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Thread: New Mexico...

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default New Mexico...

    Iíve have dreamed of hunting the Gila or Valle Vidal and have always swung for the fences hoping to draw that golden ticket. I bought GO Hunt this year and now really see just how bad those NR odds are, think I was better off living in blissful ignorance.

    Hopefully Eastmans, Fin, and Go Hunt put out a strategy article soon drawing everyone to apply in SE units so my odds break 1% this year. Here is to hope as a plan....

  2. #2

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    It is what it is. I think it’s only going to get worse

  3. #3

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    The only strategy I can think of is to apply for later seasons (2nd rifle instead of 1st) or switch to alternate weapons seasons (bow or muzzleloader). By doing that you can change your odds up from under 1% for sure. It's a supply and demand problem and the demand has far out paced the supply of tags so don't count on the odds improving anytime soon if anything they'll just get worse. I always swing for the fences on my 1st and 2nd choice then pick something a little more realistic. New Mexico's antelope draw has frustrated me. Even the units with the highest draw odds are still under 5% (for rifle tag). I'll probably have to start applying for archery in order to get my NM antelope although I'm not sure how much I like the idea of sitting in a hot ground blind in August.

  4. #4

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    We had an extra 80k applicants for all NM tags last year,seems we were discovered...lol
    Bow hunters now make up a big increase along with MZ too.

    I have never drawn a prime tag here, tho I have applied for many years as NR & now for 10 yrs as Res. I rifle & mz hunt.
    Buddy of mine drew 16a bow for the 6th straight time. Another his 4th rifle hunt in Gila.
    Be interesting to see what the odds for my 100% draw tag I applied for the last few years are now.....I did not draw it for 2nd year after hunting there 6 years....2nd or 3rd choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Hank, the wife and I were looking there as a retirement move. What was story the acreage you chose in relation to the land owner tags you get? If your willing to share that info.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    Hank, the wife and I were looking there as a retirement move. What was story the acreage you chose in relation to the land owner tags you get? If your willing to share that info.
    I will pm.
    The whole LO program is being revamped , ranches actually graded(they say),science used(they say),etc...
    The residents want all the tags now & who knows what the lame duck commision voted on.

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    Residents need to be careful what they wish for...they'll have to PAY for all the tags...the 16% going to non-residents and outfitters is more revenue than the 84% of residents.

    Sorry if good land owners get screwed by any new system...but there was a lot of perceived corruption and opposition by land owners to a fair and equitable tag system. So, here's to hoping for a science based management & tag allocation system!

    Maybe 12 will actually become COER now.

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    Rubber stamp I am sure. Whatever “they” propose gets approved.

  9. #9

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    12 is slated to be in COER,UW with the smaller ranches moved into Small Contributing Ranches Program,which is a lottery of those ranches,which seems to be it's own corrupt deal with the same ranches getting all the tags....they say they will rotate lucky ranches & any tags not used in UW program prorated for SCF next year.....LOL,yeah sure. I know folks in program in 15 & 16 that have never received tags in ten years.

    I want my place to stay Ranch Only, stand alone,like is allowed in the COER.

    I wish they would get rid of outfitter pool welfare & just go 15% NR & 85 Resident. They should also increase resident tags costs to meet reality.

    Using google earth to review ranches solely is a really stupid idea to rely on.....when was sat. pic taken? No grass.no water in tanks or stream beds,no elk in pic.....?

    The last plan I heard about in a meeting was different than the dozen other plans they mentioned in prior meetings before.....and we have no idea which plan they presented to the Board...I will try and find out today what is happening when I talk to head of elk program,if I can.

  10. #10

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    The lined out version of proposals is available online from Nov. 30 meeting.
    Looks like some changes in draw tag numbers, up & down. Changes in designation,ie,High Demand,Quality type hunts.
    Unit boundaries changed in some.
    12 is in COER & not part of Greater Gila herd. Fence Lake herd now. Increase in draw tags again....no more public land added really.
    13 was extended into El Malpais area more.....,why when it is IN the Park part of Narrows & not huntable?

    The changes in the LO Elk Program & grading of ranches is long overdue. But given my knowledge of NMG&F getting things done, I am not optimistic.
    This is 1st review since the LO program started in 2005 & was suppossed to be reviewed every 4 years....manana.

    I do know some G&F folks check this site & some know who I am....I wonder how my ranch review will go & how many appeals will I get now?
    Last edited by hank4elk; 12-04-2018 at 06:34 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by hank4elk View Post
    I wish they would get rid of outfitter pool welfare & just go 15% NR & 85 Resident. They should also increase resident tags costs to meet.
    Amen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    I’ve have dreamed of hunting the Gila or Valle Vidal and have always swung for the fences hoping to draw that golden ticket. I bought GO Hunt this year and now really see just how bad those NR odds are, think I was better off living in blissful ignorance.

    Hopefully Eastmans, Fin, and Go Hunt put out a strategy article soon drawing everyone to apply in SE units so my odds break 1% this year. Here is to hope as a plan....
    Well, keep putting in. NM is still worth applying. Especially for bighorn...no point system! May we keep it that way!

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    The changes to the EPLUS program were implemented over a year ago without going through the oversight process that is in place. No heads up, no change to the initial EPLUS application, not even a whisper. Appeals get rubber stamped.
    The system was in need of attention, but it is unrealistic to think that all properties will be graded fairly.
    Without decent maps, that are readily available to the public, the properties that are enrolled as UW are useless to the sportsmen that are financing the program.

  14. #14

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    LO and outfitter welfare need to stop everywhere. NM is posterboy but they aren’t the only one.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trial153 View Post
    LO and outfitter welfare need to stop everywhere. NM is posterboy but they aren’t the only one.
    I’m conflicted on the landowner part. I’m not a NM resident and am not completely informed on the issue, but I do have some general feelings. I don’t like how commercialized hunting as become. By the same token I think that a landowner should be able to hunt on his own property as well as control who enters his property and who hunts on his property. I think he should be issued the appropriate number of tags according to his wildlife/habitat situation and be able to do with them what he wants. As far as entering his property, obviously a public road is not his, and if a public road goes through his property then anyone should be able to travel it. There is a lot of public land that has no public access and that needs to be remedied to the fullest extent possible, but when it comes to tags I have no problem with LO tags and their right to sell them etc.

    I would like to become a landowner some day, and have no interest is selling hunts or tags on my property, but would like to know who is using it, and would like to allow friends and family to hunt an appropriate amount of wildelife. This year in NM while hunting public land adjacent to private land I was actually given permission by the adjacent landowner to hunt his private property free of charge and even offered help getting animal out via his truck or 4-wheeler down a private road that he was allowed to travel that gave access to distant corner of his propert if need be. Ultimately I killed my MD on public property, but it was a very kind gesture that is extremely rare in this day and age.

    In short, I’m all for public hunting and expanding public access, but I’m all for private property rights as well.

    Something I’ve noticed is a “grass is always greener” mentality. Certainly there are pieces of private property that offer outstanding hunting opportunity and massive land access, but there is public property that offers the same. By the same token there is an awful lot of private property that is small and segmented as well as over hunted. Boundary issues are just as big a problem to private property hunting as with public property. Being from Texas most of my in-state hunting is on private land(I don’t pay to hunt any of it) and most of it is small parcels with extensive hunting pressure. Sure, there are huge ranches that are well managed and expensive to hunt, but the majority of hunting in Texas, even for those who pay exhorbitant t amounts, is done on small pieces of property and with other hunters present.

  16. #16

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    Hopefully they address the fiasco that is Unit 9 as well.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trial153 View Post
    LO and outfitter welfare need to stop everywhere. NM is posterboy but they aren’t the only one.
    Maybe.
    I do know the science based grading is long overdue along with full review of ALL ranches.

    I do know there were NO elk in unit 12 before the early 70's after they were wiped out sometime around 1900. Ranchers here have been working with NMG&F or at least most are trying to since they started the program in 12.
    I have been in program since '09. I have seen the elk numbers increase just in that time. Same with antelope.

    Maybe the ranchers have helped increase opportunities for public land hunters too.
    Unit 12 is now in CORE & the herd not only exists,but has it's own designation as of this year. Fence Lake Herd.
    Now estimated @ 3400-6000 elk 34:100:47 calf ratio
    The number of draw tags has increased in last 5 years. A lot this year.
    The LO tags will be decreased to meet criteria & needs of draw tags.

    Now I may have just screwed what minor chance I had @ ever drawing a tag here, but I wanted to prove a point.
    Ranchers here have helped the elk herds & now worry they will get no help from G&F & lose what compensation they did get for elk damage.
    I may also be dropped from program & have to appeal.

    No matter. My water & feed is for wildlife. I will get by. I never really made any $ selling a tag that did not come back to bite me one way or another. I have given them away the last 3 yrs. Or used one to fill my freezer.

    Some ranchers will get 2 new trucks this year, or whatever.
    I do know some small family ranches that will be hurting without the extra income tags brought.

    Now, take away the LO program completely & the unit will still be 1/3 public & half of that checkerboarded with private ranches. How will that help the public draw hunters,who can also now buy LO tags?
    What will the ranchers do when the elk all move to the private land during the draw hunts?
    Sell trespass authorizations if allowed by G&F?
    Lease out the ranches to the wealthy?.... and then what?
    How does that help draw hunters elsewhere?

    Just open our ranches to the good public & let them roam & use our lands as they wish?
    Just let the elk eat everything & never repair fences & wells?
    Just stop ranching?

    Just wondering what other states call the elk LO programs & how they deal with elk also?

  18. #18

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    My experience with the LO program has been good and bad. Some parts of the state have entirely too many tags, see unit 9 as a prime example, but a lot of the LO tags go unused or unsold by the landowners in order to manage the elk numbers to a desirable level whether it's on larger ranches or small ranch coops. There definitely appears to be some favoritism going on, ie two 500 acre ranches side by side nearly identical in make up and one gets 4 bull tags and the other 1. I was told at one point 15 years ago it's based on overall herd numbers and who asked for what tags first. It didn't matter if Bob got 4 tags and Bill got one as long as there were 5 tags for that area. Now it appears that instead of taking from Bob and giving to Bill a few years ago they just gave everyone the same number of tags as Bob.

    The demand for the SLO tags have definitely gone up in the last 10 years. A tag that was consistently $800-1000 a few years ago was $3500 this past year. It used to be the SLO tag was my back up every year and I'd tell anyone the worst tag in NM was better than the best OTC in CO as far as overall quality of the hunt, but I don't believe that's the case anymore. I've seen more hunters in the units I've hunted in each of the last 3 seasons than I probably saw in the previous 5 combined. I know that elk herds and habits fluctuate and change for a lot of reasons but it's my opinion a lot of the changes in the last 3 years have been driven by demand. There may not be anymore tags in some areas but just more people utilizing the number of tags there that hadn't been before.

    I don't think there's any doubt that the private landowner has a massive amount of credit for the quality of certain elk herds in the state. I don't know of many if any that "abuse" the resource, most have realized the value of the tags and try to improve the habitat. In my mind allowing the LO to sell the tags for profit encourages them to manage their property for the benefit of wildlife.

    The bottom line is they're never going to create the perfect system that makes everyone happy, hopefully they adjust it to benefit the elk and quality of the hunt.

  19. #19

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    ^^^ yep. Land owners are paying property taxes that make it impossible to simply own the land. They literally have to work it and make a living on it or they can’t pay the taxes on it, unless they’re insanely wealthy. There are landowners out there that don’t sell tags or hunts, but many of the ones who do literally couldn’t get by without it. Just like it’s a small handful of hunters that tear things up, poach etc. and make a bad name for hunters. It’s likely a small handful of landowners that make a bad name for them as well.

    A good friend of mine has family friends with land outside Reserve. Basically in the middle of the Gila. He always laughed when I mentioned applying for an elk tag saying we could go shoot an elk whenever we wanted. Finally one day I said go ahead and call them because if that’s the case I’d like to do it. He put them on speaker phone. Sure enough, they said they had close to 200 of them in one of their pastures the night before and we were more than welcome to come shoot one. He even said “I don’t know why no one else does. People hunt all around our place, but I never see anyone hunting on our side of the fence” I was speechless. When I explained that they were hunting public land and that you had to buy a tag he literally had no idea, and only knew that other ranches around him had hunters going in an out of them, and never understood why hunters never hunted on his ranch. They said they would look into getting tags for us and we could “come hunt any time”. I told my buddy “I know they’re your friends and all, but by the time they figure out how many hoops they have to jump through to become a part of the system and get landowner tags they probably aren’t going to do it, and if they do, and find out how much that tag is worth, it’s unlikely that you and I ever end up with one in our hands, especially not for free”. Well they looked into it and as far as I know have just avoided becoming part of the system.
    Last edited by ImBillT; 12-06-2018 at 12:48 PM.

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    There really are no hoops to jump through. You fill out some redundant information on a form, have a signature notarized, draw a map on a napkin with your non-dominant hand, print out the tax info from the assessors office and send it off. Before they instituted the grading criteria if the property was in COER it qualified no questions asked.
    Pretty upsetting seeing guys split an 80 acre chunk down into 10 acre parcels and have their family simply be on the individual 10 acre deeds. Watching those 8 guys pull tags when your 80 acres gets denied and is within 1/2 mile of said 8 - 10 acre parcels is beyond frustrating.

  21. #21

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    ^^^ Then who knows? Maybe we’ll get some LO tags from his friends in the Gila some day.

    I’ve run into some very kind and generous land owners in both Texas and NM as well as total jerks in both states. The majority are just making a living. Some are barely waking by, some are middle class and some are wealthy. A handful of jerks have made many public land hunters think that all LOs are simply greedy, and that hunting private is somehow an automatic advantage. I hate to see hard working honest people get such a bad name just because a handful of people are jerks.
    Last edited by ImBillT; 12-06-2018 at 02:35 PM.

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