Unit 16e new mexico
me and a buddy drew the 1st season archery elk. never hunted NM at all. plan on carrying our horses to seperate ourselves form people hiking in. would appreciate any help on a start place. being from northeast texas, early scouting isn't feasible due to vacation time and distance
My first thought would be to contact the forest service. As I'm sure you guys know, the area is having a bad summer so far. Find out if there are any travel restrictions, or areas that are closed.
16E 1st archery elk. First off, this is a solid unit where most bulls harvested seem to be in the 280" to 310" range. There are a couple of monsters in the unit every year, but last year was awful. Here's my thoughts on the unit and I spend a lot of time in the area.
Access: The most challenging aspect of "E". I'm sure you know this but you can not camp or stay the night in this unit. Therefore, you will need to camp on the fringes of unit and pack in and out every day. There are a number of access areas for the quad/dirt bike crowd and you will see a string of quads pouring into the unit early each morning. If you can hike and are willing to ride in early and away from the quad access points you will get into elk. Also, some of the walk-in areas that appear flat may hold some of the better hunting.
1st Season Archery in 16E: Typically, this is a hot early hunt with few bugling elk and frequent monsoon rains in the afternoons. You are going to have to really work hard to effectively hunt water that is not pressured and work hard to get in behind the guys who quad in and then hike.
Horses: During the rifle hunts horses are great as you can cover country all day long. Downside, watering your animals can be challenging (finding good water) and the Gila will bruise even the best mountain horses' feet and you will need to bring certified hay as a backup in the event of no rain.
Good news: Your unit is not burning. You will be hunting in the Gila, you have the opportunity to kill a big bull elk, and if you work hard, you will get into a good bull or two.
Shoot me a pm and I can give you a couple of good "starting points".