ll have a good time. Best of luck to you!
Hmmm, maybe in northern NM. I've hunted plenty of southern NM units and never had any problem with anyone messing with anything in camp. I usually leave my whole camp out and unattended from a couple hours before sun up to a couple after. Even leave camp set up for a day or two when I go back home to re-supply up. I just did this exact thing again the first couple weeks of September during my elk hunt.
Sorry you have had different experiences.
 

live4muleys

Active Member
Messages
851
I have hunted 51 about a dozen times and have never had a problem with people bothering camp. Hopefully that continues. Actually the only time I have had an issue with someone taking anything from camp was in Southern NM in 16. I would take care of your stuff and not a bad idea to have a trail cam near camp just in case. Hopefully you have not issues with this. I worry more about when I am in Albuquerque then in the woods. I am sure one day it will bit me in the butt, but hopefully not.
Good luck on your hunt. Lots of beautiful country.
 

505Hunter

Active Member
Messages
278
I have hunted 51 about a dozen times and have never had a problem with people bothering camp. Hopefully that continues. Actually the only time I have had an issue with someone taking anything from camp was in Southern NM in 16. I would take care of your stuff and not a bad idea to have a trail cam near camp just in case. Hopefully you have not issues with this. I worry more about when I am in Albuquerque then in the woods. I am sure one day it will bit me in the butt, but hopefully not.
Good luck on your hunt. Lots of beautiful country.
I wouldn’t trust anything open in Albuquerque.
For the most part, those who are in the woods are fairly responsible individuals with morals and ethics. But unfortunately this state is filled with so many criminals that I wouldn’t trust anybody.
Lock it up, regardless. Spend to much time, money and hard work on my equipment/gear to have some scrotebag take it.
 

Badger

New Member
Messages
2
I've hunted 51 several times over the last years 5 and never had an issue with vandalism. Had great luck there and it is beautiful country. Put in some effort and you shouldn't have a problem getting into some decent bulls. There is a lot of traffic along certain routes within the unit, so if you are able, I'd recommend camping away from those roads. No shortage of good camp spots along the FS roads.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,730
Thanks for the reply's!

I do have 1 more question. How are the roads down there? We plan on hunting the north west area of the unit. Do we want 4 wheelers or a side by side to get around to our hiking areas?

Thanks again for any and all reply's.
 

live4muleys

Active Member
Messages
851
The roads can get very bad and you can get in a situation in a hurry so be prepared for that. If it gets wet you may not go to many places in a truck. If it stays dryish then you will be good with whatever.
 

Gator

Long Time Member
Messages
17,583
Roads get slippery as all get out, One year our flatbed trailer caked up so much with mud in the fender wells, we had to take the tires off to get the dried up mud off so the wheels would turn it was pulling a bobsled. So get the mud off when it still wet.
 

freaknasty

Active Member
Messages
271
Not close to the Rez
Leave the side x side at home (don't like those things, other topic) if you're unsure about your stuff lock them up just to be safe while you're out doin your thing. Invite people to your camp you may need help and you may make a friend or 2.
The roads can get pretty bad ( I've had the mud experience myself but rained for 3 days prior.)
Good luck post em up.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,730
I have some good info from you guys, THANKS!!!! I will for sure let you all know how it goes. IF there is reception up there, I will update daily whats happening. I have decided to bring the polaris ranger vs 4-wheeler. But that is just to get around to hunting areas. I am excited. We will show up on thursday, look over the lay of the land all day Friday. And hopefully get it done ASAP!!!
 

Phantom Hunter

Very Active Member
Messages
1,678
The road on the west side up to the Trout Lakes is horrible when wet. Road slopes toward downhill in places and you will not be able to control sliding off road in wet conditions. Trust me on that one. 4x4 in low range 2nd gear and had zero traction.
 

Robiland

Very Active Member
Messages
1,730
Well, here is a report for all you of that may be interested.

We had 4 hunters with tags and went 0-4. It was a tough hunt. I had some great info given to me from you guys, and the guys in my group had info given also, but from other sources. I was out numbered and we hunted on the very north end near Hopewell Lake.

We scouted for 2 days before the hunt and not found or seen a bull yet in the areas we were told to look. Saturday came and it was wet and windy. Light rain and snow mix. But not much of any accumulation. I only saw 4 cows and calves on Saturday. Sunday, I saw more cows, like 10-12 and 1 spike. We talked to a guy camped next to us and they had killed 2 bulls and shared some good info. It got our hopes up and we changed course a bit. Found a few more elk and another spike, but finally heard some bugles.

Monday came and we had a plan. And it went well. I had a bull screaming 75 yards away, behind the only patch of trees in the only open area we had found, literally, We had a fence between us and I was pinned down to make a move from 1 side or the other. After about 10 minutes, the wind switched to my back and I could here him walk straight away up the hill in the thick pines.

That night I wanted to give that area a rest and went to another spot that didnt produce a thing. So at camp Monday night, we went to get cell coverage and saw the weather report. We decided not to get stuck up there and broke camp up late Mon and early Tues and left by 7:15 and was on the road. Tails between the legs.

We did have a ton of fun. That area is BEAUTIFUL. VERY VERY VERY thick area. I felt like many times an open sight lever action 30-30 would have been a better option, lol! I feel like if did it again, knowing what I learned, that could be a productive hunt. I would do it again, like many people always say. But New Mexico in the Northern half is a beautiful place!!!!

Thanks,
Landon R
 

garneroutlaw

Member
Messages
23
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Sounds about right. Was up in 52 for a cow tag for my wife over the weekend. The weather was pretty gnarly. Saturday we were in 75 ft visibility most of the day with up to 60 mph gusts. It was too dangerous, and I took my wife home after the snow blew in Sunday morning.
 

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